Faculty 7: Movement
“We walk the plank with our eyes wide open.” - Gotye
Plank (f7) the body strong.
Faculty 7 exercises set the stage for the tag phrase: Support the Arms and undoubtedly raise the bar for mind + body fitness! Walking the plank feels easy in comparison to Push-ups, push-ups and more push-ups. That’s the idea -- too many push-ups for the arms to do alone! So, let’s take it one plank at a time and allow these exercises to build bridges/walkways to a foundation of structural integrity.
Faculties 1-6 have all paved the way to these herculean moves. In this capacity, the Faculty 7 exercises are like a mid term. We get a chance to quiz how well we know/apply the mind + body techniques in an environment that poses extreme challenge.
In order to complete this routine, we must rely on a system of inner connections to accommodate the parts and layers of each sequence. When actions like grounding the feet, individuating the legs, stabilizing the hips and engaging the ribs become our “go-to” method for accessing power and stamina, we tap into a reservoir of enduring strength.
In Mods, Planking takes place in a series of hyper-focused moves. The exercises are broken down into parts in order itemize all the details within each segment. This provides for enough space and time to investigate the best strategy for overall alignment. The main goal is to maintain spatial symmetry while getting the job done.
In Anya, Planking takes on two distinct environments. First, we move through a Vinyasa style 4-part series as a dynamic meditation. We count each breath and label each move silently in our mind as if reciting a mantra. (IE: 1.Inhale, Pull Forward to Plank, 2. Exhale, Push down to low push-up, 3.Inhale, Pull Up to Rising, 4. Exhale, Push Back to Inverted V). While this sequence feels fluid and expansive our focus remains incremental and keen. (Blending soft and firm elements addresses extremes tendencies to either power through the moves or completely zone out). Next, we move into Child’s Pose to articulate subtle and surprisingly tough arm lifts. (Integrating challenge with ease engenders a full-bodied experience – highlighting all aspects of the equation).
Although Mods and Anya offer different styles of Planking exercises, they share the same vision:
How do we support the arms? Must they do all the work on their own? Can we initiate movement in the arms from centering the core… grounding the feet … or even, simply, from breath?
When the arms imbibe nourishment from the heart, an abundant flow of creativity gives life to the hands. As the hands manifest this expression we draw energy back in through the palm centers and the arms funnel it back to the heart. See and feel the arms as messengers of the most sacred calibration. Without support they remain isolated from our true nature.
Increased attention/intention on supporting the arms develops a holistic mind- set based in A.pplied N.eo Y.ogic A.wareness. As channels through which the mind, heart and hands communicate, the arms are agents of giving and receiving. When we initiate the conversation from our core center – the arms receive sufficient energy to convey the messages between sides.