This was something that really intregued me...but at first I had NO idea what it meant, or how to explain it. I remember trying to rack my brain thinking of how I could explain this so it would make sense to everyone. I was planning to ask Colin about in class, but he ended up going above and beyond explaining it to all of us. I also got a little help from my friend Steph who explained it like this:
Take a relationship for example. This can be any kind of relationship, with anyone. You’re close; you’re comfortable, secure, and FAMILIAR. Then something happens that throws you out of the loop, disconnects you, and sometimes turns your entire life upside down. This is where everything becomes UNFAMILIAR. It’s a VERY scary place sometimes as you’re not use to it, it’s different, and you might feel all alone. The best thing to do is embrace that feeling, think positive thoughts. How can this situation benefit you? Slowly and surly things will fall into place whether you believe they’re suppose to or not. You’ll find yourself back to being FAMILIAR again. This time around you might find that you’re more stable, stronger, and aware!
I couldn’t agree more Steph...THANKS :-)
We took this quote about making the familiar unfamiliar so it could be familiar again, and used it in during our practice today. Our entire class was devoted to the classic Down Dog (The poses of ALL poses!)
I use to always think this was the ONE posture I could do without problems. I mean my feet weren’t flat on the floor, but that was a flexibility issue, and I knew I would eventually get there. WOW...I was wrong! After yesterday this is now one of the hardest poses I’ve ever done! There are SO many aspects of down dog I never knew, or use to think about before. I’m pretty sure I’ve been doing it wrong this entire time.
Integrated, expanded, rotated, engaged, bended, straightened, rounded, melted, inwards, outwards, together, apart, drawn in/out, general form, action and isometric...are just a FEW things I have to remember when in down dog...oh, and don’t forget to breath...and be at peace??!!??
This explains being familiar and unfamiliar perfectly. When I use to go into down dog, I was confident, focused, a little tight...but aware, from what I thought. Colin and Grant then helped show us what would make this pose more beneficial to us. Stronger and more engaged. Thus being able to hold down dog for longer; with less focus on our bodies, and more focus on our mind, and spirit. Eventually this would come naturally for us. Right now I’m trying hard not to think “ya right!!!” I think it’s because the pain and ache in my shoulders and back is very intense right now.
Colin, Grant and the rest of the class helped each other move the muscles and bones in our bodies while in Down Dog. We could feel the difference between being integrated, expanded...and ALL those words listed above. Those words are different for everyone as everyone’s body is different. We learned what people with signs of scoliosis in the spine should do, and what others with hyper extended muscles would do. Half way through the class we were ALL unfamiliar with Down Dog. Not to mention frustrated and a little discouraged. We worked through all the possible moves and even going to the extremes of the positions to make sure we felt the differences. Some of us knew right away what we liked and disliked. What felt good and what didn’t.
During the next week, as we all practice in class and at home. I’m sure we’re all going to be much more aware of what our bodies are doing and hopefully move back into the familiarity of Down Dog.
When everything starts falling apart that’s when it starts to come together!