In recent years, those of us who work with the Laban Bartenieff Movement System (LBMS) have followed Karen Studd and Laura Cox CMAs (Studd & Cox 2020, EveryBody is a Body: 2nd edition; Studd’s blog https://wholemovement.org/blog/page/2/ ) with the use of the terms Weightsensing and Flowsensing.
What do these terms mean? When I begin the movement part of a session with a client I invite them person to feel the floor beneath their feet, and gently shift the weight of their body from one foot to the other. In this way the person receives a clearer sensation of their weighted body as it is effected by gravity, as they give in and push against gravity at each shift of their body weight. In this way the person can come to feel more grounded and centred, achieving the experience of Weightsensing. What naturally follows from this is a change in the rhythm of breath. I will invite the person to pay attention to the rise and fall of their body as they breathe, maybe heightening their awareness of how the breath allows the body to grow and shrink, widen and narrow, advance forward with the in-breath and retreat into the back-space with the out-breath. This awareness of breath is the precursor in my invitation for the person to find Flowsensing. As the client continues to shift their weight, playing with taking steps sideways or forwards and backwards, I alert them to the body connectivity of the heel to hip joint, or tail to top of the head, or the hand to shoulder blade connection, and encourage them to allow breath to support the connectivity, letting the body explore its natural movement without thinking about where, how or what is being moved. So, we have arrived to a state of Flowsensing where the breath is even, in rhythm with the body’s movements, and the person is feeling grounded and supported through a constant state of Weightsensing.
This is the foundation for moving into an authentic movement space where the client feels confident in exploring their sensations, their feelings and the emerging images. We may not stay there for very long, but enough to gain a sense of connectedness of the body and mind.
Susan Scarth October 2022