Beatific Jet Propulsion

“Jellyfish… are old, primitive creatures, yet so effective that they hold their own in our modern world….    Although primitive, they nonetheless represent a pinnacle in elegant design and locomotion. Watching a jellyfish move through the water… is always a breathtaking experience.”  – Dr J Floor Anthoni
Jellyfish paintings by Sir Alister C Hardy, 1956 (1896-1985)

Enjoy an expansive upper body as your foundation gathers towards center.

Can you picture the pulsating rhythm of a jellyfish moving through water? When the bell (circular muscles) are contracting, the mouth floats upwards, towards light. Our own body has 8 functional diaphragms, or membranes comparable to the bell of a jellyfish. We’ve already been practicing the alignment of one (the arches of the feet.) In this blog, I will have you focus on two others,  the pelvic floor and thoracic diaphragms; you can use them to develop an elegant method of movement towards “axial elongation.”

Inhale and allow the weight of your pubic bone, tailbone, and sitting bones to drop heavily onto your seat ; feel the lowest part of your belly rise up as a result. (PELVIC FLOOR DIAPHRAGM)    Exhale and gently tone around the core to encourage the lift of your heart towards the roof of your mouth. (THORACIC DIAPHRAGM)

Jellyfish paintings by Sir Alister C Hardy, 1956 (1896-1985)

Jellyfish paintings by Sir Alister C Hardy, 1956 (1896-1985)

 

I make a big ass-umption here that you know where your pubic bone, tailbone, and sitting bones are… and that you know how to let them bear your weight! In fact, most of us usually sit way too heavily on just the tailbone and the BACKSIDE of our sitting bones in a slouched posture (i.e. on a soft couch.)

This technique demands of you a forward tilt of your pelvis in sitting, so that you are heavy on the FRONTSIDE of your sitting bones and approaching the pubic bone. Then, and this is very very very(!) important, you stay tilted forward and let the tailbone get heavy again too.

 

Got it?… Now try to breathe as though each breath is swimming your “inner body” vertically upward, toward the mouth or more specifically the back of your sinus cavity (another diaphragm!)

You will know when you are on it when it feels easy to sit up straight. And by “straight,” I mean as tall as you have ever been in your entire life, and float with the breath even longer, lighter, and more effortless in your being.

{**If you are super — sensitive and have read the foot blogs preceding this one, you might  perceive the similar mechanical advantage of the arch of the foot in standing: allow the big toe root and other 3 corners of the foot to drop down…  notice how the center of your arch tracks up toward the back of your knee.}

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