Transformational Anatomy - The Abdomen

The body is a conduit for life force. This FLOW is hampered by tightening the abdomen. We learn, in our culture, to tighten our abdomen to fit into some programmed, artificial concepts of beauty. We also learn it through the unnatural postures we engage in regularly (sitting, for instance, and standing in certain footwear). We also may tighten the abdomen so as not to feel our deepest fears; our core wounds. 

Tightening the abdomen detrimental to our health. Not only does it inhibit bodily functions, it automatically puts us in a fight or flight response. This necessarily blocks the flow of conscious energy, and disconnects us from our intuition, our ‘gut feeling’, and our core. It engages the ego and the survival response, at the expense of our expanded self. 

This is one reason I work so much on the viscera with clients; so that we can begin to discern where we are holding, and where we are not; so we can soften and allow that beautiful energy to flow.

The belly represents vulnerability, because when we feel safe, we can truly be soft there in the presence of others. 

There are layers of holding, from the surface skin and fascia, down to the core muscles that run along the spine, and every organ in between. Softening the belly is a practice that will continually be refined. It’s another way to consider how we move through life. Note that animals move by instinct, fluidly and gracefully, and there is not an animal in nature that “sucks in its gut.’ 

From Fractured to Whole

Everything in our experience is continually being divided and fractured; even the moment is divided by time into numbers. The body is divided into individual systems, muscles, and bones. Fluids have been separated. Nutrients separated. The mind and the body separated. You can further break any fluid, organ, or system down into smaller components. 

Tracking each of these divisions has us relying more on our left brain (masculine; logical) than on our right (feminine; intuitive). The feminine is under assault in our culture, and has been for thousands of years. We are designed to thrive when they are in balance, and they come into balance partially through this work we are doing.  

Sucking in the gut divides the upper from the lower (the higher reasoning faculties from the lower, instinctual centers). 

Life flows when the masculine and feminine find their sacred dance; when the higher dances with the lower; when expansion dances with contraction. This all manifests in the body as fluid, symmetrical motion and a sense of wholeness. We move from  feeling fractured to feeling complete. 

This is why we work on standing in the Budden Process (see: holistic postural analysis), to rediscover our center, and conscious movement and exploration through touch. We look at where the body is asymmetrical, because that tells us that there is still 'holding' somewhere. 

We will soon explore walking in FLOW, and discover the ways we may be resisting gravity. 

In Truth,

Steven Budden

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