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Pelvic Floor Test 2

Had two Pilates sessions to introduce my grandson to an intense workout. This was a perfect chance to test out my experience of the pelvic floor for three dimensional responsiveness through the body.

So far I am playing with the pelvic diaphragm for vertical lift sending signals to both the lower limbs and the upper torso. Horizontal wave motions regulate the position and signals to and from the hips,

First exercise of pushing out with the legs, Karin Carlson helped me identify my overuse of the thighs and need to connect the back of my legs and gluts. By alternating between horizontal and vertical lift motions of the pelvic floor I was able to immediately change my orientation. Signals moved easily through the front and back of my legs. My thighs were supported and I was able to continue to push against a heavier weight than ever before.

I continued to use this experience as I explored extensions. Balancing countering actions with each leg meant sending signals down each leg. Finding the passage points on the pelvic floor came quickly and made it easier to equalize a shorter leg and keep both hips engaged and aligned.

In the second session, I asked about the tension behind my knees. Karin suggested that I pull up from the knee caps to engage my entire thighs front and back. After feeling the sensation, I applied outward compression to both hips engaging the thighs and simultaneous lifting of the pelvic floor.

I had access to more movement in the back of my legs. Sending signals through the entire knee area gave me the extra freedom to release into more of an extension. Long way to go and lots of Ballet classes before all will be functional.

Coordination of the legs brought new sensations in muscles I had not experienced before. New cooperation had to be worked out. Stretching also felt different.
Tim Hurst. 05/14/17

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Pelvic Floor Update1

My experience of the pelvis floor today is a feeling of integration. I am aware of the full surface going all the way through my body from edge to edge. A sensation of wideness is unusual.

Signals are easier to pass from different areas of a wider surface to connect with legs and feet as well as sending lifting signals through my torso and head.

My practice is to slowly lift and lower the pelvic diaphragm sending signals up through the top of my head. Figure eight wave motions across the width of the diaphragm connect with the lumbar spine and send signals through the legs to the ankles and arches of the feet. Tilting the entire diaphragm makes subtle adjustments to the pelvis.

The results are a full body network centered in one location. Adjustments are small that are not related to commands to move body parts. For example, no longer needed are the conscious physical requirements to separate the top of the legs from the pelvis or squeezing of the buttocks to engage the inner thighs.

Laying on my back, I can roll on my pelvis and use Skinner Technique movement of the legs to clarify signals coming from the pelvic floor and the lower lumbar spine muscles.
Tim Hurst. 05/12/17

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Pelvic Floor Test

Test one, A ballet class for teachers way beyond my level. I want to see and feel the difference, to experience being in the middle of greatness grown over a life time.

Of course I was inept, searching, following key people. In the later part of the barre my frappe was very small and feeling the rhythm more than doing the movement.

Oh yes, the pelvic floor test. I expanded my focus to the whole body out of necessity. Did not feel or direct the pelvic floor. The awareness of a broadness was there, definitely a floor all the way through my body to the outer edges.

Signals easily passed into my standing leg as the other leg worked outwards. Develope and extensions felt more certain even with my limited agility.

What I did feel in a more full way was the rhythm and the melody as a context of every movement. Watching the center work my body grew a voracious appetite for the delight of melding personality and melody into dance.

Of course the beauty of each person had to be meshed with the struggle between clarity and error. So I saw the “I am not enough” yearning of the experienced dancer reaching for more.

Dear dancer, It is always an honor to be in the presence of your courageous process. You are a delight to experience in the rough and in the polish.
Tim Hurst 05/06/17

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Dance the Pelvic Floor

My quest is to experience how the dancer is able to do so many complicated actions at once.

Identifying and isolating the slightest adjustments of the pelvic floor are a specific focus on sensations and awareness. I try to catch a glimpse of this focus as the daily attention of the dancer.

An alternating focus is the use of signals and imagery to create communication networks throughout the entire body.

Below I outline an experiment to interconnect signals from the pelvic floor through the legs and feet. The image of a signal contracting the outside of the hips travels instantly through the legs and feet. The experiment becomes varying the pathways, speed, and quality of the movements affected by the signal.

I also experiment with the beginnings of a network connecting the pelvic floor to the muscles of the lower back, the erectors and the large muscles above the pelvis called the quadratus lumborum. These are the lower back muscles that store lots of tension and require detailed stretching and strengthening.

