What is the difference between yielding and collapsing?
I feel that one way of looking at it is to feel the increase of tone on the side of you that is in contact with something other than space, whatever position you’re in. When we collapse, we lose contact. When we give up, we let gravity take over and then we are collapsed. But when we respond by feeling this increase in tone, it will support our rising away from the earth. There’s a rebound. This is one way of looking at it.
One of the ways to experience this is through rolling. I feel passionately about babies laying on their front, back, and sides so that they have this experience with gravity and so they’re familiar with it before they can actually roll around themselves. For a baby that has only been placed in certain positions and not in others, it can be fearful for them to go into unknown positions because their body doesn’t know how to increase this tone.
We can help them to feel safe, not by just putting them in certain positions on the floor, but by using your own body as a surface so it’s your body yielding and moving. And your own body is yielding and moving in such a way that it helps them to feel this increase of tone, not just in these four positions but also all the transitions between back, belly, side, and side.
There’s been so much controversy about whether it’s better to put a baby on thier back or belly. I’m saying it’s not one or the other – it’s everything, including both sides and everywhere inbetween. Every part of our body has its own relationship to gravity.
(From Embodying Cellular Consciousness through Touch and Movement: A Body-Mind Centering Approach® with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen)