Standing Under Our Heads
An Exploration Derived from Joan & Alex Murray’s Dart Procedures
a. Lie completely prone, your arms extended above your head with palms down and your head flexed forward enough to rest its weight on its forehead. If you can’t manage this head position, an inch or two of books or cushion under your forehead or sternum should help. The idea is to be face down without crushing your nose.
b. Free your neck to drop the weight of your head through your forehead to the ground. Let your back open long and wide to move easily with your breath. Now let the ground bear the weight of your elbows, and then the weight of your knees.
c. In this part, don't crunch your head back onto your neck, and don't engage the arms or legs, but do allow your belly to soften and expand into the floor. Every time you get stuck, return to these instructions. Now, first look down toward your navel. Then gradually start to look up, letting your gaze travel further and further along the ground past your hands toward your horizon, then past your horizon to higher and higher overhead. If you look high enough, your elbows will at some point passively slide into place under your shoulders. Pause.
d. Letting your arms support your back, slowly drop your gaze back down the way it came. Keep looking further and further down until your gaze starts to travel up your own front. If you go far enough, your knees will passively slide into place under your hips. Pause.
e. Now gradually look up again, until you look high enough to lift your weight up off your elbows and onto your hands. You are now on all fours. Pause.
f. Very gradually look down again without sagging in your back or shoulders at all, until your gaze travels up your chest toward your neck. Do not push off with your feet or legs, but follow the curled-under path of your gaze without wavering until it lifts you off your knees and onto your feet. You should now be standing on both hands and both feet,with your head down. In this position, lift your tail even higher to spread your heels slightly.
g. Leaving your head hanging down, slowly and gently drop your tail into a squat.
h. Start looking up, and gradually look higher and higher overhead. When you can’t look higher, drop your gaze back to the horizon and come up to standing. You will probably be standing under your head more fully than before.
Erik Bendix, 2003-11
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