1)The human body oriented toward attaining the freedom of the individual
2)Fostering spontaneity to retain individuality
3)Understanding breathing movements to enhance the spontaneity of the body
1)The human being is the distinctive species, which differentiates itself from the other living beings on earth. The human body shaped by its characteristic ways of moving provides the connotation to ponder the eventual aim of humankind. Thereby, the upright standing symbolizes the essence of the human evolution toward attaining the total freedom of the individual as it is. And human hands liberated from the function of locomotion takes a crucial role in enabling humans to satisfy their distinct needs for survival as human beings. In principle, the body of every life form constantly moves to maintain its life until it perishes, and each species optimizes its ways of moving to meet its requirements to survive. However, the upright standing necessarily reduces the overall mobility of the body and even increases the vulnerability to the gravitational stress, which perniciously erodes the physical balance; despite all the disadvantages that restrict physicality, humans can benefit from this physically imperfect position in fostering creativity and individuality. Weight shifting with four limbs requires full attention and consumes much energy; therefore, more frequent rest and longer recovery time are necessary to sustain the body than the upright standing needs. By contrast, the human body in the standing position is to stabilize itself with a high level of energy efficiency and thereby to accumulate the surplus energy more than for its survival. Hence, humans driven by the surplus energy can create the physical state that promotes the unique cohesion of brain activities and free hands. In doing so, the uniqueness of the independent body naturally manifests itself in its free movements oriented toward obtaining its sovereignty for meeting the desires of its own, and this moment of freedom is what humans pursue. Hence, the notion of freedom for humankind is inexplicable apart from the understanding of individuality formed by the needs of one’s own. The human being’s sense of individuality is more decisive in explaining humanity than any other creatures possess; thus, the freedom that humans pursue means the holistic state resulting from the actions to meet one’s requirements to survive as one is. Thereby, individuality is the critical trait that defines humanity.
2)Individuality is an inherent feature rooted in one’s body that drives one to attain the freedom of one’s own; thus, it is the virtue to be retained, not to be obtained. And one’s spontaneous movements materialize one’s individuality as it is; therefore, one can focus on one’s action when one is aware of oneself. In that sense, fostering spontaneity of the human body is a prerequisite to developing human abilities to meet human desires.
3)The human body spontaneously sustains itself by perpetual movements in which breathing performs an essential role in initiating all types of physical actions by regulating the internal energy circulation in interacting with nature. Respiration comprises one inhalation and one exhalation in balancing of inflows and outflows to maintain the state of equilibrium. In detail, during inhalation, the body becomes stretched in taking oxygen to generates energy. By contrast, the body becomes relaxed in releasing energy from itself. And the respiratory mechanism controlled by the abdominal movements induces the continuous up-and-down motions that affect every single cell in the body at the same time and thereby enable the body to react in unison. And the following factors; the condition of the body and the mental state are decisive to dictate how breathing flows; furthermore, these elements are entirely dependent on the state of the individual’s body and mind. On that point, contemplating what drives one to move in specific ways is vital in analyzing one’s breathing flow in which one’s movements originate. Thereby, the human respiration research encompassed the individualized approach to one’s breathing flow forms the basis that bolsters the holistic understanding of human movement and humanity.
: The Diaphragmatic Breathing and The Abdominal Breathing
The ways to produce tensions in the body differentiate between the diaphragmatic breathing and the abdominal breathing. Otherwise, both forms of respiration take the same role in maintaining the balance of the body.
: The Characteristics of the Diaphragmatic Breathing
-The diaphragmatic breathing is to generate more energy than the abdominal breathing does for locomotion and intense activities that require frequent weight shifting.
-Inhaling through the mouth causes the instant reactions of the diaphragm to contract abdominal muscles.
-The increasing diaphragmatic contractions decrease the abdominal spaces, and the force generated by abdominal contractions stretches the whole body upward against gravity.
