Low Space, Middle Space, High Space
Practice: Exploring Three Spaces
On earth, we have three moving relationships to gravity. Low space is movement on the floor; middle space is any motion between standing and lying down, and high space is movement standing up. The words ‘level’ or ‘stratum’ work as well, but I prefer ‘space’ for cue-ing the body; it gives a spherical feeling to our explorations. (‘Level’ and ‘stratum’ might flavor our work with hierarchy and flatness. In these three spatial explorations, leave out horizontal locomotion initially and focus on relationship to gravity. In others words, do the whole practice in a 6 X 6 X 6 foot area.
Low space, motion on the floor, can supine (on on your back) or prone (on your belly) or your side. Large swathes of body surface touch the ground. Gravity acts directly on arm or spine or foot, etc . We are more like a snake or a reptile–horizontal creatures. Our fluids flow easily back and forth like rivers. Our distant vision is limited but sensation is heightened.
Middle space is anything between standing and lying down. It can be sitting, or on hands and knees, hands and feet, or on the knees. Gravity is funneling through several systems. We experience complex counterbalances on all fours. Sitting we have a stacked spine. This is a stable plane with many options for balance and effort.
High space is anything standing up. Here we funnel gravity through spoon and hips and legs and feet. A lot depends on our feet. So much weight and balance is being handles by the tiny ankles and delicate bones of our feet. Our fluids are pump up and down. This verticality is hard work. We see far distances, and orient ourselves through hearing.
In any day, it is best to spend conscious time in each of these levels. Our tendency is to stand to move through space (walk around), sit for many hours to do work (i.e., computer or driving), and lie down to sleep. In order to break this habituated behavior, try the following simple focused ‘untanglers’. (You can think of untanglers as any sort of practice that gives your body an opportunity to explore pathways daily routines don’t engage.)
1. Take a half hour. Spend ten minutes letting the body move on each of the three spatial levels being aware of how it feels.
2. Take three days in a row. Spend a half hour each day letting the body move in just one of the spaces.
3. Take three days in a row. Spend a 20 minutes each day letting the body move in one of the space, then rest in another space.