Next Generation of Trainers

Bones of Butterfly Wings

By Tracy Stamper on June 20, 2011

How have you used the power of symbol and anatomical knowledge to enhance your ability to condition your body?

The power of symbol and anatomical knowledge flew in on butterfly wings, landing first to heal my relationship with Movement through conditioning of my body's nervous system.  Like so many other bodies that I see step into classes, my body came to Nia filled with fear-based messages.  "Jog and you're going to wreck your knees and send an orthopedic surgeon's kid to college."  "If you don't use proper footwear support when you work out, you'll ruin your feet, knees, and hips!"  "Use your knees only in this very limited way or you'll blow them out and need to get them replaced."  "Necks are fragile.  Don't move your neck or head around while you work out, or you'll injure your neck, and neck injuries are really bad."  After receiving these and other messages so many times from so many fitness 'experts,' it doesn't surprise me that moving became a stilted experience of shutting down under Fear, and that I, like so many others, had checked out of my body to move it mechanically from the outside.  Before meeting Nia, through the fog of Fear I had a glimmer of questioning some of these inhibiting 'Rules.'  Tired of carrying so much stress and heaviness, sometimes pain, in my neck and shoulders, I asked the owner of the fancy-schmany gym I had just joined why it was advised to not really move the head and neck much while working out.  In response I heard something like: "The neck carries so much stress for so many of us, that it becomes a danger zone.  Moving an area that is so stressed can be a very short road to injury."  Well, this guy surely must know what he was talking about.  He trained many of St. Louis' professional sports teams, so he was on top of his game and must know what he's talking about.  While confused by this equation, I surrendered to the 'expert' opinion.

Enter Nia.  Enter's Nia's invitation for me to become the expert on my body, for me to look at the design of the body and let design inform how I choose to move my body.  Nia revealed that my neck is designed to be one of the most mobile parts of my body.  Quite simply, if it's designed to move, we want to move it.  Nia coaxes me to understand that Through Movement We Find Health.  And I start to understand the corollary, that through lack of movement, we find tension, stress, pain, lack of ease, dis-ease.  Nia's invitation into The Body's Way was a doorway to conditioning my nervous system to release her dance partner of Fear.  My moving with Nia became an exercise of stalking my emotional body as related to movement of my physical body, becoming my own Conscious Personal Trainer reminding me that the ways that I had learned to move and, more importantly, to not move, were Fear-based messages holding me back from tapping into my own Personal Power and my self-knowing as a Sensation Scientist.  My Body's Way education became a progression of opening doors that my mind had closed, tracking my nervous system's responses to change and finding my way with breath and conscious release.

"The encasement you wear is from years of believing that you can't have or be more.  It's not your garment.  It's the cape of those wounded that knew not how to allow your power because they could not see their own.  Shed the carcass of doubt, fear, insecurity and longing for the nakedness of truth, power, light and abundance.  Say Yes and Believe it...  No one can dress you the way you can."  ~ Simran Singh

Through practice and practicing elevating Trust to an Art Form, I danced my way from Fear-based movement from the outside in to pleasure-orieted movement rich from the inside out, guided by Sensation, rooted in my knowing.  My neck, once that 'danger zone' I had been warned about, was the most challenging for me to integrate into my dance.  I studied my Nia routine videos in slow motion.  'When Debbie's right lower body comes forward and her elbow comes out at an angle, which direction does her head want to move?'  My neck had been fixed for so long that I had to study and mentally learn how to move my head organically.  Now, I move my neck freely so my head dances in the skies, reaching the stars through the arm of the spine.  I am consciously moving my neck as the energetic symbol of flexibility that it is, moving me into and conditioning flexibility of my body and my mind.  I have conditioned my body's nervous system to want to dance in Love rather than from Fear.  And when the whisperings of Fear arise as they do from time to time, I quickly recognize them for just that, and my conditioned nervous system shifts with agility.

Energetically, I also dance with symbol and anatomical knowledge of my body to condition my body on an energetic level.  My mental realm invites me to change what I feel is possible with my movement by inviting me to think through the boundaries of my skin.  Dancing with the bones of my pelvis creates one flavor of sensory experience... dancing with the iliac butterfly wings of my pelvis invites a totally different, expansive, freeing experience.  My pelvis learns to fly as I condition and energize my chakra system.  Consciously moving the core of my body and paying attention to relationship of pelvis to chest is a rich experience of dancing my anatomy... radiating my energy from my solar plexus in 360' far beyond the confines of my physical body and shining my sun into the space around me takes my movement to a whole new level energetically.  Moving my feet while paying attention to my phalanges is one experience... moving my feet with consciousness in relationship to the baby bottle nipples of my toes moving energy out opens up the experience.  My anatomical knowledge of my body informs how I move energetically by expanding the grid of where my energy body flows, conditioning my ability to move my energy body.  All of this is on top of the immediate physical experience of knowing how my body is designed to work so I can with Focus & Intent hone in and move towards benefits I wish to receive in an educated, skilled way.  With Nia under my feet, sensation teaches me where I want to go to condition my body, whether it's for the desired result of increased strength, adaptability, healing, etc.  My Sensation Scientist laboratory is now filled with anatomy books and charts that help my mind connect to the physical reality of what and how I'm moving, as well as to the symbols inviting me beyond my skin to play in my expanding energy field and fly with butterfly wings.