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Archive for July, 2009

Inspired by yesterday’s shoulder workshop, I was feeling the support of my sternum in ballet class today. Rather than the weight of the arms going down my back, I connected to the feeling of the forces being transfered into a supportive and springy sternum. From the sternum, the forces can be gracefully transferred into the ribs, to through the spine, and into the legs and feet. This creates an entirely different feeling in my whole upper body and connection to the floor.

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In piroettes, I really felt the support and ease that this image created… and I also noticed my tendency for my weight to fall behind me, making me feel unstable, and like I need to ‘hold on’, and therefor produce excess tension. Feeling support creates freedom for movement. Connecting back to the support systems that are present in the body, and allowing them to take the weight, allows my movements to be far more elevated and free. 

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Come and experience the wonderful possibilities in your spine. Your spine is your support. It needs to be strong and flexible. We will be looking at the design and movements of the spine, and you will be zinging with a new effortless dynamic strength and spring-like quality in this most important area of the body.

Today (and every Monday) at Dance New Amsterdam 12pm-1.30pm

280 Broadway 2nd floor (enter on Chambers Street)

The Franklin Method teaches you how to use imagery effectively to improve alignment, flexibility, balance and use the body as it is designed. By embodying the function of the body, we improve function, movement potential with efficiency and ease. Each class consists of a warm up, exercises that improve posture, awareness, movement and dance. You will learn Eric’s Theraband series- (as seen in ‘Conditioning for Dance’ by Eric Franklin) as well as other exercises with the balls to increase feedback, increase flexibility and strength in a balanced way.

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Shannon talks about her experience after the pelvis workshop at Movements a foot in New York City.

Part of change is noticing where you are at, and if that is working for you…  As you experience new movement patterns, and let go of old, less efficient ones, the nervous system needs some time to adjust and ‘write a new script’ for the new movement sensation. It’s very exciting to start to embody this new potential, but change does ‘shake things up’, as you need to let go of habits. As you apply the new more embodied sensation, the body and brain start to recognize this as healthier choice, and it becomes natural to feel the fundamental design of the body. When you start to embody this design, everything improves in an instant… the possibilities are endless.

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Such an inspiring day, an inspired group of people with profound insights today in the Franklin Method workshops- the pelvis and shoulder. It was incredible to see the changes in people’s movement and awareness as they started to embody the function of these fundamental body structures. Feeling the natural dynamic rebound that should be present in the pelvis can be life altering. The pelvis is an energy distribution system- absorbing and releasing energy. It doesn’t like to loose energy. In order to allow the pelvis to actually achieve this, we need to allow the natural movement in the pelvis that often gets blocked from too much sitting, faulty movement patterns and thought processes. When you start to really realize and feel that the body is designed to support us, the external muscles that usually fight to hold us up don’t have to work so hard, and so bring in more ease and flow to the body and mind.

Have you ever really experienced the dramatic connection between the body and the mind? Do you have any idea how much potential there is to start to improve movement patterns and start to embody an even happier body? Is that something that you would like? It takes focus, but the process is so fun and rewarding, you’ll never want to stop!

Ann George Hey lovely, the Franklin Method workshops today were awesome!! All my joints and muscles are feeling loose and alive and ready to go! And who knew that my clavicle and scapula did what they do? So cool, whole new world of shoulders. You’re amazing! Can’t wait for more.

Jennah Synnestvedt Laura! Guess what?? After I told you about noticing my sacrum is tilted when I stand (due to the teenage silliness), it has corrected itself! My body saw, heard and fixed it!! woo-hoo. Thanks for the great Franklin workshop today.

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If you haven’t got yourself any Franklin balls yet, you should definitely invest! It may be the most worthwhile $20 you have ever spent! All of my friends are constantly telling me how much they love them… “Instead of slouching on the sofa, I roll on balls instead, and feel SO much better!”

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Get some green Franklin balls and get rolling! Releasing tension in your neck and shoulders allows the brain to work more efficiently it allows the blood to flow more freely by releasing the muscular tension that builds up (particularly if you’re sat in front of the computer for hours on end.) 

Very complicated instructions:

1. Lie on floor

2. Place balls under shoulders

3. Roll around and enjoy

Warning: Rolling on Franklin balls can be addictive and a distraction from working.

[Serious NB. Do not use on an acute condition]

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To really start to change the tension level and movement patterns in your shoulders and neck, come to a Franklin Method workshop for the shoulder and neck. You will learn about the structure and function of the shoulder joint, how and why we get excessive tension there, and simple and effective ways to reduce it. You will come out with new shoulders and a wealth of inspiration to apply this new relaxed embodiment to your life.

Relax your Neck – Liberate your Shoulders  with Laura Hames

July 12th, 2pm-5pm  $60 (or $110 for both)

at Movements a Foot, 49 West 27th St. Mezzanine B, New York, NY 10001

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 Shannon MacDowell is writing a blog and video diary of her experience with Franklin Method. You can follow her on her blog at www.ShannonMacDowell.com

Picture 11Yesterday’s 12:00 Franklin Method class at DNA with Laura blew my mind. Having had a basic introduction to the complex bony structures of the pelvis, yesterday we took it one step further. Each of our two pelvic halves looks a bit like a mobile, a spiral with many planes.  Up until yesterday, I really had no idea how much motion each of the pelvic halves is capable of.  For example, as we plie (bend our knees), the sits bones spread apart, and the ASIS (knobbly points of our hips) narrow.  As we straighten, the ASIS spread apart and the sits bones narrow.  What’s really amazing is that you can feel the movement of the bones when you put your hands on them.  Approaching plie in this way allowed not only my plie to be deeper, but also kept my quads from tightening up, grabbing in the upper leg as they normally would.  I’ve been trying to do a structurally sound plie for years- ribs in, tailbone dropped, back straight, knees over toes, desperately trying to look relaxed…how impossible! What a relief that all I need to think about are my sits bones spreading!  Read more…..

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