Thursday, July 14, 2005


I've been talking about bodywork a lot lately. It's because I had a truly convincing experience of the power movement has to transform all aspects of myself. It all started with this free online class. I didn't finish the class, but I did the exercise from the first week consistently. All I did was bend over in the touching-your-toes position, and hold my elbows with my hands for 5 minutes. After this uber simple stretch, I walked differently, perceived differently and felt differently. It was amazing. What Erich Schiffmann said in Yoga about how moving your body differently makes your life different didn't seem esoteric after that experience. Try it for yourself. Here are two experiments you can do:

1. Go on a walk. Notice what you notice. Do the stretch I mentioned above for 5 minutes a day for a week. Go on a walk. Notice what you notice.

2. (This one requires a friend.) Both of you look at something, a picture or a view, and notice what you notice. Then you follow the other person on a 12 minute or longer walk. Walk behind them but at an angle so you can notice what they are looking at. Walk exactly like they are walking, hold your body in the posture they hold their body in, look at what they look at, touch what they touch. Be just like them. Come back to the picture or view you looked at before and notice what you notice. Switch roles and repeat. The effect of this exercise is especially noticeable if you partner with someone who is a lot different than you are.

If you do either of these exercises, you will learn a lot about how you perceive and how you can alter your perceptions. If you do exercise number 2, you will also learn a lot about your partner. Let me know what you find out!

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Andrea said...

Interesting! I'll have to try it out. It reminds me of the chapter on "ki walking" in The Way of Aikido (George Leonard). Although that has more to do with visualization's effect on the body, and not the other way around.

jb said...

Definitely worth a try. For me, anyway, going from couch-potato to excercising regularly really altered my perspective of the world. Colors went from being there to being there, etc. I'll let you know what the exercise yields for me. ^_^