You can put the principles of the Harmonious Culture of Movement to the test while learning to create a powerful energy flow forward. You can start by figuring out which hand would be more effective to use for pushing forward. Compare making a push with your "front hand" versus pushing with your "back hand" (the hand opposite the front foot), as you step forward with the front foot. Through trial and error you will discover the way to utilize transverse movement of your body.
When your front foot lifts off the ground initiating your Natural Step, see if you can align your hips momentarily with the toes of the back foot, since it becomes your weight-bearing foot until the stepping foot lands. If your back foot does not become the weight-bearing one for a moment, you must be levitating!
Forward Push with the right elbow
Initially, Forward Push should be learned with an elbow rather than a hand, since pushing with an elbow requires no muscular tension in the arm. Instead of using physical force, you will learn to use the power of the element of Earth (gravity and the strength of your bones). Imagine a skeleton making an elbow strike. Such an imaginary strike would only have power if the elbow were on the Centerline, with the bones coming into alignment between the elbow and the back heel. Touching the opposite shoulder with the hand naturally brings the elbow to the Centerline. This follows the principle of Orientation, the first one of the four main principles in this method of energy projection.
The second principle is Stabilization, which involves the alignment of the Centerline with the toes and knee of the front leg stepping forward. As soon as the sole of the front foot lands on the ground, the leg will be able to easily absorb the shock with the muscles of the thighs if you keep that knee soft and bent just enough to cover the toes from your sight. If you try to use the muscles of your shins to absorb the shock of landing by reaching the ground with the heel first, it will require tension in your lower legs, preventing energetic connection with the ground. The same may happen when trying to use the calves by landing on the toes first, which is much less efficient than using the largest muscles of the body -quadriceps - to absorb the shock of landing
The third principle is Rooting, which includes alignment of the back heel with the baseline. When finishing your Forward Push, see if you can draw a straight line from the toes of your front foot through the heel toward the heel of the back foot. This is your baseline. Test your stability and strength when the back heel is on the baseline versus when it is not. Whenever the back heel is not on the baseline, or is lifted off the ground, you will likely feel uprooted and only able to push yourself away from the target.
The fourth principle is Streamlining, which involves the alignment of the torso with the back leg. This is the key principle, since all of the previous principles will not be sufficient to produce a powerful Forward Push without this last one. When performing a Forward Push, observe the line from the top of your head down the spine and all the way down to the heel of the back leg creating a straight line as if someone has placed a board on your back. To test this principle, practice your Forward Push against your partner s resistance while keeping your entire body Streamlined. Now compare that by pushing while slightly deviating from the Streamlined position of the body by either keeping the torso too vertical or tilting it too far forward. Notice the difference in the power of your Forward Push with and without this key alignment.
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