Finding Rest, Renewal and Effortless Core


This is taken from my workshop February 2017

The process of arriving in the body; the transition from everyday life rushing around, busy, lots of thoughts; arriving in class. We did this exploration lying.

How do you come into your body, what’s your doorway into the body.Our senses can give us an immediate passage, are your eyes open or closed? If closed open and take in your immediate environment, your central vision …. And peripheral vision.When you are ready close your eyes, notice any sounds, movements, traffic, internal gurgling’s or rumblings. At home a ticking clock can bring you into the present moment and back to your body. What can you feel,.  Clothes against skin.

The ground supporting you, some parts of you heavier into the ground than others, feeling your weight into ground, feeling space around parts of you.

What part of you most present to? Front ….sides…. back body? Noting any sensations in body what energy are you bringing/ present to / feeling tone mood, mental flow of thoughts / emotions. Notice when u take your attention somewhere sometimes something changes in response to that.

The breath can be a bit shy so I invite you take your awareness to your breath without changing it or doing breath just notice what happens if it changes or does something different. Notice how the breath moves the body, the rhythm, where are you most present with the breath. As the breathe empties inviting a yielding into ground allowing the earths support. We have the effect of gravity the downwards force and opposite that brings momentum to move away from earth. If we can yield enough we can start to make contact with that force the push away from ground.

Notice the effect of gravity the body the weight into the ground. Now take your awareness to the back body arms legs and notice if there is a feeling of a force pushing you away from ground, feeling the ground force.

The seasonal rhythms of rest and renewal, from the cycles of nature of the days, the seasons, the cycles of awake and sleep, cell renewal, connects us with Earth and all of life. Finding a deeper connection with our bodies and our natural environment. Living in a 24 hour society. Animals don’t fight tiredness, they sleep! Most of us need to learn how to rest. The resting recuperative going under the tone seems to be what people need, rushing busy lives. This is the time that muscles grow, it’s not when you are working out at the gym, it’s in the recovery phase.

Finding our centre our core. 

Your core most often acts as a stabilizer and force transfer centre rather than a prime mover.  Not loads of sit ups or crunches. Core strength is the ability to produce force with respect to core stability, which is the ability to control the force we produce.  Core stability is important to protect the spine and surrounding musculature from injury in static and then dynamic movements. So that we can efficiently transfer and produce force during dynamic movements while maintaining core stability. This can include running, working out at the gym, picking up a child or your suit case whilst keeping your back safe.

We know when we know something and it comes from the core of our being. It’s not an academic knowing it’s a felt sense of something. And usually it’s really strong and powerful. And when we have that absolute knowing, how strong do you feel? It’s like there is no other option. It feels strong and powerful because you are aligned in your centre. Compare this to when you are doing something that you’re not sure about or hesitant – how strong do you feel then?

A call to pay attention to that feeling when it comes, notice when you feel powerful and strong in your commitment to something and the energy that you feel when you are doing something that you truly want to do.

And notice when you don’t feel like that. Put your energy into your passion

This knowing comes from slowing down and knowing yourself and simply feeling. Listening to that inner voice that tells you what is important to you… and the place this happens is the body. To listen to the messages from the body and to inhabit ourselves fully. Winter and the dark evenings, slowing down, an awareness or mindfulness practice can help us access this deep inner knowing and listening


Navel radiation pattern; exploring integration of limbs into centre, lying on your back close eyes. Imagine the breath entering the navel filling the middle of the body front to back and side to side radiating from there to all parts of the body, as you inhale.

Imagine or sense the breath from the navel radiating out down the arms to the fingers, ……………..down the legs to the toes.To the top of your head filling as you inhale emptying as you exhale. The movement of breath through all 6 limbs….. Focus on allowing the cells to breathe wherever you experience a lack of connection allow the breath to  extend out, to maintain feeling of connection of feeling of limbs to centre. Limbs lengthening out from centre, coming back into to centre. Be curious about how impulses travel through your body.

In your mind’s eye trace a connection out from your centre to your right arm and fingers, trace back and through centre to your left leg, foot and toes. Do this a couple of times to form a connection from your diagonal limbs to centre. Then do the same on the other diagonal. You can trace with your hand across your body if that helps you find the connection. Notice  where is clear and where the connection is not so clear, breathe in to the areas of less awareness.

Alignment Protocols

STANDING – Domes, Cross draw and Elevator. (From Rebecca Leone)

Stand yourself on strong steady legs underneath you. Imagine a set of scales under your feet feel through back of foot to ball of foot what is the weight on each scale does one weigh more. Using brain science to organise feet

Lift the arches in your feet, muscularly support the joints of the feet, engage muscles of feet to support the joints – let it go feel feet splay. not max

Lift arches and ankles – have muscles around calves that unload ankle, unload ankles. Ankles lift little round half circle domes that face each other and the two that face apart

Lift through leg muscles so it feel like you are pulling your body weight up out of ankle out of knees. So for our pelvis it will feel like the inside of the bone on the left the inside of it pulls towards the midline, bone on the right will pull to midline muscles pull, they don’t push. Feel trampoline lift – part of pelvic stability. Come up through the domes of the ribs and pull those half circle pull together a little

Lift up through the arches of the spine and start to lift all the way through, so you distribute the weight of you up. Stable structural engagement lengthening and straightening of bones all of class is on top of this. Get those domes and lift through feet ankles knees ribs spine imagine the spine like a elevator lift strength of the back line. Strength seal the joints of spine and pelvis.

Tongue position 

Bring the tongue to the roof of the mouth and let your head lead you forward and up. Enjoy the feeling of feeling long and taller and keep doing this throughout your day. We also explored intentional touch in groups of three and in this many students commented that they found a clearer connection of their centre to their limbs.

We incorporate developmental movement patterns in my Pilates Classes in

Harpenden and St. Albans.


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Sam Edwards

Hi Sue,

I love your spirit, body, senses work. Additionally your emphasis on sleep as renewal has made me look at rest completely differently. The only problem is I now speak like I’ve got a permanent mouth full of peanut butter…my tongue in permanent residence on the roof of my mouth. Great Article xx

Susanne Barry

Thank you Sam, tongue to the roof of the mouth is so important – I think I will write an article about that alone.
Thank you for your response xx


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