My Take on the Anat Baniel Method

I recently read about Anat Baniel and her neuro-movement philosophy/method to assist with healing and with working with what you do have as opposed to what you don’t have.

Intention

Attention

Awareness

I went to a grad school seminar a few years ago out in California and the speakers moved us with those three words.

With my ongoing “shoulder pain issues” I was most interested in the Anat Baniel method but not interested in spending more money to purchase the materials for the program (as spending money tightens my shoulders instantly!).

I reflected on the power of that summer seminar and worked with the intention of observing my movements throughout the day. First observation: I go up on my toes when sitting on the toilet (I should have warned you this may be “raw”). So, I put my feet flat on the floor. This made me aware that I was hunched over. I straightened my back and neck, which relaxed me.

Being who I am, my awareness brought welcome analysis and I began to wonder if my attendance to normal bodily functions has always seemed like something to “get over” so that I can go on to something else. Have I not marveled at my body and it’s constant vigilance in toxin release? I’m sure I have not.

Meditation has always been hard for me because I’m always ready to move on to “the next thing”. Perhaps this practice in awareness of my movement patterns is a meditation in itself.

My shoulder pain for the past year and a half left has me feeling weak and old. I decided one day two months ago to concentrate on strengthening the parts of my body that did not hurt. I started doing daily leg lifts and walking our steps. I felt stronger and determined to get my shoulders back to a cooperative status.

The leg lifts are to strengthen my hamstring and yesterday (with my intention to “be aware of movement patterns”) noticed that I was hyperextending my opposite hip when doing them. As soon as I brought my body back into alignment and did the lifts, I felt a power and balance I had not felt before.

Intention, attention, awareness followed by alignment.

Where else am I “hyperextended” physically or emotionally? If my awareness brings alignment to those areas, how will this change me/help me? I am a person of questions. I like to know the “why” of things.

In writing this to whomever may be reading it, I encourage the seemingly simple intention to observe/pay attention to your movement in day-to-day activities and the corresponding awareness.   Awareness is perhaps a portal to a return to balance (physical and mental) with the chain reaction of positive outcome as of yet unknown.

Now, will all this awareness bring me the “things” I want: getting my memoir published, ceasing my shoulder pain, improving conditions at work…I don’t know.

I’ll just keep noticing my movement patterns and see what happens. Perhaps the intention of knowing ourselves, the attention to our movement patterns, the awareness of where we are imbalanced and the corresponding alignment is our modern day manifest destiny ,minus of course the conquering of other people.

 

 

 

 

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