Freedom of Spine - elbows
I was born to live the freedom in my spine. In my yoga class, I am learning to get deeper into my spine, finding the relationship between my spine, shoulders and hips. The deepening frees me up bit by bit, in an indirect way. A gentle, subtle, beautiful breath arises from below my rib-cage, penetrating every cell. My body hums with lightness. I am learning to discover the polarity of intensity and ease, at the same time. I am observing the delight of the vastness and narrowness of the spaces inside.
Louise demonstrates how the freedom of spine relates to the freedom of hips and shoulders. P and G, she calls them out, then posts them on either sides of Anna. Anna, you are the spine. P and G, you are the hips. I am the dictator in your head, Louise says firmly. “P, G, bring Anna to me,” she commanded in a terse, cold voice. As if spellbound, P and G, like two dutiful soldiers grab hold of Anna’s arms. They start to move her towards Louise. They are not looking at Anna. They are just marching straight onward. Like a prisoner, Anna walks, bounded by the two guards on either sides of her. They deliver Anna to Louise in a straight, humourless way. End of Story.
Now let us change the story, Louise said. “P, G, you are going to look at Anna.” They do. They smile at each other. A bond is forming between them. “P, G, bring Anna to me.” P and G hold Anna’s right and left arms, but they don’t move. “Bring her here,” Louise said again. They start to move, the three of them. But they are smiling at each other. Their steps are joyful and light. P and G cannot walk so straight and rigidly. They waltz forward, the three of them, and come much slower to Louise. A bright smile on their faces. “This is the freedom of spine.” Louise said. “It is in relationship to the hips.”
The simple act of looking changed everything. Lightning struck my heart as I watched this scene. Had they but looked at me, we would have learned to waltz. Maybe we would have moved slower, maybe faster. But they did not even look. They just grabbed me, delivered me to the dictator, and cut me away. Onward they moved, joylessly. They delivered statements to the UN, to their universities. They missed the point, altogether about peace in the self, peace in the world.
What if they did look at me? What if we learned to smile at one another and start to waltz? Could we move onward on freedom’s way? All we need is daring to look at each other and see. Our bodies are signifiers of our liberation. I was born to be free, to fly like a carefree bird in the open skies of life. And so do you.
Photo by : Alan Watson Featherstone
Gannets on a clifftop at Troup Head Reserve, Scotland