Until now we have been working on ground movement up to the point of doing rolls and sitting upright. Now we will begin to work on transitions from lying down to standing up and back down again.
The ability to get down on the ground and get back up can be a good indicator of overall mobility and potential life-span. It is fundamental movement that promotes health and well-being, reduces fears and stress, and increases one’s sense of freedom.
I often recommend transitions as a daily practice for people of all ages. It can be done with assistance if needed, and as slowly as necessary. But consistent practice can promote health and mobility throughout our lives. With proper attention, it also offers deep insights into the nature of self.
In the progression of our practice, transitioning to standing opens up a whole new realm of training. Transitioning up and down completes the evolutionary cycle of fundamental postures. And the possibilities for movement within are limitless.
STEP BY STEP
1. Stand up and go back to the ground in as many different ways as you can, using assistance if needed. Breath continuously and go slow. Check yourself at various stages and actively minimize, release or redistribute any tensions or fears that arise.
2. Next start to focus on breathing. Inhale and start going down. About halfway down or when the tension peaks, exhale and continue the rest of the way down. Then inhale and start going up. About halfway up or when the tension peaks, exhale and continue the rest of the way up.
3. Exhale and go all the way down. Inhale and go all the way up. Then reverse — inhale down and exhale up. If this is too much, go back to exercise 2. If it’s easy, try down and up on the inhale and down and up on the exhale. and so on.
4. If you’re having trouble with coordinating breath and movement, watch and follow the natural rhythm of your breathing. Move toward up when you are inhaling and move down when you are exhaling. Once the breath feels primary, you can start to stretch out the breathing a little while keeping in your awareness.
a. Monitor physical and psychological tension throughout the movement. Check yourself when fully lying down that you have fully relaxed before going back up.
b. Lead with the breath by starting inhale or exhale just prior to movement. Try to time the cycle to complete as the movement completes.
c. Press at trying more difficult breath patterns and go back to easier ones, aiming to find a place where breath and movement work together to create comfortable transitions that can be sustained indefinitely.
This practice to very deep when you begin to look at coordination of mind, breath, body, and movement. And when you begin to ask questions like: How is the body controlled? Who is controlling it? What is the difference between mind, breath, body, and movement?
There’s not time in this Level 1 course to detail progressions on how to use transitions as a form of self inquiry. But start by asking these questions, and by trying to observe and manipulate the coordination of the mind-body elements.
Finally, as you go up and down, quiet the mind, slowly withdrawing the ego and volition. Allow all the elements — mind, breath, body and movement — to find their own self-coordinated and synchronized rhythm.
Allow everything to happen on its own and you may experience total unification — mind and body, inside and outside, movement and stillness. Ultimately, there are no differences, whatsoever.
Every day for 1 week, warm up on the ground with various movements, and then spend 5 minutes working on transitions. For more practice work for 10 or even 20 minutes on your transitions.
Increase freedom of movement and overall health by developing a wide variety of adaptive, smooth, relaxed transitions between lying down and standing up.
preview | introduction | 1 ground checks | 2 turnovers | 3 crawling | 4 push-ups | 5 rolls | 6 sit-ups | 7 transitions | 8 squats | 9 jogging | 10 free move | 11 walking | 12 recovery | comprehensive practice