The Bowspring Method
The Bowspring method is a systems approach to dynamic posture. The 10 key parts of the body are specifically aligned in an ordered sequence to optimize:
The Bowspring Method
The postural method of the Bowspring provides any student with a alignment formula to bring balanced tone to all sides of the body for optimal functional movement. By learning this postural system a student endeavors to have the capacity to make any dynamic movement light and easeful. It is a mind-body practice which focuses on moving toward a specific geometric shape through 10 key areas of the body in a dynamic neutral position.
It is a proportionally ideal curvy alignment between the head, neck, ribcage, waist, and pelvis, in which functional movement is optimized with the least amount of force required. As one approximates the ideal alignment template between the main segments of the body with their own unique postural alignment, the tonus of the connective tissue becomes more uniform on all sides of the body.
It is a system in which every part of the body participates with every other part to create the harmonious function of the whole; a synergy greater than the sum of the parts. If any one part is overworking or underworking, then the functionality and possibly health of the whole is adversely affected.
The body form is a singular system of connective tissue, primarily fascia, organized geometrically with bilateral symmetry. Appendages - arms and legs - connect hands and feet to the vertical central axis of the body with the head on top of a neck, and the hips on the bottom. The ribcage is in the center of the central axis between head and tail. Lumbar vertebrae are shaped to accommodate an arched lower back. This is a universal body plan for humans.
It is a system of segments - head, thorax, and hips, connected by the curvy segments of the neck and the lower back. The segments of the body along the central axis are connected to the myofascial subsystems of the hands and arms, and the feet and legs. All parts of the body affect all other parts.The alignment of the feet affects the alignment of the hips. The alignment of the hands affects the alignment of the shoulders. When the ribcage is deflated, the alignment of the shoulders and lower back are both negatively affected.
The Bowspring Shape
The Bowspring is an ideal template for dynamic posture. It is a wavy shape with a double-S curve on the back of the body including the back of the head and the back of glutes. The proportional curvature between the 3-D rounded shapes of the hips, waist, ribcage, neck, and head in which all sides of the body can evenly engaged is the balanced alignment of the Bowspring template.
It is a geometrical harmony in postural alignment in which uniform muscular tonus on both the front and the back of the body can occur. Balanced tone on all sides of a joint allows for its optimal functionality since no one side is overworking or straining. We endeavor to make all sides of the body evenly engaged with myofascial tone or balanced tension in the Bowspring.
The primary curve of the spine is the thoracic curve. If it is misaligned, then the secondary curves of the lower back and the neck will be in turn misaligned from their optimal capacity. In the Bowspring practice, we prioritize the circumferential expansion of the ribcage before curving the lower back and then the neck. This optimal relationship between the kyphosis of the thoracic spine and the lordosis of the lumbar and cervical spines gives the capacity for a tremendous springy, powerful functionality of the posterior chain of myofascia.
The 10 Key Areas of the Body
The Bowspring is a dynamic posture with specific directionality of engagement and active extension in 10 key areas of the body. The 10 key areas include: ribcage, shoulders, arms, hands, hips, legs, feet, waist, neck, and head. To learn the Bowspring method the student must learn the dynamic neutral position for each of these 10 key areas of the body, which are organized into 5 subsystems: the ribcage; wings (shoulders, arms, and hands); roots (hips, legs, and feet); waist; and crown (neck and head).
In general, the alignment of the 10 key areas is in an open posture or a closed posture. Our closed posture is our unconscious default for protection and/or for restful rejuvenation. In contrast, our open posture is for movement and active functionality. The Bowspring aligns the body in an open posture. For more detailed comparison between the Bowspring alignment and closed posture alignment please see the 10 Key Areas of the Body in the Learn section.
These 10 different postural actions are progressively sequenced to integrate all parts of the body into a singular system for optimal functionality and graceful movement. Each step of the Bowspring alignment sequence is specifically ordered into a formula or algorithm. If any of the 10 key actions are not integrated into the Bowspring system, then the efficacy of the Bowspring is greatly reduced. To learn the powerful and important alignment details of the Bowspring algorithm, please learn from a qualified Bowspring teacher in our global community.
The following graphic is an overview of the 10 key areas of the body in the Bowspring alignment.
Through balanced breathing, both through the nose and the mouth, especially when linked to the dynamic posture of the Bowspring, the transformative effects of the practice are enhanced.
The breath in the Bowspring should flow slowly and smoothly throughout each movement.
In the Bowspring the body is an open position, never closed, so the breath doesn’t have to be coordinated with the opening or closing of the front of the body like in a normal yoga backbend or forward bend.
The pulse of the breath is coordinated with the pulse of rooting and rising, and while flowing from one position to another.