Figure Eight and a Neutral Postural Pattern

The average human body displays a delightful potpourri of postural imbalance. The main aim of any holistic movement practice is to bring awareness to these imbalances, and use various tools to gently coax the body towards a neutral postural pattern. One method that is extremely helpful is the image of energy flowing through the body in the form of a figure eight. Allow me to explain…

Starting at the top of the breastbone, imagine a waterfall gently flowing downwards, releasing tension across the front of the ribcage and softening the heart. From the xiphoid process, allow this waterfall to go ‘underground’, following a diagonal pathway to the top of the sacrum. Here, allow the waterfall to resurface and flow down the back of the sacrum, following the line of the tailbone and carving under the pelvis, like a river flowing along the pelvic floor. At the pubic bone, allow the energy to flow upwards to the belly button, zipping up the front of the pelvis and encouraging an activation and support from the lower abdominals. At the belly button, dive back through your body, on an upward diagonal trajectory, resurfacing on your mid-thoracic spine, around the level of the base of your scapulae. Let the energy flow up the thoracic spine, like a fountain, encouraging a floating of the ribcage and creating space in the lumbar region. When the energy gets to the first thoracic vertebrae, it is going to split into two branches. The first branch will recycle the energy over the top of the lungs and send it flowing back into the waterfall down the sternum. The second branch will continue to fountain up through the cervical vertebrae and shoot out, like wings off of either side of the base of the skull. 

Once you get the hang of this image, it will allow you to access the sensation of a lightness of the flying-floating skull; an ease of the neutral spine hanging-falling, out of the skull; and a flow of energy cycling through the torso and pelvis which will facilitate more efficient movement patterns. 

Please join in my Pilates or dance classes, or contact me directly, if you would like to explore this, and other wonderfully useful images in person!