I've been working on a chapter of The Creative Experience for the last three weeks, a chapter about the body. During the process, I wrote out an exercise that I use with voice students. But much more detailed because I wasn't there to watch or listen to the result of the posture changes I was suggesting. That's how I came up with the ideal posture in the first place—by noticing how a shift in a student's hips affected the voice.
When I'm teaching my attention is on the client's body, not mine, which I only use sparingly to illustrate. But as I wrote out each step, I was using my own body to double-check that each shift in position would produce the effect I was looking for.
I was awed, as I am at each lesson I teach, by how beautifully integrated the body is. A slight change in the angle of a foot released tension in my hips that I hadn't noticed. A shift in the position of the torso over the feet released tension in my neck and the back of my head.
After I'd written the last step, I had a teacher-teach-thyself moment. I was fully inside my body, and fully present in the now. The judgmental tapes from childhood that I still carry around with me fell away. I've been experimenting with experiencing my life from inside my body instead of my head ever since. It's quite different from any yoga or meditation exercise that I'm aware of. I'm not in my head observing my body, I'm in my body experiencing it and the world around me.
It's not been all fun and games. I discovered an old terror that's been hiding in my body for more than 60 years. A mild case of jealousy that was completely unexpected.
And, yes, I get the irony of learning so much about my own body, after 35 years of teaching other bodies.