Laying the Groundwork – Supine

The following is an excerpt from Kellen’s post, ‘Laying the Groundwork – Supine’ on his blog, Kellen Milad: Movement. Out of the Box.

Chronic stressors are everywhere in the modern world. An occasional downward spiral is inevitable, and even normal. But researchers are starting to pay more attention to the damaging physiological manifestations of stress. Health professionals of all disciples agree, working out will help. The message is well-intentioned but the underlying ambiguity causes some problems. In the hands of our action-oriented, outcome-focused culture the tendency becomes fighting fire with fire.

People work out to combat mental stress by filling their bodies with physical stress. Wrap your head around that one for a moment.

The key word being “combat”, we love drama, conflicts, altercations, all out wars. We wage war on all things “bad” combating one imbalance (like excess body fat) with another (bootcamps, “Just DO it” fitness). This simply is not the best long-term solution for health.

A new message needs to be spread for balancing our overly aggressive, overly stressed lives with practices that restore and ground us. The goal should be to diffuse stress, not just exchange it. Mindful movement allows us to trigger the upward spiral by fostering a sense of physical competence, positive physiology, and a more adaptive outlook on the world. This series of ground-based movements allows the practitioner to slow down, breathe, experience, and ultimately connect the body, mind, and spirit. In this we can promote internal harmony through mindfulness, breathing, movement education, and mobility.

Lying supine is one of the mainstay positions in my groundwork template. I have spent a lot of time avoiding the supine position in wrestling and Judo but yoga is where I first started to embrace my time here. Shavasana is a means of surrender at the end of yoga practice. To me, this simple acts always illuminates the power of stillness. It’s so profound, yet we so rarely take the opportunity to tap into it. Shavasana can be a crazy, almost out of body experience. Later on, I would see this position in MovNat’s perception drills and various crawling techniques. The goal being to gain a clearer perception of gravity and bring awareness to the dorsal surface of the body which typically receives little tactile feedback.

These days, I draw upon both applications – spiritual and experiential – in my teachings. Diaphragmatic breathing drills in supine allow access to the present moment and direct focus to the movement session in progress. The subsequent movement variations reinforce an awareness of the body’s core musculature and it’s ability to reshape the spine and control the movement of the arms and legs. Hmm…and in case that doesn’t mean anything to you just know rocking, hollow progressions and cross-crawling will build a rock-solid core. Lie down, breathe, change shapes, roll, release, observe, explore.  All of this fosters your mind-body connection for better movement and an increased ability to diffuse stress as it arises.

Remember friends, movement is bigger than exercise; it’s potent medicine for the whole of you.

Click here to watch a video of Kellen’s supine movement patterns.

Kellen Milad is a personal trainer and movement coach at INVIVO. A passionate teacher and a lifelong student, he earned his Masters degree in counseling psychology from the University of Wisconsin. Afterwards, he chose to dedicate his life to helping people align their physical and mental health through fitness. Since entering the industry in 2008, Kellen has acquired several advanced certifications and amassed a wide breadth of experience as both a personal trainer and instructor. He advocates a holistic approach to training that immerses his clients in a wide array of movements to develop body awareness, strength, mobility, and coordination. You can read more about Kellen on his website.