“Living, the whole body carries it’s meaning and tells its own story; standing, sitting, walking, awake or asleep. It pulls all the life up into the face of the philosopher, and sends it all down into the legs of the dancer.”
Mabel E. Todd, The Thinking Body
Where can I find an overview of the topics addressed in the Axis Syllabus archive?
How much should I stretch?
The scientific literature suggests that we should stretch muscles not ligaments. Turning joint surface away from each other stretches ligaments and is therefore to be avoided, according to current understandings of load capacity and injury rates. More injuries are associated with articular laxity than hypertonicity. Tests showed that ligaments that were subjected to a few minutes of stretching, needed around 7 to 8 hours to return to their elastic state.
Regularly stretching muscles seems to have beneficial effects, maintaining slip between fascial envelopes, preventing adherences, creating more elasticity and water retention. Recommendations are: before moving, a single stretch should not last longer than 5 seconds, other wise muscles will lose elasticity. Wait an hour or more before stretching after a workout or intense performance. Reconditioning muscles for a longer resting length or less tone takes about two years. Recommendation is to do longer stretches just before sleeping. After 30 to 40 seconds, the benefit to a single stretch could not be determined.
Is back pain normal at a certain age?
Back pain is ubiquitous in about 75 percent of the global population, making it normal at any age. However, pain is a commonly reoccurring sensation for all humans. The term is too vague to draw conclusions from.
Chronic, muscular, low back pain is pathological and there are remedial steps to take to finding relief.
Are there movements I should never do?
The ASRM would never support such a statement. More likely is that there are more or less risky movements and context will determine which will be more or less appropriate. Unthinking routine, only doing physical practices where stillness is the rule, pulling joints apart in extreme stretches and sedentarism have reported data and studied, inherent dangers, but there is no absolute, and we do not believe in edicts or motion policing.
Is Pilates good for me?
Pilates is not a unified protocol as there are two opposing groups that represent his work. Pilates himself left no records and trained no one to carry on his legacy, so, except for the man’s personal reputation, it is an open question as to what the Pilates protocol is based on.
That said, all approaches to training and rehabilitation, if they start from a diligent study of anatomy, can offer positive results. The particular approach is less important than the manner in which you integrate the mentorship of your teacher and how willing your teacher/instructor to adapt the method to your case.
How can I become an Axis Syllabus teacher?
The criteria for becoming an AS teacher as as follows:
1. Desire to teach movement skills to other people
2. Fluent knowledge of the contents of the AS, basic anatomy and basic object physics
3. Demonstrated interest in research
You will need 3 certified teachers to approve of your candidacy, and then 3 certifying teachers to approve of your readiness to represent the AS officially.
Each of these teachers grants you their approval in a letter form, email or written. A scanned or physical document must be sent to: ASRMforum@gmail.com
Where can I find beginners classes?
Most Axis Syllabus classes are mixed level. This is because the Axis Syllabus Research Meshwork concept is that advanced dancers can adapt suggested material to their limits. Usually advanced movers are defined by their ability to replicate what their teacher demonstrates, making the ASRM approach to this question unique. Some AS teachers build longer phrases to challenge the memory, also as a way of examining the way transitions mutate with different speeds. However, there are classes that take a deep look at shorter movement sequences as a way of getting into detail.
Why are there no Axis Syllabus classes in my dance school?
I had knee surgery, will I be able to dance again?
Ceasing to move is usually the worst option when we are in the final phases of recovery. We might have to alter the way we do things, but, depending on the gravity of your case, stopping altogether is unlikely to be the best solution.
Answer the following questions:
What kind of surgery was it?
How serious was the damage that was corrected?
Do you still have pain?
Run a diagnostic check. Go here for the basic protocol. Once you determine exactly WHERE and what kind of pain you have, you can make a guess as to WHY and you can also formulate strategies for HOW you might relieve the areas that are inflamed, irritated or damaged.
Run a basic diagnostic check. Go here for the basic protocol. Once you find out exactly where and what kind of pain you have, you can make a guess as to why and you can also formulate strategies for relieving the areas that are inflamed, irritated or damaged.
My shoulder hurts when I workout, what can I do?
1. Are you working out while maintaining joint centration? The aligned shoulder rotates out and abducts after about 30 to 40 degrees of flexion. Rotates in and abducts after 10 to 20 degrees of extension. Avoid pure plane rotations.
2. Run a diagnostic check. Go here for the basic protocol. Once you find out exactly where and what kind of pain you have, you can make a guess as to why and you can also formulate strategies for relieving the areas that are inflamed, irritated or damaged.
Is Yoga good for me?
Meditation can have an ordering and calming effect on the psyche, although there are many cases where meditation has provoked mental breakdowns as well. Approach with caution and heed your inner guru. Because many of the "yogic" poses force the body into extreme single plane movements and entail remaining in still positions for minutes at a time we cannot recommend modern yoga as a support for health.
Stillness, if it forms the bulk of our embodiment practice, presents many problems. Connective tissues straighten out when we are sedentary or hold still poses only, making the muscles less elastic and therefore less resilient. unifying all regions and elements of the body into blocks can diminish discreet proprioception and the ability to re-organize when the context demands. Yoga in it's original state as a kind of prayer was a sitting meditation that resulted in a moving trance where those who practiced moved without formal protocols. Asana means to sit well in Sanscrit. All other poses were invented or borrowed recently.
Aside from the ones invented by Ayengar or other teachers more recently, modern asana are mostly based on poses from Danish exercise regimens from 160 years ago.
It has come far afield from the individualized spiritual practice it once was. Turning articular surfaces away from each other is violence, which contradicts a fundamental tenet of yoga: AHIMSA. Much of yoga's rise to popularity is marred by child abuse, hierarchical power abuse, economic deception and violence. Be careful and check in with yourself often as you adopt ANY practice.
Listening to and watching people talk, we can learn to speak. We don't need to learn to read or write, or know about syntax and grammar. Watching and mimicking other people moving, we can pick up method and skill. We don’t have to know anatomy and biomechanics or understand physics to move.
However, movement literacy is much the same as linguistic literacy.
An expanded vocabulary and fluent grasp of grammar and syntax makes a difference when we need to negotiate our interests, navigate conflict or collaborate creatively. In the same way, deepening your knowledge of how your body is constructed and which forces it is subject to or can produce makes a difference in the outcome.
Human movement is a language.
The Human Movement Alphabet is it’s written counterpart, a descriptive set of symbols that are drawn from observations of behavior and the environment. It is a way to enhance the integrity and clarity with which we express ourselves through movement. It furthers awareness of resources, options for using them and precision in their management.
The Human Movement Alphabet outlines and accurately describes what our bodies are up to.
The system allows us to quickly record or imagine the results of choices and evaluate outcome and strategy, becoming a locus for discussions about reasonable expectations, ethical treatment, injury diagnosis and prevention.
Movement literacy also creates a reference archive for what movers do and do not consider, creating a forum for evaluating, discussing and identifying what, when, where, how and why things are happening, what’s missing, what’s relevant, what’s inherent or or important, or by consequence what might be irrelevant, erroneous or insignificant.
While imitation is fine as a learning tool, the tendency is to formalize rather than consider underlying principle.
Notation identifies and documents the concepts, mechanics and vectors, so that the artist interprets the artistic intent, rather than mimicking another artist’s interpretation of them.