After taking one Franklin Method class, or watching one video even, it’s pretty obvious that this work will help you feel better in your body. That’s one goal, of course, and it involves being able to mentally SEE something in your mind that will improve your experiences, whether in movement or not.
But the effects go beyond even this.
If you feel better in your body, for example, you will feel better when having conversations with others. You will be able to be more present. But, even when you’re not feeling so great, and in even the most difficult situations, since in the Franklin Method, you have practiced being present with sensation in the body while coordinating your attention with something else (movement, etc), you will be able to be present for the conversation at hand.
And you get so good at noticing that all these amazing shifts happen.
Imagine what it would be like to be able to SEE the spine so clearly, to be able to LISTEN to the spine so fully, to be able to TRUST the structure and capability in the spine so deeply, that instead of driving a movement or forcing a position, you can step back and allow the spine to lead. Imagine a common yoga exercise like cat/cow really led by the experience in the spine. Imagine even standing or sitting with complete guidance of the spine.
Most of us spend years and thousands of dollars in trainings to understand how to move. And these are wonderful, map-making courses, in my opinion. We need the map. We need the options. But then we need to time and exploration to be able to develop a relationship with each area of the body. To say, everyday “hello, spine, who are you today?” Instead of “hey, spine, I want you to be like this.” I don’t know about you, but in relationship, if my partner said something like that to me, I would shrink away and not feel supported enough to express myself at all. But, to feel special enough to be seen and to be learned every day, that feels like true presence – to have someone ask you, “who are you today?” is powerful. Of course, there’s even a third option of how to treat the spine, which is ignoring it (or any other area for that matter) altogether, which in a relationship is also a huge issue.
I began Franklin Method because of my spine. I had been practicing yoga for years and never really understood my spine. I was moving with a collection of advice I had heard from teachers over the years and most of what I was working with had to do with the need to “support” and “protect” the spine. I was working with a lot of tension, both in body and in mind, around the constant need to “support” and “protect.” It was exhausting. Over the course of my first training of FM, I could start to see and feel my spine in a new way and I felt better, of course.
I had no idea that I was just getting better at noticing in general. I started noticing that I had hiccups every time my then husband walked into the room. That was the first of several things I noticed in my body when I was around him. I’m one of those (un?)lucky people who can choose to be okay, happy even, in any situation. The rub is that if I’m not actually happy, I have a hard time knowing it. This noticing was huge for me. My body…my breath…had been telling me for years that for some reason, I felt the need to be tense and protected and on guard around my partner. I started to investigate – and when I zoomed way out and really looked at the relationship, it was so clear that my body wanted out and my mind just hadn’t caught on to the signals. Long story, of course, as is with any huge life shift, but me leaving my ex-husband began with the ability to notice.
And the sad truth is, I thought I was already very attuned. I thought I was noticing. That’s the danger of feeling like an expert. I was already a yoga teacher and a meditator. I thought, I already know this stuff. But the moment you believe you know something, you’ve just cut yourself off to real growth and change.
And, above all, even feeling better in body and mind, THAT’S what I’ve learned in the Franklin Method. How to change.