Class at NYU

I apologize for not posting for such a long time; time has passed too quickly this past month.  But I’m back and committed to posting at least once a week.

Today I want to talk about the class I taught at the Steinhardt School for Performing Arts at NYU.  I have written in this blog about the natural rhythm of the the autonomic nervous system, called pendulations;   the innate flow between the sympathetic and the parasympathetic branches. This flow is often interrupted by stress, trauma, physical ailments, and emotional issues.

I taught the students to pendulate and then gave them homework to practice; here’s the assignment I gave them.  It involves all the elements I’ve written about during the last few months:

1. Sit in a comfortable chair and do a body scan.

2.Where are you and what are you doing when you feel most yourself?  Notice the sensations in your body; where are you grounded-feet?  Butt in the chair?  Backs of your legs in the chair?  Just notice and allow these sensations to spread.

3. Now think about something that’s mildly activating, that causes you stress.  See if you can stay with it and again, just notice.  What’s contracting-maybe your breath becomes more shallow, maybe you feel restless, maybe you sense tension in your jaw.  Keep it in your body and notice.

4. Now return to the less activated place, the place where you’re most you.  Notice the tension easing, let yourself settle in your chair.  Stay with it and just notice.

This exercise lets your nervous system do what is innate-flow between expansion and contraction.  It’s natural