Consider A Daisy


"Just imagine a spider's web… It's not a tensegrity structure because it has a frame but... imagine that you want to change the shape (of the) web... and that there was a little tiny buckle- almost like a key on a guitar and there were little tiny belts for the buckle on its horizontal strats and in the long spokes…and imagine that you could go in and just tighten them a little bit. Some of them you would tighten two holes and some of them you were tighten one hole and some of them you wouldn't tighten at all and you can imagine that the webbing would change shape overall. Think of muscles as those turnbuckles or turn-keys. They tension the matrix- the whole matrix-and we can be very intelligent about how we tension it, especially if we use it in all around ways, if we don't just focus on the abs or the back or the legs... If we...focus on the laws and guidelines of fascial fitness, we bring in variation because the more variation we bring in- remember this is a an intelligent proprioceptive tissue- [the more resilience we gain and the less we] get to vote for inertia.

We are like an instrument. If you think about a guitar or harp, the shape of the harp itself is crucial to how the strings are tensioned and the strings' tension is crucial to how the harp is formed.

If we treated ourselves as first class soft tissue, soft-matter-architecture, as opposed to something akin to a building, we would treat ourselves differently, and in all sorts of motion, we would give ourselves a range [We would look for the middle way between strength and flexibility] under the laws of biotensegrity, in the round.

I read a bit of my sons biomechanics textbook and it said 'imagine the body has a straight line, imagine adding an invisible axis down the center of the body', which in Rolfing we call the Rolfing line and in yoga we collect the plumb line...and we cut the body in half three ways, sagittal coronal and transverse planes so we have immediately gone into the laws of hard matter. We are not made that way. We abide by the laws of soft matter. I just invite you to consider a daisy, a little daisy that grows up from the ground, pushes its way through. And it grows up and opens it's petals out and sits there amongst the other daisies in the field upright, and gravity and antigravity- if you dare to call it that- ground reaction force in fact- work in compliance together because otherwise how does that daisy hold? Because I think comparatively in daisy terms, that daisy's head with its petals all out, that head is heavy and huge and much bigger than the stalk it's standing on. Moreover you can walk across the grass and squish it and it will bounce back. It's not a lineal force, it's a radial force."

- Joanne Avison: Author of Yoga, Fascia, Anatomy, and Movement

Erin Jade