Awareness Through Movement Explorations

Awareness Through Movement 1: Feel and release the tension in your low back.


Begin by lying on your back on the floor using a mat or on nice carpet and a blanket. If you cannot lie with your legs straight without pain use a bolster under your knees. You may also need to fold a towel to put under your head if you feel your head is dropping back to far. However, do not use a regular pillow because it will interfere with the movement.

Once comfortable, take a moment to notice any areas of tension that you may feel. Notice your low back. What is the curve of your low back like? Does it lift off the floor? Slowly bend your right knee so that the foot comes to a standing position. Notice how this alters your position. Bend the left knee as well so that both feet are now standing.

Gently arch your low back so that you tail bone slightly presses into the floor. You may notice the tension in the muscles of your back. (It may take several tries before you can feel this tension. Be patient.) It is by contracting these muscles that you are able to make this movement. Now, slowly let your back settle back down. Feel what it's like to be at rest. There is a fundamental difference in how tension and rest feel. During this exploration see if you can connect with the difference between tension and rest in your low back.

Arch your low back again. Slide your hand under the arch and feel the muscles in contraction. They will be very firm and tight. Now let your back slowly back down. Get a sense of control over the movement. Then let it go completely. Slide you hand under your low back again and feel the quality of the muscles in the relaxed position. They should be soft and pliable. Remove your hand and rest for a moment.

Continue to arch your back, feeling the tension and releasing it to notice softness of inactivity. Do this many times. Be gentle and go very slow. Get a sense of ownership. It's your back. As you do the movement notice your breathing. When do you inhale and exhale through the movements? After you've done this four or five times rest again.

Repeat this movement with frequent rests for several minutes. Then let your legs slide back down so they are resting on the floor. Is there any change in how much of your low back is touching the floor? There may or may not be. Remember, you are tinkering with the machinery and to see results may take time. Continue this movement daily. Be religious about it. At some point, maybe a week, maybe a month, you will out of the blue notice the tension in your back and be able to let it go. The tension of course will come back, but then you let it go again. In time the posture of rest will more frequent then the habit of tension. And with this will come Relief.

Coming Soon:

ATM 2: Feel and release the tension in your back.

ATM 3: Feel and release the tension in you neck.

ATM 4: Feel and release the tension in you

Exploration 3: Rolling to release tension in the shoulders, spine, hips and neck.