Spiral Bound is almost here!Jan 04, 2021
Hi there, it’s Karen, here to talk about my book that has been four years in the making. Two babies, half a PhD and a pandemic later, the entire manuscript is with the publisher (Thank You, Handspring!) and we now have the official cover designed.
I put my heart and soul and then some into this book, and my message to you through this work: anatomy is accessible. Anatomy is actually a living science that emerges through each of us, and our bodies are interconnected with nature through the filamentous structure. In time, we can learn to tap into that inner wisdom so that, with practice, we may reinforce the directives of nature that originally shape our body plans.
This book brings together basic embryology with kinesiology to offer a practical movement guide called the Five Filaments. I'm talking about spirals that flow within organismic constraints - how our human bodies form in development shapes the way we move as adults. It's easy! Like when you bake bread, the shape of the loaf is determined by how you mould the dough as you put it into the oven.
I am so passionate about the growing evidence base behind biotensegrity because it is encouraging us to systematically upgrade all the nomenclature and dogma that keeps us locked in conflict, especially for us teachers of movement.
All those old arguments about whether or not to clench your glutes in backbending, the raging debate about strength versus flexibility as if they are irreconcilable opposites, and the unending contest around memorising Latin parts and dusty biomechanical concepts based on linear laws of machines that can only move in one plane; all of it leads us to reinforce distinctions and separations that keep us... separate!
I'm not saying that the dialogue around mobility and being strong isn't important - quite the opposite - what I'm pointing to is the region that is OFF the map, as my dear friend and mentor, Joanne Avison, puts it. She talks about respecting the map as distinct from the territory. The root of the gridlocked conflict is based in the language of the map, which is an abstract place… useful for getting a grasp on the territory of anatomy but limited to the dimensions of the linear lens. In my book, we explore the nature of the territory itself, a multi-dimensional symphony of movement in multistability, so much more than the sum of its parts.
I invite you to step into this nonlinear world with me as we explore anatomy for yoga through biotensegrity awareness. I'm so proud to have contributions from Chris Morita Clancy and Susan Lowell de Solórzano (author of Everything Moves). These incredible women are protagonists of the biotensegrity interest group (BIG) and creators of the BioTensegriTea Party.
My friend, and author of the Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook, Kate O'Donnell, also contributes to the book from a place of deep experience of both Ayurveda and yoga. I am so excited to bring together spiral asana illustrations by principle demonstrators Sarah Hatcher, Amy Hughes, and Emma Isokivi, my colleagues and friends in yoga. The internal athlete, Sam Moor of Sussex Tai Chi, contributes in my online chapter about the spirals of Silk Reeling.
The book has two forewords, one from Yoga Medicine creator and overall inspiration, Tiffany Cruikshank, and one from my long-time friend and teacher, David Keil. Tiffany tells the story of how she turned her Ashtanga-related injury into the empowerment she used to launch her unique approach to yoga. David gives us tools for understanding anatomy from the perspective of a seasoned practitioner and teacher. I adore them both: Tiffany for smashing patriarchy with such grace and David for being the change in a system that is so dear to my heart.
And of course, my incredible mentor Jo Avison continues to be an instrumental force in my ongoing development as an anatomy creative. Without Jo's support, friendship, and challenging lines of enquiry, I could not have pulled off the integration of ideas woven together in this book.
With over 600 scholarly references, Spiral Bound pulls threads from the hard and soft sciences to offer a truly fresh perspective on anatomy that you won't find anywhere else. I am delighted beyond words to see this finally coming to fruition, and I can't wait to share the contents with you in print and online (of course)!
I don’t yet have a call to action on this, as the book won’t be available for purchase until the Summer. But be sure to sign up for my newsletter to hear the latest and get exclusive access to the online chapter when it's available before the book actually hits print.
What a wild ride it was for my intrepid image collaborator, Joanna Darlington. So many late nights across an 8-hour time difference! Huge thanks to my publisher, Sarena Wolfaard and the whole team at Handspring Publishing.
I cannot wait to see this book in print, and in the meantime, I’ll be sharing its contents with you here on iG, so stay with me for animation, demonstration, models, movement and more.
Registration for my Anatomy Core Concepts Level One Online Course is now open!
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