The first area we will look at is the body to ensure that we have a good base to work from. With meditation practices, we will of course be doing a lot of sitting and this can take its toll on practitioners with extremely devoted individuals developing very avoidable joint problems. There is no need for this to happen when a simple routine is easy to implement. Additionally I feel that if balance is the central theme of the Bardon system then literally becoming a god on our cushion but walking around in a fragile untrained body certainly does not seem balanced to me. What follows is just a small sample of absolute basics to bring awareness and sensation to the body that then leads to strength which in turn leads to stability and mobility.
In the process of building strength, mobility and stability, it also allows us to wake up our body and become capable of feeling areas that have for considerable amounts of time not been felt by us consciously in our daily lives, so this first part of the body training is a great primer for playing with sensation in other areas of IIH, it is a continual circle of feeling, strengthening and mobilizing. Additionally we want to also develop the idea of a push and pull sensation, later on we add spirals as well. So on a simple exercise like a lunge we would not just be bending the leg to 90 degrees we would be pulling from the front foot and pushing from the rear foot into the lower position. To come back up the process reverses so if you think here in this example the feet are endpoints that need to be actively pushing or pulling, never just passively ‘sitting’ on the ground.
So in any exercise that we do here, think about applying forces, what is full and what is empty as it all leads into electric and magnetic work through the soft tissue at a later stage. Even at the beginning stages it is all an exercise of attention and sensitivity, vital skills for IIH.
Body awareness is about awakening ourselves to areas of our body that we might not have consciously felt in a very long time. Depending on what tradition you ask, the act of releasing and awakening these areas serves to release blocked energies, trauma, emotions etc. From my perspective it serves to bring back parts of ourselves that we have lost over the years. I do not mean that in a flaky spiritual sense but in the way that we have lost contact with parts of our nervous system so in a way made the area that we can consciously sense, and have control over, significantly smaller. Through reclaiming these lost and forgotten areas we reconfigure ourselves and bring ourselves back to an original state. Now those are my poetic words to explain the process, the proof is in the doing. However, you interpret what is happening is fine, simply begin the process of awakening more and more of the nervous system regaining feeling and sensation through the body. Doing is always the priority as there are thousands of ways to explain these things.
- Feet shoulder width apart with vertical axis being propped up by rib cage/torso rather than head. (More on this later in the sitting section).
- Middle finger dropping and leading to the ground.
- Shoulders heavy with a space under armpit
- Feeling the weight of the body on the feet, with feet gently pushing back off the earth rather than sitting passively.
- Head sitting naturally.
- Tongue roof of the mouth or just behind the teeth is fine.
- Work bit by bit from the toes, feet,ankles taking a moment to truly feel each area. From your toes all the way to the top of your head.