One of the things I’m interested in learning about (and consequently teaching others) is how to read the structure of your body, and understand, based on its positioning, where it is your nervous system is sitting at that particular moment in time. In last week’s movement classes, we were focusing on the frenulum, or the tendon of the tongue, and learning how our tongue positioning can give us more information about whether we are in the midst of a parasympathetic, active fight or flight or collapse response.
It’s really easy to fall into the trap of understanding and labelling the various nervous system states as good or bad, with the “bad” usually being given to anything that falls within the survival nervous system bracket (fight, flight, freeze and collapse). But the thing is, there really is no good or bad. In both horses and humans, there’s no one state that we want to avoid, or be desperate to escape from. It’s more a matter of “is this state appropriate for the moment and situation I find myself in?”
What we are seeking to develop is not calm if we feel anxious. It’s not energy if we feel flat. It’s not the ability to up and go if we’re frozen to the spot. Not exclusively. What we are really wanting is accurate responsiveness; a brain and body that responds to reality of its present moment in way that matches and meets the situation.