-During exhalation, the vertically stretched body releases energy and becomes relaxed and bent forward down to the ground; this passive descending motion driven by the body weight generates additional kinetic energy regardless of the degree of velocity.
-The bouncing motions induced by the diaphragmatic breathing flow consecutively create and accumulate the kinetic energy, which keeps the body move.
+ The Characteristics of the Chest Breathing (Shallow Breathing)
-Breathing through the mouth to activate the diaphragm differs from the mouth breathing. The mouth breathing occurs when the abdominal muscle group related to respiration is incapable of producing enough power to control the diaphragm; therefore, the muscles in the chest, shoulders, and the neck are more engaged in respiratory movements than abdominal muscles to adjust the abdominal pressure regulating the motions of lungs. In other words, this abnormal breathing called the chest breathing or the thoracic breathing causes unnecessary tensions in the chest, shoulders, and the neck that restrict the organic movement flow. Thus, the abdominal muscles associated with the respiratory system remain loosened perpetually and eventually become incapable of regulating the breathing flow.
: The Characteristics of the Abdominal Breathing
-The abdominal breathing is to relax and stabilize the body.
-The nasal breathing is naturally relevant to the abdominal breathing. Inhaling through the nose causes the lateral expansion of the abdomen; thus, the location of the center of mass stays below the waistline.
-While breathing abdominally, all body parts except the abdominal muscles associated with respiration can relax; because the diaphragm does not contract hard to expand the body. Therefore, the level of tension caused by the abdominal breathing is low compared to the diaphragmatic breathing produces in general.
-Exhaling through both the mouth and the nose at the same time is beneficial to release the air entirely from lungs, and to relax the facial muscles as well. During expiration, all body parts are naturally relaxed, including the facial muscles; hence, the mouth becomes open slightly. The compressed lips necessarily produce tensions transmitted to the face, the neck, and the shoulders; thus, it impedes the natural breathing flow.
-The nasal breathing can lead the diaphragmatic breathing if the abdominal muscles can contract hard enough with a limited supply of oxygen; this way of breathing takes practice based on a proper understanding of breathing mechanisms and thereby does not occur spontaneously in the natural state of the body unless it may end up with the chest breathing.
1)The characteristics of the enforced exhalation caused by holding one’s breath to the limitation
2)How the enforced exhalation affect the kinetic chain
3)Case #1: How the incomplete contact with the ground weakens the connectivity of the body
4)Case #2: The importance of improving overall physicality
1)Holding one’s breath to the limitation of one’s respiratory capacity while dancing is prevalent among the dancers, and this tendency appears noticeably as one’s movements become faster and thus generate more kinetic energy. In doing so, one instinctively chooses to maintain the balance by holding one’s breath; because inhalation induces the contraction in abdominal muscles which works to stabilize the body in motion. Hence, one can temporarily prolong the state of being balanced while holding one’s breath; however, inevitably, it causes the enforced exhalation accompanied by the explosive relaxation unintended. Thereby, one cannot avoid being off balance momentarily and losing concentration in restoring the physical stability.
In short, the prolonged state of holding one’s breath, the enforced exhalation, and being off balance constitute the pattern in which the abnormal breathing flow disrupts the physical balance of the body in motion. During the involuntary exhalation, the body is instantly loosened and sharply collapsed due to the lack of oxygen, and it induces the sudden compression on itself with the weight of its own. Hence, the subsequent inhalation must quickly take place to prevent the body from falling downward. However, the body cannot intake enough oxygen to support itself through a short inhalation because the forced exhalation cannot be deep enough to empty lungs entirely. The shortage of oxygen repeatedly prompts the artificial tension over the body to continue moving, and the tensed body apart from the organic breathing flow aggregates the internal energy circulation by inhibiting the natural abdominal movements associated with respiration.
