Lesson 4 | The relationship between your body, brain & soul
I think an orchestra playing a symphony in a hall and in front of an audience is a beautiful metaphor for how all parts of ourselves are in relationship to each other and create together, from all members of the body family to body, mind, soul and our environment.
In the orchestra there are different sections of instruments. Each group of instruments has a common denominator e.g. they are string instruments or percussion instruments. It is the same in the body when you look at the muscles, organ systems or the skeleton. Within the sections, each instrument has its own character and function just as each muscle, joint, organ; each cell has its own function within a larger whole.
Together, all those instruments with their tone and music make the symphony by supporting, strengthening and giving space to each other. And because it is impossible for all the musicians to keep an eye on each other all the time and hear all the instruments besides their own sound, there is the conductor. In the body, the central nervous system and especially the brain is the conductor.
The conductor monitors and controls this process by tuning in to what is happening and keeping an eye on the total sound picture. The conductor has contact with each instrument. If the conductor does not have the overall picture and directs the instruments vaguely, or does not listen carefully, or lost the connection with some of the instruments, then the symphony will most likely sound bad to our ears. It becomes chaos and stress in the orchestra. Suddenly everyone is playing interchangeably and equally loudly, the music loses all clarity and no instrument is heard properly anymore, let alone used in all its expressive potential. In the body we experience this as effort, tension, pain and fatigue.
For our inner orchestra to play well, it is important that all members are in the right place in terms of their function in our system.
The conductor ‘our brain’ can ensure that they play ‘harmoniously’ together by properly conducting the symphony – the movement patterns – and by responding appropriately to our ever-changing inner and outer environment.
In orchestras, things sometimes go wrong between the conductor and the concert hall when there is disagreement about the repertoire to be played. This is also what happens when our mind steps between the brain and the “body members” and proposes a symphony that does not fit ‘our body’s way’. The result is poor coordination between the members of the body.
In this exploration, you will examine how the muscles whose main function is to help us bend and the muscles whose main function is to help us stand upright, are in a relationship with each other and all the other members of the body that are involved in the action, to transform an everyday movement such as reaching into a light-footed, flowing body symphony.
How does ‘your inner orchestra’ play together? And how does that symphony ‘sound’?
What you need:
A mat and a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.
The video starts with a 5-minute explanation.
What are you going to do?
I will guide you verbally with my voice through a few movement variations that will help you become aware of habits in tension and of other options to move with more ease, space, and lightness.
I invite you to make the movements small, slow, and attentive so that you have all the space you need to listen to the voices of your body.