Curvy spine, snaky spine, vine-y spine
Spine like a chain, bending link-by-link
Supportive spine, like a pyramid, wide
on bottom and narrow on top
Breathing spine that spreads and gathers with every breath
There may be no part of the skeleton that is as important to our self-use, self-image and self-expression than our spine. Providing support for the head, the spine allows for the mobility of our teleceptors (eyes, ears, and nose), which is essential to how we read the world outside of our skins. Providing support for the ribs, the spine is integral in the movements of breathing, affecting every aspect of our health. Breathing movements, in turn, allow us to communicate through vocalizations, a fundamental feature of self-expression. The shoulder girdle and arms connect to the spine via the breastbone, so reaching, pushing, pulling, plus all the subtleties of gesturing and making things with our finer hand movements, effect and are affected by the spine. Of course, the spine shares a bone with the pelvis—the sacrum—making the spine important both as a stabilizing center and as the engine of our mobility.
Every movement of every part our our selves must coordinate with the movements of the spine. So this fall, in weekly Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement® classes, we are Enlivening the Spine: clarifying it in our self image, learning how it prefers to move, and how it might move in new and more supportive and expressive ways.