Practice: Three Spaces

Practice: Three Spaces

On Earth, we have three moving relationships to gravity. Low Space is movement on the floor, Middle Space is any motion between standing and lying down, and High Space is movement standing up.

I like the word ‘space’ for cue-ing our body because it gives a spherical feeling to our explorations (versus the hierarchical flatness of  ‘level’ or ‘stratum’.) Our tendency is to stand to move through High Space (walk around), sit for many hours in Middle Space to do work (i.e., computer or driving), and lie down in Low Space to sleep. It is better to take time to move freely with awareness in each space every day. Try the following simple, focused ‘untanglers’.  (You can think of untanglers as any sort of practice that gives your body an opportunity to explore pathways daily routines don’t engage.) In these three spatial explorations, focus on your relationship to gravity. You can do the whole practice in an 8′ X 8′ area.

Jenifer Sears by Paul B. Goode

Low Space, motion on the floor, can supine (on your back), prone (on your belly) or on your side. We inhabit the sensibility of snake and reptile–horizontal creatures. Our fluids flow easily back and forth like rivers. Our distant vision is limited but the large swathes of skin touching the ground enhance tactility. Gravity acts directly on arm or spine or foot.

photo: Dunya McPherson by Paul B. Goode
photo: Dunya McPherson by Paul B. Goode

Middle Space is the area between standing and lying down. We can sit on our sitz bones to explore a pliable spine from a stable base. Our legs may struggle in this orientation. On our hands and knees or hands and feet, we can experience the complex counterbalances of quadrupedal existence. We can kneel. We can squat. Middle Space is a stable arena with many options for balance and effort.

High Space is movement standing up. Bipedalism. We funnel gravity through spine and hips and legs and feet. This verticality is hard work. Our fluids must pump up and down. Our body weight and balance are mediated by tiny ankles and delicate foot bones. From High Space, we can see far distances, and orient ourselves through hearing.

Try these...

1. Take a half hour. Spend ten minutes letting the body move on each of the three spatial levels being aware of how it feels.

2. Take three days in a row. Spend a half hour each day letting the body move in just one of the spaces.

3. Take three days in a row. Spend a 20 minutes each day letting the body move in one of the space, then rest in another space.