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Let's Hear It for the Diaphragm

I've been having difficulty figuring out how to harmonize my solar plexus, source of movement, with my iliacus, center of gravity. I was just starting to feel the support of the pelvic girdle buoying up the top half of my torso, and feeling the energy bouncing back and forth between the two spots, when my Pilates teacher came up with some helpful suggestions.

Think of pulling the two spots as far apart as they'll go, she suggested. And we did a lot of exercises where we pulled our core muscles apart like pulling taffy. Sending energy up and out through our unicorn horns. Sending energy down and out through our tails, and everybody knows that legs are just tail-extenders.

Then she suggested the following doozy: the diaphragm. Because it's what is, literally, between the two spots. Let the breath lead the movement. What if the movement comes out from the expansion of the breath? Inhale, everything bigger, up, support, out, extend. And then exhale, everything contracts, energy into the centre.

Movement as a physical embodiment of prana? What will they think of next?

I tried pulling my parts apart in my walk. Improvement. Then I tried walking to the beat of a slow ujayii breath, and...genius! Suddenly my feet weren't impacting the ground! Instead of feeling thunk, thunk, thunk, I felt a smooth molassesy flow of weight, much like the flow I had longed for since my birth as a tangobaby.

So now all I have to do is never dance any faster than I breathe, and everything will be fine....