Over 60s, like younger people, come in all shapes and sizes and all levels of fitness. However, balance and agility, mobility and flexibility, and strength and posture are all issues which older people may at some point have difficulties with to a greater degree than when they were younger. Eutony is beautifully suited to help with these.
A feeling of isolation and diminishing physical pleasure can also become part of older peoples’ daily life. With contact and with free movement, Eutony offers a path to revitalise connectedness and the glory of feeling well.
1. Balance and Agility:
Good balance is important to avoid falls and to feel confident when walking, bending down, and carrying objects. Catching your balance when stumbling over an irregular pavement or a toy left on the floor requires agility, alertness and ‘active’ feet.
In Eutony, you develop agility, exercise alertness, and learn to better use the support of the floor for keeping your balance when going about your daily activities.
Note: Balance issues, including light headedness, must be investigated by your GP to rule out inner ear, nerve, heart and blood vessel problems. However, even if these are affected, you can still improve your stability by improving your muscle tone, your alertness, and the conscious use of the floor and of your feet.
2. Mobility and Flexibilty:
As we get older, we tend to progressively reduce our range of movements.
This may be due to physical restrictions, to cultural or emotional reasons, or even simply out of sheer loss of habit. We can also find we become less adaptable, less free to go with the flow. Our lives become more narrow.
Eutony opens new possibilities and new avenues. No two sessions are the same. They foster mobility of body and of mind and genuine exploration beyond fixed patterns and habits. You will not be asked to repeat a set of mechanical “stretches” nor to take any prescribed positions. Instead, you will be given the tools, and the time, to explore in your own way your joints’ full amplitude. You will learn how to develop both tonus balance and tonus adaptability and discover how this gives you a new sense of freedom.
Agility of mind: Eutony sessions vary from one to the next. They can be quiet or dynamic, free and open and playful, or more focused on function and anatomy. In some you may feel inclined to explore deeper feelings, others may feel quite mundane. The adaptation required to have new experiences keeps both mind and body lively and agile.
You will explore ‘drawing movements’, where you are led by a specific part of your body, for instance an elbow, which is then progressively followed, in turn, by all the other parts of your body, in this case the shoulder blade, in tandem with the collar bone, then the ribs, then the vertebrae, then the pelvis, the legs and at the end the feet. All the joints between elbow and feet are engaged and participate in the flow of the movement.
Instead of following your elbow, you can also ‘follow’ an object, such as a bamboo stick you’re holding in your hand, or even a partner’s stick. A harmonious movement will require full freedom of all the joints from hand to foot.
The images you have of the shape of your skeleton influence how you move. A better understanding of how each one of your joints is meant to work, will help you to recover their full mobility, and consequently a greater lightness and sense of freedom.
Stretching: A restorative, free movement. There are always moments in a Eutony session when each person, whether lying on the floor, standing, or sitting on a stool, is invited to move freely, listening to their body and letting themselves be guided by what feels good. It is called stretching but is infinitely richer than a mechanical, stereotypical stretch. It is individual, there is no model, just a series of free, flowing, unplanned movements.
This may sound simple, but it requires fine attention to the feedback in your body while you’re moving, and if done with integrity, is deeply restorative.
As we get older, we tend to be guided in our movements and postures by what protects us from the risk of pain/discomfort. This is understandable, but our range of movements gets reduced. Rigidity and subsequent aches ensue. The simple pleasure of experiencing agreeable, unifying, joyful movements gets lost. With Eutony, we rediscover the sensual bounty of our very first movement explorations.
3. Strength and Posture:
Strength is a complex concept. There is muscle strength, bone strength, and strength coming from better use of the body in contact with its supports. There is also emotional strength.
So much in our lives incites us to bend and curve our spine forward or to crook our neck, whether sitting at a computer or slouching in an armchair or looking down at the ground to avoid small obstacles on the pavement. A brief glimpse in a shop window often reveals a silhouette we were not aware of.
As we age, we need perhaps to stay a little more attentive to how we sit and stand. Eutony offers many ways to facilitate and support an upright, fluid posture as well as a sense of confidence and trust in one’s body.
In a Eutony class, you will
balance, harmonise and free the level of tension in your muscles, for maximum efficiency of your musculature – your energy and vitality.
explore bone and joint shapes and alignments, to use the full potential of your skeleton to maximum effect – your inner support.
- learn to use the solidity of the floor, your chair, or any other support in interplay with your skeleton, for more efficiency – contact with your surroundings.
Releasing painful tensions, respecting bone alignments and using one’s skeleton in conjunction with an outside support is the key to improving posture and increasing strength. Any muscle-building exercise undertaken needs this basis. This is particularly important as we age.
The combination of these three elements will underpin how you feel about yourself. You may find you develop greater confidence, an enhanced sense of security, and more trust in the world around you.
Bone matter is renewed throughout our life. The minerals fix themselves along anti-gravity lines.
Eutony uses the term “Transport” to describe the conscious use of the postural reflex. Transport is stimulated by exerting pressure from the feet, or the sitting bones, towards a resisting structure, be it a floor, wall or seat. It stimulates the deep “red” postural muscles and frees the more superficial “white” dynamic muscles. Free and easy posture ensues.
Transport is explored in lying, as well as in sitting and standing positions. With practice, it becomes part of our everyday life. As well as increasing physical strength and freeing tired muscles, transport strengthens our sense of self – we know and we feel that we have a skeleton, this inner structure, unifying and supporting us from within.
With contact, we experience in a simple and concrete way that we are part of the world, of our surroundings, of nature, and of society.
Making contact with the floor, learning to trust its support, to release superfluous tensions.
Making contact from the feet through a round log, to the floor, to find stability…
… or from the neck, to release tensions.at the top of the spine.
When making contact with a partner, through a ball or a bamboo stick, you feel their presence through the object, even in immobility. You feel it in your own body. You both give and receive. You don’t blend. There is still a boundary.
The challenge is to at the same time stay present in yourself (your transport, your inner space), aware of the floor, (your support), and feel the other person, and then to follow the movements emerging, without leading. A whole life experience.