From Backbone and Wingspan in Manhattan and Bedford Hills...
A teacher provokes a thought process within the person who is being taught through relating relevant or inspiring images -
this is movement-oriented.
A movement teacher gives a physical education through information that is physically experienced but these experiences are initiated, enhanced, and sustained through verbal and visual imagery taken in through thought.
This is the first in a series of postings
inspired by a New York Times article entitled Core Myths and accompanying
Phys Ed column in the "Well" blogs section of The New York Times.
I believe there is a mythology, distinct from the definition of a myth being a false notion, which through potent imagery, can change how people perceive the core, which is both deep and three dimensional.
A very important thing I have realized in relating information about the concept of core to my colleagues and students is relationship. I believe that the muscles do not operate on the spine, nor is the core something comprised solely of muscles. You don't work core muscles to better support the spine; the spine itself is a portion of the core. The muscles and the bones have a relationship to one another that is supportive and which involves depth, direction, and dimension.
The bones have an innate buoyancy depending on the body's relationship to the force of gravity which is not meant to be resisted, but to be tapped into and utilized.
The skeleton is a movable architectural (even archetypal) structure, but what gets confusing and eventually debilitating are notions of a straight spine, flat abs, and holding.
No part of the spine is meant to be flattened or straightened - when you flatten any part of the body, you deprive yourself of length and length is something that creates space.
People have a faulty notion of the spine being straight in the same way people have a notion of a myth being a lie.
Science wants to grant people measurable methods of corrective ways to do things.This betrays self-investigation. Being "told" how to "hold" my spine in place is antithetical to my life experience.
Nothing has changed so much the potentials of the investigation into the depths of my core as reading The Power Of Myth . Of course, Joseph Campbell strains to define myth not as opposed to fact, but as using poetry and metaphor to grant someone an experience that goes beyond something able to be defined by words. He stated that the new myth makers will write symbolic stories that reconnect man to the planet and to the animals we share the planet with.
Writing in scientific and anatomical terms is anti-myth. Of course in a society which has been conditioned to perceive myth as the opposite of fact, perceiving holding the spine with core muscles would make sense.
In the next Pilates Iconoclast posting: How deepening the femur bones serves to liberate the lumbar spine, and within this liberation you explore the core as a rooting sensation into the legs.
Thanks so much for reading. Questions, comments, augments, arguments welcomed.
for what the imaginative and hands-on informative support (here at the studio) can grant you to be able to access the deepest abdominal layer, the transversus abdominis. This is the muscle in question in the "Core Myths" New York Times article in which the author of the article poses,
"Is your ab workout hurting your back," and "Can developing your abs hurt your back?"
After reading the article, see what may answer those questions for you in any of the postings here in: Universal Principles of Movement
from the Category: Core
Backbone and Wingspan Universal Principles of Movement
Tim Driscoll, Backbone and Wingspan founder and owner and
author of Pilates Iconoclast
is now located on the Upper East Side at Mind Your Body Pilates
1370 Lexington Avenue @ 90th Street
and also at Contour Studio in Bedford Hills
Tim can still be reached at 212-647-8878.
Backbone and Wingspan: Pilates-Based Movement-Oriented
Manhattan New York City 212.647.8878 Tim Driscoll