Chapter 4 :: Control and Surrender Scroll Down >>>
The purpose of the fourth section is to release the bottom of the core and bring alignment to the midline of the inside of the legs.
The theme of this section is "Control and Surrender." One of the first acts of self-control that we are asked to perform as a child is toilet training, requiring control of the muscles of the bottom of the core. After that, personal control can become equated with holding things inside the body - "keeping it together," not crying, and not letting anything out that "shouldn't" be out. Surrender is something the enemy did after the war - in other words, giving up, failing. Nonetheless, "control" is not necessarily rigid or suppressive, and "surrender" is not necessarily weak willed submission.
Healthy control involves a sensitivity to feedback, and a willingness to be flexible, creative, and decisive. Healthy surrender involves letting go, trusting your environment and your relationships, and relaxing about your destiny. Control can exist in the midst of surrender, and surrender in the midst of control. Do you like to control things? Can you enjoy surrender? Do you fear the responsibility of control? In this section we explore with you the dance and the delicate balance of control and surrender.
Anatomy and Structure
Anatomically, the focus of this section is the bottom of the core: the insides of the legs and muscles of the pelvic floor. In the illustration to the right, the muscles of the inner thigh are illustrated. These muscles - the adductors - pull the legs together, and are functionally related to the muscles of the pelvic floor: if you tighten your adductors your pelvic floor will tighten, and vice-versa.
The pelvic floor, shown in the illustration below, is the group of muscles which constitute the bottom of the core. It is active in the functions of elimination and sexual pleasure, both of which are enhanced with surrender! The pelvic floor is always responding to demands for either self-control or for surrender. Often our bodies get stuck in patterns of control, which require tension in these muscles, resulting in what we call being "up tight." Releasing the pelvic floor supports the entire body in letting go.
Structurally, the purpose of this section is to align the midline of the inner leg and to release the pelvic floor. This is achieved through the relaxation of tension in the muscles of the inner leg and the pelvic floor.
In movement, our goal is for you to relax your pelvic floor and for your core to lengthen. As you do this you'll notice that your walk is more fluid.
Movement Lesson :: Relaxing the Pelvic Floor
Walk and become aware of your pelvic floor and the insides of your legs. Tighten your pelvic floor by pretending that you are preventing or interrupting urination. Now maintain this tightness and walk, noticing the sensation. Alternate between relaxing and tightening your pelvic floor, and become aware of the difference. Notice the effect of this in your whole body.
Imagine a situation in which you are "up tight" - perhaps driving in hectic traffic. Exaggerate the way you feel in this situation, and when you sense your frustration and irritation completely, notice your pelvic floor. Is it tight? How do you feel emotionally? Then, breathe into your pelvic floor and let it relax. Notice how your body feels now, and how you feel emotionally. This is illustrated in the drawing to the right.
Become aware of the interaction of your emotional state and the tension in your body, particularly your pelvic floor. By relaxing your body you can release emotional tension.
Consider the areas of your life in which you like to control and dominate things, and contrast this with the areas of your life in which you are more surrendered. Notice how your body is in these situations. See if you can relax your pelvic floor consciously during those times in which you usually like to control things. Notice if this changes your experience.