Sunday, February 28, 2016

Grounded and Floating

During a difficult practice session featuring Paganini Caprice No. 5, I found myself asking: "Are my feet grounded?"

Nope. Definitely not.

"I Am Rooted But I Flow" - Virginia Woolf

The thought of ease beginning with a grounded, rooted connection between the feet and the floor has not found its way into my practice session for a while. After making this subtle change, all the difficulties I experienced with breathing, discomfort, and supporting the airstream while double-tonguing improved.

From the place of grounded feet, I began to find ease in the legs, reminded myself of the hip joints and movement of the pelvic floor while breathing, and the gathering and lengthening of the spine.

While my feet remained rooted, I resisted the urge to shift my weight from the floor during difficult moments or while taking a breath, and instead focused on simultaneously grounding further while the rest of the body floats upward during these moments. I also felt better able to relax the arm structure while the torso released upward.

Another breakthrough (that I have over and over), was finding ease in producing soft high notes, the most difficult thing for me. Resisting the urge to change my rooted-but-flowing state, and instead floating and grounding even more made pianissimo high notes effortless.

What is it like to play with grounded feet?

What is it like to remain grounded at points of difficulty? 

Grounding Yoga Poses: