Do you experience your body as a spiritual instrument or a mechanical frame?
If we recognize “spiritual” as a connection with the greater whole––Creation––and the body’s relationship with gravity as a connection with the Universe, then our physical relationship with gravity is a spiritual practice. Our physical posture is a part of Nature’s spiritual artistry.
This has been my experience since childhood. When I’m aligned I’m never alone.
As a young girl I was traumatized regularly and would regularly disassociate—leave my reality without warning—into an altered-reality. I would find my self rescued from my tension-filled curled up body and suddenly be ease-fully stretched between Earth and Sky. I experienced myself as an energy-body, bones in a relaxed stretch and muscles surrendered to accommodate this stretch.
This altered-reality felt safe, connected and relevant. So, when I realized chasing those feeling in my reality was futile, I set out to find them through my body’s ease-filled stretch between Earth and Sky.
Embodying, what I now call, Neutral Alignment became my life’s mission.
Alignment asks our bones to be neutral—central—in our muscles’ intricate cocoon. Neutral by definition is resistant-free and the absence of resistance is sensation-free. Because of this we experience Neutral Alignment as nothingness.
But in this nothingness there is an energetic exchange that makes us whole.
Our bones, when aligned with gravity, become an energy antenna that channel’s gravity’s force through its structure, conserving and strengthening our energy’s flow. This channel of force is Source energy that recharges our resources––our mind and body––and it connects us to all that is.
This energy exchange is the REAL World Wide Web!
This energy exchange introduced me to a spiritual life without setting out on a spiritual quest.
Strength training has been the most influential game-changer in establishing Neutral Alignment. Even more than ballet class! I witness how my physical relationship with an outside resistance mirrors what I emotionally resist in my life story. This emotional resistance being the root of my body’s tension and misalignment.
• When I catch myself trying to dominate resistance in the gym, I realize I’m trying to trump uncomfortable feelings with physical aggression, in the hopes of restoring my self-worth or rightness. I may be able to dominate a dumbbell, but I’ve lost myself in the process!
• I connect to resistance like a handshake. Rather than focusing my attention on dominating the challenge, my primary concern is to align my bones ease-fully between Earth and Sky. This connects me to me first! Then, to maintain my alignment through a challenge, I connect with the outside resistance with equal degrees of muscular contraction and muscular release. The places I struggle to release muscularly make me aware of the places I’m reactive, so I can break the pattern. Strength training challenges become tension releasing opportunities.
Weakness is not the opposite of strength, tension is.
Strength is a willingness to feel into the tension that obscures your body’s posture, and to trust the inherent wisdom urging you to surrender it. Strength training is using as much conviction to connect with resistance, as you have strove to dominate resistance.
To dominate—to value only our end goal—is to miss out on what could be learned from our vulnerability. This curiosity about vulnerability is the undercurrent of our strength and unravels the tension causing our pain.
Neutral Alignment introduces me to the resilience and wonder of my strength. It unmasks underlying beliefs so I can consider them and create positive change.
This is why we feel better when we workout. It’s not just about endorphins and oxygenation of red blood cells. It’s about shifting the tension template of our life story into greater alignment with our present lives.
Your workouts can teach you to be competitive and tough; or they can give meaning to your life.
Learn more about alignment and strength in The Art of Strength: Sculpt the Body ~ Train the Mind