Edward Maupin is a psychologist (Ph.D., U. Mich., Clinical Psychol., 1962), and Rolfer since 1968.
“Five Awareness Walking”
This is an awareness-oriented approach to touch and deep bodywork. If I assume that I am touching the sensory awareness of the client rather than simply touching a physical body, then a rich. transformative interaction begins to take place. Awareness rather than mechanical pressure makes the change, and deep levels of the body mind are engaged. There is a way to train the client to participate fully in the process. The bodyworker also engages in a much more receptive role.
Walking is our most integrative activity. Our body seems to have evolved very specifically to make walking long distances possible.
“Five Awareness Walking” is a mindful approach to walking. There is no one way to walk, but paying attention to five aspects allows us to ‘deconstruct’ walking into its major components and to avoid falling into fixed patterns. The goal is effortlessness.
1. Hands and Feet. The arms are important in the act of walking as well as legs: we are quadrupeds. Attention to hands as well as feet enhances coordination across all four limbs. The step becomes lighter when the upper body is included.
2-4. The dimensions of movement: (2) side to side, (3) up and down, (4) front to back. Gaining the ability to use all three flexibly eliminates the strain of fixed patterns and allows a more conscious use of the sources of movement in each dimension. The result is effortlessness.
5. The Planes. This is the awareness of the geometric planes which organize the various joints of the body. As therapists we can examine any part of the body which is not functioning freely and imagine it balancing across its planes.
The daily session will include special warm-ups for each of the dimensions of movement and free-form, improvisational practice. It is possible that your walking will never again be the same. The goal is effortlessness in walking.