[*] the human crossbow [ base ingredient ]
I remember receiving a message from a very excited [K] about a ‘fantastic new pec stretch’, whilst he was overseas [japan?] teaching workshops. The stretch was, of course, the stretch that would go on to become known as ‘the human crossbow‘ [or ‘the crossbow’].
There is a certain point of development on the physical intuition spectrum in regards to repatterning stretching where the body just goes ‘yes.‘ when it sees a posture it hasn’t done before. It already knows. This was vividly one of these times. When [K] finally arrived back from his sojourn, we – of course – dived straight into heavily playing around with this amazing stretch.
Although the position may appear extreme or uncomfortable to the untrained eye, paradoxically it becomes one of the most comfortable and ‘evaporatory of frozen tension’ postures around – when auspiciously cued, that is.
I do not believe I have ever had anyone who could not get into at least a modified version of this posture [even ‘rigor mortis level’ stiff students], which given that it looks to many to be one of those exercises ‘you need to already be flexible to get into’, is really something.
It is ‘a pec stretch’ – but it is also so, so much more. The pec component is, however, exceptional. Some part because the ability to contract both pecs at once engages the ‘sinews’ across the sternum. Another part because you can shunt multiple novel contraction-relaxation cycles of both the pec major and minor together on top of each other in a wavelike manner.
Partially, too, because the mini-baby-whale [embryo whale?] effect of the partners foot allows you to have a high degree of tailorability over the degree and vertebral specificity of spinal extension – and because it provides something to ‘breath back into’ and a fulcrum to ‘wring out over’. As after the pecs are remodelled enough the next stage of this posture’s alchemical arrow is as a premier breathing apparatus exercise. For which purposes it is phenomenal.
Adding in partner and multiple-partner tactile cues, tractioning, bracing and guiding takes this posture into a number of different dimensions at once. Eventually it allows access to some arcane structures inside the thorax and in the pit of the throat [tissues around the voice box and thyroid, for instance, if one is so inclined*].
So whilst it begins its life as ‘a pec stretch’, the Body Tessellation versions are too multifaceted to fit in this narrow bandwidth [and that’s without even adding in the ‘spice’ and cuisine layers].
Pairing this great posture with a hip flexors is so effective in terms of targeting parasitic tension, armouring and other inauspicious physical accumulations that one can do just these two [the ‘deprawnification dyad’] and be done for stretching for days [whence one is far enough into the method]. In fact, I have taught two and a quarter hour classes where we did a triad of these two postures and a strong rotation [‘the exorcism’] – and that was the class done.
The human crossbow is one of the truly great physical exercises. Of any classification.
It also is highly illustrative of how a base posture [base ingredient] can yield to a gravity well of sensory richness and repatterning effects, without much deviation or variation.
Sure; there are ‘kinda variants’ like the ‘batwing crossbow’ – but these can be gone in and out of without changing the base set-up. As can the numerous modifiers and catalysts [herbs and spices].
I am very excited to begin teaching the Body Tessellation strength human crossbow syllabus in Canberra, soon. 100% of the humans I have seen in Canberra thus far, being back here for 8 months now, would derived great benefit from regular work on this posture.
*this is obviously only for the true delvers of the soma.. thankfully the body prevents access to these areas for sane repatterning, unless the embodied paradox capacity is of sufficient majesty. Of course, people foolish enough can unalchemically get into just about anything too..