‘We’re going to need some big boy Rolfing’
I spoke too soon about my Rolfing sessions being unexpectedly tolerable.
Session No. 2? Excruciating at times. And it all was focused from my knees down.
Apparently, that’s where a lot of my troubles are. According to Russ Pfeiffer, there may be bones and things — I know he was saying anatomy words while I literally was laughing to keep from crying — that haven’t moved in a long time, if ever.
And so the work on my feet should be the most painful. (I did catch a comment that suggested work on my hips might be worse.) It’s a job for “big boy Rolfing.”
As I noted in my first post on this experience, this pain is interesting because it doesn’t come with the normal, accompanying fear of real injury. It’s just something to get through, to surrender to, to let happen. (And thus, it is a lot like yoga and taking an adjustment or being in a pose that’s unpleasant.) But I will say that having the arch of your foot pressed on and manipulated so it hurts is pretty darn strange.
My “homework” this week is two-fold. One is to use a spikey little “accupuncture” ball to try to maintain the spreading and opening work that he was doing. (This also hurts a ton, but it may be because my feet are a bit sore in the aftermath of last night’s session.) The other is to focus on my feet during asana.
And that brings up this question: Do you think about your feet much during your practice? Bobbie said she does. And I think I may have more awareness of my feet than most for a few reasons:
- In every down dog, I see them not touching the floor and I’m highly aware of this.
- My feet are pretty much the edge of my flexibility right now, so in seated poses where you might be grasping your wrists beyond your foot, I’m struggling to hold on to my toe.
My goal, in asana practice and everyday life, is to be as heavy in my feet as possible and to use more of them. (I’m way back on my heels and on the outside of my feet.) My muscles that rotate things out are much more engaged than those than rotate my legs inward. (This must be why I’m far more capable in Supta Kurmasana than you’d guess.)
This week, I’m going to be thinking about that heaviness and really focusing on the grounding and base of my poses. How that’ll change the practice, well, we’ll see. I did just a few sun salutes this morning, a little test session, if you will; the B sequence, in particular, involves the moving of the feet and ankles that we’re talking about. (Think about all those adjustments you see of people in Warrior where the teacher tries to get the outside of the foot down.)
First impression? It moves the leading part of the body — which I guess normally is my hips and even my shoulders — down into the feet and ankles. And it is both more steady and more unstable, possibly just because of the newness of it.
The goal, I suspect, is to make that low steadiness the norm. Russ talked a lot about how basketball players move, for instance. So, I’m also going to try to be more like Steve Nash or Chris Paul. Good luck there.
If I end up being able to dunk out of this process, though, that’d be awesome.
Posted by Steve