Yoga-Bowen Day. What does it mean to be grounded?

What does it mean to be grounded? This is a question that Maxine and I have been fascinated with. It’s a phrase that is bounded about, but what does it really mean to us?  What does it FEEL like to be grounded? How can we be more grounded? We decided to devise our Yoga-Bowen workshop around exploring what our idea of being grounded is?

‘Gravity is fundamental to our existence, and all human activity has its basis in our response to its force. One simply and intelligently gives weight to the ground, not hanging or collapsing under its force, but sensitively and delicately, from moment to moment, getting out of the way to allow our weight to go down and our best response to be revealed’- Unknown

Grounding is an expression of our planetary life. Grounding grows out of being born. It grows out of coming into the world with a body. We plant ourselves in the world. Our natural function grows roots on one end and leaves and branches-social relationships-on the other – Stanley Keleman

Above are a few of the quotes that we used to ‘hang’ the day on. These phrases become an important signpost for turning discussion into a physical understanding. We spend a lot of time workshopping the sequences that Maxine devises out of her wealth of intelligent movement. We want the sequences to fit as closely to the influences we are using, and then add in the appropriate bowen moves. We made the decision to focus attention on where we contact the ground most, we felt it would be insightful to focus attention on our ‘rootedness’ and contact with the earth, So for us, this workshop became all about giving attention to the feet.

We organise the day in four sections that go like this….Sequence-Bowen-rest- repeat sequence- breath awareness-rest. We have noticed, and had verification through participant feed back, that this combination offers time and space for slowing down, noticing what is happening and integration.

Yoga-Bowen Day Oct 18 1

We began the day with self massage and focus on the feet. Giving equal attention to the soft paddy parts of the foot and the boney parts. We used the first session to ‘wake up’ and engage the feet so they were prepared for the day ahead. In the second section of the day, our participants worked together in pairs, exploring movement that originates from the foot. Partner work can be incredibly informative as there is a chance to have a witness/observer and then to receive feedback. After lunch we did a lot of standing work giving the chance to explore the walking pattern. The last session was more floor based, ending up using the wall as way to explore the term..”when something goes down, something else goes up”

Yoga-Bowen day Oct 18 3

Regardless of our personal history we are all suitable candidates for change. – John Stirk

Yoga-Bowen day 4

‘One can talk about freedom, resting, engagement and relating better and all these things, but they only carry meaning when they come from experience. By quieting down one gets that as an experience, and not just an idea’. Ed Fellows

Below is some feed back we received from our participants…

Did you find the day useful ?
Yes, it made me aware of small movements in my body.
I found the repetition particularly useful and noticed the Bowen made a real difference.
What have you most enjoyed and what will you take away?
How relaxed I feel.
Because we explored a few movements in depth I think I will be able to practice these in my everyday life.
The slowing, the movements, the gradual building. I hope to practice this approach.
Great day. Maxine’s teaching is very clear and concise, lovely use of language.
The Bowen ‘adjustments’ were useful and helpful to the movements.
Relaxing… Grounding… ‘Befriending’ my body – tuning into it’s innate knowledge.
Other comments
I think I will take a lot of this experience away with me and can put it into my own practice. It was lovely to have the time to explore the movements and to have Maxine’s instructions. The Bowen did increase my spinal twists.
We can see that there is something happening in this work. The combination of Bowen and Yoga has such great possibilities and we hope to keep providing these day so that we can continue to explore at a deep level.
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