Havi Brooks once described a pattern as “That thing you do that you hate.” I love that description.
And, there’s more to it. Patterns aren’t just the things you do that you hate, they are everything you do. And, everything you think and feel as well.
- how you crack an egg.
- how you react when someone says or does something you perceive as wrong or threatening or mean.
- the feeling you get when you watch a beautiful sunset.
- how often you check your email.
- how you take your coffee.
- who you are attracted to – romantically and otherwise.
- how your mind spins and spins, replaying the same conversation or thought over and over and over.
The Ortho-Bionomy connection.
Ortho-Bionomy is the foundation for all the work I do with clients – for how I live my life, actually.
It combines practical, osteopathic-based, body-centered techniques and esoteric, energetic-awareness-y, mind-blowingly-great yoga-inspired philosophy.
Simply put, the point is to get you deeply connected to you body so that you:
a) have access to all of your internal resources, healing potential, and deep wisdom; and
b) gain awareness and insight into your patterns – both the patterns of physical pain and tension in your body and the patterns in your life that aren’t effective or serving.
What I love about patterns.
1) They are everywhere! And, everything is a pattern.
2) They are mostly unconscious. Yes, I love this about them.
You don’t, for instance, think about how you crack an egg. You just crack the egg.
3) Once you become aware of a pattern, you have options. When you notice you tend to crack the egg in a particular manner, other options abound. You can play!
Perhaps you’ll drop the egg from the ceiling. Perhaps you’ll crack it on its side instead of on the end. Or, whatever… there are endless ways to crack an egg once you become aware that you usually crack it in only one way.
4) Patterns are neither good nor bad. The effects of our patterns on our lives, however, may or may not be beneficial.
Once we become aware of a particular pattern, we can decide whether or not it is a pattern that enhances our lives. If not, we can begin to play with ways to alter or shift the pattern. Like Ortho-Binomy. Or writing. Or meditation. Or…
If Ortho-Bionomy kindled my obsession with patterns, Shiva Nata blasted it to high heaven.
What is it? In brief, it is a yoga-martial-arts-dance-ish thing that is all about patterns.
More specifically, you use your arms and legs to connect points in space in a pre-determined pattern.
Sometimes, it looks beautiful and graceful. More often, it looks like mad flailing. Or, as my boyfriend refers to it: Crazy Monkey Dancing.
I know, that probably makes no sense. That’s alright. Hang in there. It’s both simpler and harder than it sounds. 😉
First, here’s what it does:
1) Directly shows you your patterns. Whatever happens as you are Shiva-ing-it-up is a pattern. Want to give up? Pattern. Get really angry and frustrated? Pattern. Just keep trying and trying and trying? Pattern. Collapse? Pattern. Laugh hysterically? Pattern.
2) Also, Shiva Nata indirectly shows you your patterns. Through using your body to connect dots in space in a particular pattern, your brain is put through a crazy, mind-melting workout. New neurological connections are formed which means… you suddenly have access to new perspectives and insights into yourself.
In short, you now have the option to crack the egg any which way you want.
You are no longer stuck doing the same perhaps-not-so-effective thing over and over and over.
3) Gives us a way to mindfully interact with our stuff (our patterns). We are no longer victims of the whims of our patterns. We now have a concrete, physical way with which to interact with them.
Shiva Nata teaches us how to play with patterns. How to alter them at will. How to bend them, shift them, create and destroy them; how to be creative and silly (or serious and focused if our typical pattern is to be silly).
And now, my favorite thing about Shiva Nata:
Only through doing it wrong, do you get it right.
Read that sentence again, will you?
Yes, Shiva Nata is the only practice I’m aware of where the goal is to do it badly, to not perfect it, to always be at your edge. Not at your barely growing edge where you are simply polishing your mad skills, however.
Rather, you want to be waay beyond that edge… out in the abyss. Flailing madly, completely confused and loving it. Or not, that’s ok too.
You see, the insights and epiphanies are the result of your brain making new connections through your body attempting to follow these increasingly complicated patterns in space.
If you aren’t utterly confused, you aren’t challenging your brain and you won’t gain new insights into yourself and your patterns.
In which I badly paraphrase Guy Finley.
Guy Finley recently said (and I paraphrase):
“We are always doing the best we can according to whatever knowledge we currently have.
It is our responsibility to keep learning more so that our best keeps getting better (more effective, more loving, more intentional, coming from a greater sense of wholeness, etc).”
Ortho-Bionomy and Shiva Nata both give us access to new knowledge… knowledge of the most effective kind – the kind that comes from deep within us and that is perfectly suited to our particular situations and patterns.
For more Ortho-Bionomy and Shiva Nata goodness…
Visit my Events Page for a list of upcoming workshops and class series. 🙂
by golly, i think i understand Shiva Nata for the first time! The entire pattern busting game of it… well, color me excited. I had lost a little practicing steam because I didn’t quite understand what I was doing, and now I feel like a big old lightbulb has been illuminated.
and the crazy monkey dancing tagline also makes it very appealing. please do thank your boyfriend for me.
Larisa Koehn says
Yay! So happy it was helpful. And, I’ll definitely let my boyfriend know his description is appreciated. 🙂
What a great explanation of patterns. Thank you!
You’re so welcome. 🙂
Thank you for all of the great information, insights, your life experience and the introduction to Shiva Nata – movement and how our brain works – along with patterns. I am thrilled to connect up with you through your web site and look forward to how our paths unfold on the journey in our lives.