2)The body sustains itself by balancing of inflows and outflows to maintain the state of equilibrium; hence, breathing, which initiates all types of movements, takes a decisive role in leading the energy circulation. For instance, after taking a deep breath or holding one’s breath lengthily, the subsequent exhalation is naturally deeper than usual in restoring the balance; this process of opening the body can take place quickly or slowly, depending on the next moves. And one’s capability of controlling the velocity and depth of exhalation for one’s purposes in the given situation is the essence of maintaining the appropriate oxygen level, which ensures the physical balance of one’s body while moving. Especially, the human body in the upright standing posture is susceptible to the gravitational force; this erected position imposes the spine to support most of the body weight at all time. Therefore, the state of being out of the physical balance of the body in motion increases the gravitational stress on the spine. On that point, one’s incapability of regulating one’s breathing movements perniciously erodes the connectivity of the kinetic chain. The interaction between the body and the contact surface enables the body to move as it is. And the spine allows the energy generated by breathing movements to flow upward and downward. In doing so, foot movements are determined by how the spine transfers the kinetic energy down to the ground; thus, the mobility of feet is entirely dependent on how feet contact the ground. For instance, when the spine is in problematic conditions, most of the body weight necessarily remains over the upper body due to the impaired mobility of the kinetic chain; hence, it prompts the unnatural or abnormal weight distribution on feet. Besides, the human foot contains three arches which sustain itself by the pressure compressed with the weight above, which means that the foot can function well as it is with the body weight continually pressing downward unless the foot movements cannot avoid becoming monotonous and eventually being incapable of delivering the force upward.
3)Case #1 The chronic pain in one’s spine paradoxically increases one’s dependency on the upper body to dance. The rapid upper body circling movement with static feet that one exhibits very frequently characterizes one’s style of dancing, and two factors drive this unique way; one’s robust vitality and one’s need for avoiding pain. To immerse in the intense circling motions, one habitually holds one’s breath; because the back pain can be mitigated by maintaining the tension in abdominal and back muscles, which fix the spine rigidly in place while moving dynamically. And the artificially prolonged tension in the upper body is inevitably transmitted to the lower body from gluteus to feet, which impairs the natural weight shifting downward with exhaling; because the body naturally becomes relaxed and pulled downward with its weight during exhalation. As the body runs out of oxygen, the abdominal tension is heightened to maintain the physical state induced by holding one’s breath. And the location of the center of gravity remains high in the upper body due to one’s poor breathing techniques, especially for exhalation to transfer weight down onto feet while in motion; therefore, feet cannot achieve full contact with the ground, and the mobility of the feet is restricted. Furthermore, the unstable contact with the ground causes the abnormal weight distribution over the body which exacerbates the condition of the spine. In conclusion, alleviating the pain in one’s back has the highest priority to break the vicious circle.
-In the lying on the back position, the total relaxation can be achieved by the abdominal breathing. Inhaling through the nose inflates the belly, and all body parts, except the core muscles associated with respiration, can fully relax.
-Rounding the back inward at any posture increases the joint spaces between vertebrae, which is the effective motion to stimulate blood circulation and to promote better postures.
-Moving in the face-down dog position with the organic breathing flow enhances exhalation and strengthens the full body naturally.
-The diaphragmatic breathing provides the foundation of human movement in motion thus improving this breathing technique is vital for movers regardless of disciplines.
4)Case #2 One’s low level of overall physicality is the primary factor exacerbating the habit of holding one’s breath while dancing. Due to the lack of power, one’s breathing movements generate less energy than average dancers do. However, one’s energy is mostly used to stiffen the neck and the shoulder; above all, the tension in the neck and the shoulder impedes the natural energy transfer and therefore weakens the connectivity of the kinetic chain continually. For instance, one’s lower body is very loose and inactive especially while dancing, whereas, the arm movements are more vital, considering one’s overall condition. Hence, one’s movements are necessarily cautious to inhibit the explosive exhalation, which may cause the collapse of one’s body. In doing so, one’s concentration cannot last long enough to complete the phrase over 2 minutes. Currently, one’s body merely sustains itself, which means that there is no sufficient strength for extra expressions but survival.
