This is not the first time I’ve decided to do some work on my hips. I’ve made a valiant effort before. I was doing some yoga therapy about a year ago and I was standing with my eyes closed in a half meditative state and she asked me a question.
What would happen if you just let it go?
I burst into tears and immediately replied that everything will fall apart.
I went to her once more after that and then traveled for work and when I came back our schedules kept not meeting up. Read: I didn’t want to take it any further because I was afraid.
Today, during Feldenkrais with Mandy, the first thing she did was tell me not to effort.
Not effort. Allow movement. Give permission.
I know about all that in theory. I’m great at knowing theories. The more difficult part is the application. She went through some passive motions with me and explained some connections and things were moving. Then she started to work on my ribs.
Apparently, I’m holding my breath.. And my stomach muscles.. All the damn time. I had a memory come up from East Bay Gymnastics. I must have been maybe 9. The coach was telling us to stand straight and pull in our stomachs. She said, that if we did that often enough, eventually they will stay that way.
That meant a flat stomach for life. Even at that age, I knew it was a desirable thing. So I did. I held it. I am still holding it. Still thinking that everything will fall apart if I let it go.
After all those years of holding my stomach, I still have a round belly. I pouch easily, even though I am in fairly good shape and maintain a good weight. I told Mandy this and she said “Well, ya know darlin, over contracted muscles are under functioning muscles”. Oh, yeah. That.
All of this conditioning, all of the exercise I’ve done.. I’ve well overtrained myself. This doesn’t mean I exercise too much. It means I have literally muscled my way into standing, sitting and walking. Instead, it’s time to learn to use my skeleton.
At the end of the treatment, I cried.
My gramma always said that I had a bladder close to my eyes.
It’s a family trait.. Lots of us Donovan’s have it. I cried again when I saw Mandy in the hall. Yet again in the steam room after my shirodhara treatment. I just facebooked for an hour instead of crying in my room. Eventually though, it will all have to come out.
It’s time for a big, ugly sob. Just gotta let myself do it. Effortlessly. I’m already trying too hard just thinking about it.