I vary the pathway of signals coming from the undulations of the pelvic floor, side to side as well as lifting and loosening. The pathways can be lines or curved signals.

Ballet dancers use signals that cross the body in the shape of an “X.” These signals connect left and right side and simplify networks. I experiment with this image by initiating signals from the pelvic floor connecting simple lines to the lower back. The pathway of the signals can be directly up the sides of the spine or crossing the body as in an “X,” or counter rotation as in facing the pelvis and body in different directions.

Rather than becoming more complex, creating an image instantly sends signals throughout my body via interconnecting networks. My search is to build these networks and to vary the types and qualities of signals that move through me.

Searching for how dancers master the subtleties of the pelvic floor.

Continual balancing motion
Lifting and lowering of pelvic floor
Sensation is lifting and loosening pelvic floor almost as an inhale and exhale of the muscle

Rise and lowering in walk, in plié and releve, in spin and turn
Undulations of the lower spine

Continual undulation motion of both sides of the pelvic floor.
Isolation of left and right sides of the pelvic floor.
Connection to muscles attaching at the spine
Sensation is lifting and loosening of each side of the pelvic floor.

Continual Lateral contraction and loosening of the entire surface of the pelvic floor.
Begin contraction at sides of hip just below the protruding hip bones on each side.
Loosen and broaden the entire surface.
Connect at the spine as central point of the pelvic floor.

Extension and stretching of the legs and feet
Articulation of hips, knees, and feet in varied placement and roll through as in Ballet and Latin Ballroom and Social Dancing

All that a dancer does sounds complicated as I describe the detail I have to go through to understand their process. This complexity disappears on the first day of dance class as a dance teacher breaks down the kinesiology, mathematics, geometry, physics, psychology, and spirituality of dancing. Dancers are the masters of simplicity because they build networks of imagery and commands that interrelate the entire body. Dance classes are the capsules we have to learn their process of beginning with the simplest movement and developing a complexity that require volumes of words to describe.
Tim Hurst 05/04/17

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Three Dimension Dancer

What I see in the dancer is the agility to move any part of the body in any direction. Any movement is vibrant from the front, the back, the side. Their movement is three dimensional.

I want to experience these kind of movements that instantly go through the body vertically and also horizontally. Ballet dancers are trained to send signals from feet through the top of the head. They are more subtlety trained to experience the horizontal planes called diaphragms.

With one set of experiments I explore seven diaphragms. One diaphragm is called the pelvic floor. From a basic introduction to Ballet, I am to keep the pelvic floor level and not tilted side to side. The description is “do not lift your hip when moving your legs.” The sensation is of the entire concave surface connecting with the spine and attaching to every edge of my body. The motion is continual undulations to maintain a balance of side to side and front to back tilts.

I experience this balance of a level pelvic floor as I use my legs and take a step in any direction. The more expansive my movements, the more opportunity I have to be aware and adjust my pelvic floor to be in balance.

Another purpose of the pelvic floor is the actions to “lift up” and to “send energy up your spine.” Lifting the pelvic floor is a natural motion to be erect and to maintain balance.

I experiment by lifting my pelvic floor to initiate movement. This gives me the sensation of lifting and also the incentive to remember to engage the muscles connecting around my spine and to the edges of my hips.

Another action is the expansion and contraction of the entire pelvic floor. This is a simple action of pulling the two sides of the hips inwards and releasing them.

The grande plié is a perfect practice as I pull the outer hips inwards to rise then release and expand the hips while lowering. (This activates the psoas muscles connected to the lumbar spine that send signals to the inner thigh, ankle, and feet muscles.)

These experiments help me to build awareness and communication with the pelvic floor. My adjustments become an experience rather than commands to “lower my hip” or to “pull my stomach to my spine.”

Ballet is the master study of simplifying the signals that interact with this constant balancing motion. The goal is to be able to focus on balance and then shift the focus to the entire body experiencing the sensation of balance.

The experience is an instant ease of motion coming from one diaphragm. I ride on top of this horizontal floor that responds to any adjustment I make as I move in any direction, twist and turn, rise and fall. My legs respond to any adjustment and move freely as springs rather than weight bearers.
Tim Hurst. 05/03/17