In principle, the basis of dance is the individual’s free movements toward attaining total freedom of the individual. And freedom is the concept that the human being can eventually pursue in full concentration after fulfilling its requirements for survival. In conclusion, improving one’s overall health is the most critical task to continue one’s professional career.
-Relaxation is the physical condition in which the body does not generate kinetic energy against the gravitational force; therefore, this state only can be accomplished when accepting gravity as the unconditional force pulling the body downward. The body naturally becomes relaxed and bent forward and downward when breathing out. Thus, having a problem with exhalation represents the mental state of resisting against a force of nature. However, the human body is a part of nature, which only can sustain itself with raw of nature. Hence, improving the relaxing technique is the first step to recover the weakened body.
-Hiking is the best way to enhance endurance and the respiratory ability. While walking up the heel, all parts of the foot are activated, and active foot movements stimulate and revive the kinetic chain.
The foot takes a decisive role in supporting all types of upstream movements by transducing the energy generated by breathing movements into the kinetic energy in interacting with the contact surface as the base of support. Thereby, the authenticity of one’s movements is entirely dependent on how one’s foot connects one’s body with the ground which enables the body to move. Accordingly, being aware of the individual features of one’s foot as the foundation of one’s movements is critical to attaining the freedom of one’s own; and, it should be the fundamental principle of dance training methods to protect and foster the spontaneity rooted in the individual body. Thereby, enhancing the understanding of the flat foot is vital to form a new educational foundation, which is capable of providing the individualized training programs; because the physical symptoms related to the flat foot vary, according to the individual features, therefore improving those issues requires a comprehensive understanding of the individual body. The education system, which is unable to renew itself with the new knowledge oriented to the imperativeness of reviving humanity, necessarily impedes the natural balance of the body and thereby impacts significantly on the people with physical vulnerability and distinctive features.
The foot with fallen arches characterizes the physical feature of the flat foot, which causes distinctive weight distribution over feet. From the technical viewpoint, an arch is a structure that sustains itself by its semicircular structure compressing itself to radiate the supporting force outward, converted from the downward pressure of the weight above. The human foot has three arches formed by tendons, ligaments, and bony structures, which shape the form of a half dome together. In fact, the essential principle of strengthening and reviving the flat foot lies in maintaining the half-dome shape. The human body is supposed to stand on feet which support the mass of the body on themselves slightly pointing outward; because in that position, the feet can optimally maintain the half dome shape by distributing the body weight along the line of the fat pad. The arches in the foot can become naturally activated with the body weight pressing downward in right places. And walking in an opened posture can strengthen the forefoot and toes by leaning and pushing forward to deliver enough weight to feet and thereby revitalize the overall feet slowly. In fact, walking is a simple movement, but, by focusing on keeping the right posture regulated by the breathing flow, it can turn into the most effective tool for reviving the flat feet. The fundamental human movements always ensure the best result in addressing physical issues, but the process takes concentration, consistency, and spontaneity. One with flat feet tends to place one’s feet in parallel; because of the collapsed arches filling the space of the curve inward, one can hardly perceive the difference between two positions, a parallel and a slightly opened. Despite this handicap, one can find one’s innate angle for an opened position; and, it comes out when one is entirely relaxed in lying on one’s back. In principle, all body parts recover their original places naturally when relaxed. One’s feet are opened outward as wide as one’s pelvis opens.
- Standing in a right opened posture
#One should find the natural angle and distance between feet by oneself.
- Leaning forward to the maximum range
#All toes must stay on the floor evenly.
