Pathways in and out of the floor
Themes. Finding a way to move into the floor from upright positions. Sliding: explore how to slide into the floor from the periphery and how to use body surfaces to slide along both into and out of the floor. Finding momentum to shift levels from rolling and turning; gathering around the centre or opening from the centre to support the transitions. Pushing from the periphery to lever the body’s weight up from the floor and organised around a fulcrum or a base.
Caution. These exercises take time and require patience, clear slow demonstration and guided facilitation. It is counter intuitive for many people to slide along the surface of the body, rather than to lift oneself up directly or just push. The floor needs to be clean to avoid friction burns, and recommend wearing long sleeved clothing.
Teddy bear roll or ‘baby roll’
- Sit with the spine as straight as possible, on the base of the pelvis, with arms and legs out in front and open to the sides.
- Tilt the head towards the right and feel the weight shifting into the pelvis on that side and lifts out of the left.
- Keeping tilting till the finger of the right hand touches the floor and the weight is now on the right pelvis and hip.
- Continue tilting and feel the weight pouring into the floor along the length of the arm, slide along the underside of the arm to support the fluid descent of the spine and body to come to lie on the floor on the whole right side.
- Roll across the back, lifting up the left (upper) arm and leg to initiate the turn over the back, letting the right arm and leg follow over the top, till the left side meets the floor and the right lowers and lies on the left.
- Come up to sitting by reaching into the floor with the right arm and leg, the right sitz bone and tail reaching into the floor. Slide up along the left arm, and stack the spine up in sequence from the tail, lumbar, thoracic, with the shoulders, neck and head coming up last to sit upright.
Caution. Avoid pushing up from the under-side. Support the initiation of the reaching from the tail, to replace the centre of the pelvis into the floor, and stacking up the spine so the head comes up last.
To return to the floor, resume from the start sliding down the full length of the arms and side of the body into the floor. Continue as above and notice each roll maps 180 degree turn so you start facing one side of the room and end facing the other and it takes two rolls to make a 360 degree turn.
This roll is another way to move from sitting to lying and back up, as well as another full bodied roll.
- Sit up as in the teddy bear roll. Turn the upper body to the right, keeping the pelvis in its place. Bring both arms together on the right side, thumbs up and palms facing, tilt till the little fingers touch the floor and slide along the underside of both arms, sequentially let the spiral turn through the pelvis and lower limbs to lie on the belly.
- Return back up to sitting: Rewind from the left leg, lift it up and cross it over the right and pull to bring the left pelvis over and place it on the floor, sequentially following through by sliding along the arms and the head is the last to come back to the vertical. The leg leads and the body is pulled around so the pelvis comes into the floor and the body spirals to follow it. Return from sitting by turning the head to the left, taking the arms with you to support you to meet the floor as you continue around the left side and lie belly down. Return by initiating with the right leg.