Practice: Side-to-Side Roll
Side-to-Side Roll is pure magic. It refreshes spine, hip sockets, and organs, and enlivens fascial communications. It doesn’t require anything special. Any relatively clean rug will do. Throw down a thick, clean blanket and you’re ready to go. For time, this works at ten minutes but may seduce you into going a lot longer. This is an excellent practice when you are traveling. It fits onto most hotel beds or floor. If you are a house guest, it won’t disrupt any host anywhere.
- Put a squishy thick blanket down on the floor.
- Choose smooth music without lyrics, not too quiet and not too active. Preferably, the music should be seamless. A mix without silence spaces is best, and it should extend for an hour to give you plenty of time. (You may want to set a timer. Set it for at least ten minutes.)
- Begin lying on your back, knees bent, feet on the floor. Bring your awareness to your breathing. Be aware of the floor. Take a few moments to release any overt tension. Breathe…Relax…Breathe…
- Now, languidly draw your knees up toward your chest, feet loose in the air, a bit sloppy, hip sockets soft, arms on the floor. You can move gently here to get your orientation, to get a sense of your back on the floor.
- Now bit by bit relax over toward one side, letting the arm that trails behind gently join you. Let it sleepily tag along as your roll onto your side. Take your time. Be aware of your breathing. Maybe take a moment, when you are on your side, to feel where everything contacts the ground. Your shoulder, ribs, side of your hip, your forehead. Breathing. As you begin to roll back to center you might be aware of your skull’s roundness against the ground. Breathe as you go.
- Pass through center and roll slowly toward the other side. Feel every little contact with the ground.
- As you continue rolling from one side to the other and back, breathing, breathing, feel the floor. Feel your body melt. Feel your flesh become thick and blob-like. Jelly in a sack. Even the bones soften. The floor touches more and more of you, the ground reaching up to gather you down onto it.
- As you continue, your awareness opens, your breath expands, the space within and between bones and muscles and organs awakens and grows resilient, and you may move more slowly, savoring the deliciousness. Rasa.
- Continue for a while. Then, let your body explore however it wishes.
- After a while, let the movement subside and rest.
"The other evening I sank in, and the music took me somewhere. Darkness swaddled me. The floor slid by. The floor pushed my right arm away from falling into a cavern... And then I must have slept. I felt a billion times better afterward, limbs loose, lymph circulating, mind clear. " - DDMcPherson
Lovely!!! I’ve found my sessions (personal and with students) moving from resting with gravity, for about 5 minutes, to gentle pressure testing gravity and sensing the first tiny ripples and contractions needed to move against gravity for another 5. Progression from there is to start to roll from side to side as slowly as possible or at least, slow enough to feel every moment where the body loses contact with the ground and where the ground catches the body. I get a lot of relaxation and deep awareness out of this exercises. Sometimes I feel like warm sand or earth.… Read more »
Kryss, this is a wonderful wonderful piece of writing! You slowed right into the process verbally as well as in movement. I feel the richness.
Ooohh, just what I need … My practice lately has been staying connected to my breath.. pack that box/ breathe. Carry box to car/ breathe. Put in car, shove it all the way in/ breathe. Walk back up the steps which brings pain to so many parts of my body/ breathe, hang arms loose to my side/ let go/ breathe. Car full/ breathe. Start car and head down the really rough road/ breathe. Oh my big rough ruts/ breathe. Rock in the road/ breath. Bounce this way and that/ breathe. Uh oh what is that flash that just ran down… Read more »
Ha ha, Carly. Enough with the rocks. Now you are ready to roll.
Carleeen!!!! I love you!!!!