- Squatting on the forefeet, not on tiptoes
#If necessary, hands can remain on the floor
- Walking in leaning forward
#Shifting the center of mass forward by pushing forward
- Jumping on the spot
#Landing softly from forefeet to toes and heels
#Keeping leaning forward from leaping to landing
One’s chin highly raised up symbolizes the flat back posture; this characteristic pose appears to express one’s confidence, competitiveness, power, and authority. Police officers are good examples unconsciously exhibiting the swayback posture.
1)The physical characteristics of the flat back posture
Like any other habitual postures, one’s way of breathing performs a decisive role in shaping a flat back posture, which presents one’s extreme dependency on inhalation. During inhalation, the body absorbs oxygen from the air to generate energy and becomes stretched and tensed to conserve energy. In the natural state, the body entirely erects itself as its lungs inflate to its maximum capacity, and this moment of being fully erected and tensed lasts for less than one second. Thereby, one’s intention to take more energy than one’s maximum capacity stretches one’s body abnormally backward and eventually induces a flat back posture. In fact, the body is not capable of holding energy in the position of being unnaturally pulled backward; and above all, this position disrupts energy circulation in interacting with nature. Thereby, the body with a flat back posture must release energy frequently to stay in balance. In general, the body sustains itself autonomously by balancing of inputs and outputs, which means that the body always releases the energy as much as generated by its breathing movements. And during exhalation, the body releases energy from itself and becomes relaxed and bent forward to open itself. Therefore, as long as the body stays in the swayback position, the body is not capable of reaching the natural state of being balanced by breathing movements due to the distorted energy release. Flat back posture heightens tensions in the spine and back, whereas the abdominal muscle groups associated with the respiratory system becomes weakened due to the physical state of being permanently stretched backward, which deprives them of the chances of contracting forward.
2)The society oriented to an infinite competition as a primary factor to dictate the way humans move
The critical issue induced by a flat back posture lies in releasing the confined energy, which likely defines one’s dominant but distracted character; one’s body cannot avoid from being tensed to sustain itself, and one cannot focus on other things, but oneself while being tensed. Furthermore, one’s body with a flat back posture continually is in need of releasing the pent-up energy, which frequently drives irrelevant expressions and actions; and simultaneously, one’s body always needs to be filled up due to a lack of space to conserve energy caused by the physical state of being pulled backward. Hence, these physical characteristics explain one’s competitive character. However, a slight flat back posture is commonly regarded as a confident posture and promoted; and this is the trend necessarily formed in the course of establishing the system oriented to the infinitive competition.
3)How to alleviate the tensions in one’s body and mind
In the flat back posture, the dependency on heels for human locomotion is excessive as the body with a flat back posture artificially shifts the center of gravity backward; and, this tendency impedes the natural foot movements pushing forward, through a heel, forefoot, and all toes. Thus, the muscle volume of feet becomes decreased and weakened; moreover, the shoes, designed to lift heels to compensate a lack of strength of forefeet and toes, exacerbates the excessive dependency on heels. Accordingly, the process to alleviate the tensions caused by the flat back posture should focus on two points;
- restoring the natural breathing flow to improve the abdominal movements, to shift the center of gravity forward
- reviving the innate connectivity and strength of feet by walking barefoot and four limbs in the dog position
1)physical characteristics of chest breathing induced by the abnormal tension in the facial muscles
2)facial expressions driven by the negative psychological states
Chest breathing is prevalent in the contemporary world; it is the technical term that depicts shallow breathing, which induces chronic tensions in the neck, the shoulders, and the chest. Various factors cause thoracic breathing, and the tensed facial muscle group is one of the primary factors, which appears with compressed lips.
1)physical characteristics of chest breathing induced by the abnormal tension in the facial muscles
In the natural state of the body, lips perform, in conjunction with the nose, a crucial role as the leading path in breathing. Breathing through the mouth is cohesively connected to the diaphragmatic breathing technique, which drives the body to move in any positions by inflating the back muscles to pull the abdomen upward during inhalation. By contrast, breathing through the nose links to the abdominal breathing technique, which stabilizes the body by inflating the abdomen downward to relax all body parts but the organs and muscles associated with the respiratory system. However, human movement is a series of complexity, and hence breathing is continued in a flexible way, not entirely dedicated one of those techniques.
