Monday, January 25, 2010

‘Exploring Kinaesthetic Empathy’ exercise

Working with a partner: Partner A lies supine, Partner B sits or kneels beside them, near to their navel centre. Partner A’s main objectives are to breathe, become passive, release any holding of muscular tension in their body and to keep their eyes closed if possible. Partner B sits and observes Partner A and watches the rise and fall of the chest and/or abdomen as Partner A breathes. Once a regular breathing pattern is established by Partner A, Partner B matches it and notes how it is perhaps different from their own natural breathing pattern.

After both partners have experienced a unified breathing pattern for a short while, Partner B moves to sit or kneel beside Partner A’s leg. Partner B lifts Partner A’s leg, bending it at the knee and placing it in their lap. Partner B does not touch Partner A’s leg but rather lets it rest in their lap, supported as if by the floor. Partner A concentrates on releasing the weight of their leg into the support of Partner B.

Once Partner B feels that the weight of Partner A’s leg has been surrendered Partner B begins to slowly manipulate the leg, focusing on exploring the range of motion of Partner A’s hip joint. As Partner A maintains their objectives to release, breathe and release tension, Partner B concentrates on listening to the signals of communication coming to them through their partner’s body. These signals may include Partner A holding tension, resisting range of motion or attempting to direct the movement of their own limb. If any of these signals manifest Partner B stops moving the leg, holds it in a supportive way and lets Partner A regain their focus of surrendering. Once Partner B feels that the weight of the leg has once again been surrendered then movement can resume.

This process is repeated with each leg, both legs simultaneously (which can prompt dragging Partner A by the legs across the floor if both partners feel they want to do this), each arm, both arms simultaneously (again, can facilitate dragging, lifting the upper torso and assisting spinal twists). Once all of Partner A’s limbs have been moved, Partner B sits or kneels at Partner A’s head and places their hands between the back of Partner A’s skull and the floor with their palms cradling the skull. Partner B does not lift Partner A’s head but instead the hands just act as a small cushion between the skull and the floor. Partner A concentrates on releasing the weight of their skull into Partner B’s hands. Once Partner B feels that the weight of the skull has been released, the hands are slid out from under the skull towards the ears. Partner B then places one palm (fingers pointing towards the floor) onto the crown of Partner A’s head. After a few moments, Partner B releases their hand whilst visualising that the release of their hand can extend and make space between the vertebra of Partner A’s spine. Partner B then moves quietly away from Partner A and lets him/her rest for a few moments before the roles are reversed. The whole task takes about an hour.


Post a Comment

<< Home