Here’s the basics of what I’ve learned over the last five years or so boiled down to eight principles. The list is crafted in such a way that both body/mind and technical types should be OK with the language.

Part 1: Structure

1. The best way to describe the relationship between the bones is a floating relationship.

2. The resiliency of our body is something we can consciously and deliberately alter over time.

3. The most important strength is the strength of the system as a whole.

4. Our superficial and deep muscles play fundamentally different roles.

Part 2: Body/Mind


5a. Stacking-based imagery is pervasive in our culture; such imagery literally holds us down.

5b. By carefully observing ourselves and nature, it is possible to realize a different metaphor: floating compression.

6. There is a brilliance to our bodies that is largely unexplored.

7. Body/mind disciplines are a systemic means of exploring the world of floating compression that somehow, strangely, we have forgotten.

8. A pattern of movement that strategically alters the tension in our bodies is a body/mind discipline.

(Example of #5a: a skeleton is used to represent our musculoskeletal structure, but lacks any tensile elements.)

Brief Discussion

#2: We know we can train at the gym for strength or aerobic capacity; we can also train for springiness. All three kinds of training are complementary. In particular, springiness training will give you resiliency to injury, less pain, and facilitate recovery from all your training. Many kinds of “springiness training” can be done anywhere.

#4: Much exercise emphasizes the superficial layers; body/mind generally uses all layers. In general, more awareness of your body allows you to engage deeper layers all the time and to relax the superficials.

#5a: Stacking-based imagery is everywhere in our society! It’s so pervasive that we don’t even see it: our toys, our vehicles, our buildings. It’s everywhere

in our vocabulary: seeing if an idea stacks up, nailing a proposal, solidifying an idea.

When we know a truth, we know it in our bones. In the doctor’s office, the model of our structure is the bones. There are none of the soft tissues — muscles, tendons, and ligaments — in those doctor’s models. Why don’t we ever know it in our ligaments?

#5b: Floating Bones is a linguistic bit of floating-based imagery. Seeing floating compression models adds a dimension to the understanding. Touching and playing with them adds another. Conversing with the model adds another layer of richness to the floating models. That’s why I recommend getting a model.

We are always using some sort of imagery to control our bodies; that imagery is either compression-based or floating-based.

#6: Part of the brilliance of our design is our adaptability. Adaptability is our greatest strength, but it’s also our greatest weakness. We equate our adaptations to the truth—especially for adaptations that happened a long time ago or that we practice regularly.

#7 I use the word strangely because we all knew how to move with springiness and resiliency when we were little children.

#8 The tensions that hold our misalignments in place are invisible to us. If we knew that the tensions were there, we’d probably release them on our own. This speaks to the value of going to classes or working one-on-one with body/mind professionals.

You may also want to view a different cut on this from the presentation that I gave at Ignite Phoenix. To see that presentation, click on that link, then click on “Floating Bones” in the right column.

These are well-crafted; I keep finding new things when I look over the list. If you find new things, please post comments. If you twitter, please tell us about them in a #floatdujour.