Our way of working with the body, our intent and our focus, can change any movement into something that promotes ease in the body – or does not. While it may seem like a strange thing to want or work towards, ease in the body is highly desirable. In the Franklin Method (www.franklinmethod.com) ease is described as efficiency of movement.
Probably the best way to understand Ease is to imagine doing a movement like a squat. With a focus solely on muscle work, we can do a squat going for the burn. We could actively look for muscle tension and indeed increase it by “squeezing” or “contracting”. Just these words can create a kind of tension in the body. If we were to ONLY work like that, in all of our exercise and workout movements, we can imagine that our body might begin to feel tight and bound, strong but not necessarily responsive and pliable.
The same movement, with a focus on ease and efficiency, could mean that we do the squat, but imagine the ankles to fold and slide, the knees to softly lower, New Year wishes 2018 greetings
our sits bones to widen all as we bend our legs, and then press into the floor to straighten our legs. We could repeat this numerous times, focusing on the joints and the breath. Although we would still be doing strength work (no doubt!) the focus on joint movement would mean we would likely not overtax ourselves and we would create better movement patterns in our body, rather than work INTO ones that might bother our knees or hips. Another way into ease, would be to do the same movement but image our sits bones dipping into a lake as we lower our centre of gravity, and then pop back up out of the lake as we stand up. Many types of images (anatomical, metaphorical, etc.) allow us to better listen and search for ease-ful movement in the body.
The main reason to focus on ease is to promote longevity in our joints, muscles and structure. Tightening and contracting into a joint repeatedly with tension only creates tension. You will find that focusing on ease instead can allow space for you to be present in your workout as a whole person, and not just focus on the physical realm of our person. This can feel like a way IN to your workout, and open the door to enjoyment of our physical selves.
We remind you often to breathe, in the moments when the workout is asking more from you, and also to breathe as you go into the tension that might be residing in your body from habit. As you breathe, invite in images that can transport you from tension into ease.