The tendency to unconsciously tighten lips, combined with a misunderstanding of the breathing mechanism, impairs the balance of the body. The tensed facial muscles set the nose as the only path of respiration which consists of one inhalation and one exhalation. Technically, this setting likely inclines to abdominal breathing, which is much slower than diaphragmatic breathing to obtain enough oxygen to generate the same amount of energy and thus does not fit active movements, which requires continual weight shifting from one place to another place like walking, running, jumping, and rolling. As human movement is complicated, the rigid facial muscles necessarily impede energy supply; therefore, shallow and frequent breathing is followed to compensate the lack of power.
To avoid moving with the pernicious thoracic breathing flow, one should take a deep breath until oxygen naturally inflates the stomach when breathing through the nose; however, the speed of the half abdominal breathing cannot be fast enough to retain the momentum of continuous movements without the help of the mouth and lips. Furthermore, taking a deep breath through the nose naturally links to abdominal breathing, which alleviates the intensity of movements. In fact, breathing through the nose without the help of the mouth and lips can lead diaphragmatic breathing to support dynamic actions in velocity only when one is capable of switching breathing techniques according to one’s need and intention.
2)facial expressions driven by the negative psychological states
Facial expressions directly present the mental state, and the compressed lips appear to inhibit the spontaneous reactions derived from the body, which represent the negative psychological state such as distrust, anxiety, fear, fury, gravity, and obsession. The abnormal tension in the facial muscles is the reflection of one’s state of mind and thereby can be naturally eased in one’s attempt to overcome one’s unnecessary negativity; and, it is critical to reviving the inherent creativity rooted in one’s body. Creativity is the constant desire to satisfy the individual’s independent and distinguishable needs for survival as the individual. And the individual’s body is the place where generates the requirements of its own until the end of its life. Hence, the genuine creativity rooted in one’s body naturally manifests itself with one’s spontaneous movements.
The essence of all types of body movement lies in breathing movements. The human body functions at its best when moving with its inherent flow derived from breathing movements. Breathing movements induce the continual up-and-down motions, which generate unconditional energy. In general, while moving in upright standing position, the diaphragmatic breathing supports the body naturally and promote energy circulation. During inhalation, the body takes energy from the air and becomes stretched upward against gravity to conserve energy. By contrast, the body releases energy from itself and becomes bent forward and relaxed to open itself. The organic flow of body movement originates in this up-and-down motions. Speed, strength, and endurance; these are the decisive factors, which determine the quality of movement, and the differences intrinsically come out how to breathe. To maximize the potential of breathing, one should be patient to sense the internal flow of energy. The human body sustains itself by balancing of inputs and outputs, which means that the body takes energy as much as the body releases out. For instance, to jump upward, the body releases energy to bounce back from the ground, and there is a momentary conversion, which takes less than 0.5 seconds. The body can obtain explosiveness only when one can stand a quick moment to interact together with nature.
Foot movement is another crucial point to enhance the physical capabilities. Foot plays a role as the base of support, which enables the body move in the upright standing position, and all types of upstream movements are determined how feet interact with the breathing flow on the contact surface. The foot is an essential sensory receptor that contains 26 bones and 33 joints, which means that the foot is supposed to be more flexible than the average flexibility of the modern humans. Recovering the primary sense and flexibility of feet can boost overall physicality and the innate creativity rooted in the body; because one’s free movement is the origin of creativity. The human being can better focus on attaining the total freedom to create after the basic needs for survival are satisfied. Thereby, the body with the high level of overall physicality is the fertile ground for fostering creativity. In the active state, every sector of the body eventually can engage in the act of creation, and hence the inherent creativity naturally manifests itself in the body.