Faculty 6: Movement

“Beautiful tone, beautiful heart” - Shinichi Suzuki

Tonifying Exercises

Tonify (f6) emotions...

To tonify means to increase or stimulate energy flow in areas of stagnancy. Faculty 6 exercises set the stage for Organizing the Shoulders by pausing to explore the role of opposition/resistance in the relationship between the Shoulders, Ribs and Hips. Organizing the Shoulders is a lot like negotiation: Every part within the whole adopts their best role and functions as an integral coordinate in a system of choices. For example, each inhalation opens the space between the shoulder blades and each exhalation connects the lower tips of the shoulder blades downward toward the sit bones via the lateral contraction of the ribs.

As the collarbones stretch wide and the shoulder blades fit just right on to the back, we re-define the echo (e.very c.hoice h.as o.ne) of sensations at play in patterns of over/under use. The exercises in Faculty 6 require sophisticated balance to recruit and integrate the facets of interest (Shoulders, Ribs & Hips) in equable and efficient terms.

In Mods, Faculty 6 is the only Module that has 10 exercises: 5 to purify & 5 to strengthen. Tonifying begins with mobilizing lymphatic flow to prepare for the deep work to follow. In part A, the first 5 exercises are performed in a gentle inversion with the sacrum supported by a small ball. In part B, the last 5 exercises are a combination of challenging balance positions with the feet on the ball.

In Anya, Tonifying is more of an inner agenda as the parenthetical work within a series of standing poses: Airplane, Triangle, Extended Angle and Warrior 3 pose. Each of these poses requires focus and strength – invoking a spirit of “willfull willingness” inherent to the pursuit of resilience.

Although Mods and Anya offer different styles of Tonifying, exercises share the same vision:

What if we could rest into the upper back and take haven in the space between the shoulder blades? Is it possible to shed the heaviness of a Knight’s Suit of Armor and still feel safe and supported? Can we transmute our Guards into Guardians?

Just like our tone of voice grows weary after an arduous conversation, our body tone carries the resonant vibration of our daily interactions. To speak our truth, we must continually clear out the clutter from past experiences. Once we have emptied the stale we can express our authentic voice and emanate real conviction.

Just like the Boddhisattva (The Peaceful Warrior), these challenging exercises in Faculty 6 demand a soft discipline: steadfast courage from a sea of tranquility. As we trust in our fundamental sovereignty, the shoulders let go, opening naturally to coordinate the dialogue between the arms and the heart. Organize the shoulders, connect them deeply to core strength, and then vulnerabilities will emerge from the trenches in brave new ways.

Increased attention/intention on the organization of the shoulders reinvigorates our commitment to supple strength. Collarbones pull open and shoulder blades push down to create a wrestling match based in tensegrity. This intricate dance of opposites represents an opportunity to harmonize patterns of dominance and passivity. Experiential examples of integration elucidate new pathways and Om Gum Gannapatayei takes on real momentum!