by Robert Rickover
On this page I’ll try to answer some of the questions I get about the use of your center of gravity, and about Up With GravitySM. If you have a question not answered here, please contact me through this Email Contact Form.
What is Up with GravitySM? It’s a body of work that shows you how to use the gravitational force that acts on you to release harmful tension from your body so you can sit, stand and move with greater ease.
It’s been a long time since I studies high school physics. What, exactly, is gravity? Gravity is a force pulling together all matter (which is anything you can physically touch). The more matter, the more gravity, so things that have a lot of matter such as planets and moons and stars pull more strongly.
The Up With GravitySM process seems to be a lot about locating and using our center our gravity. What exactly is the “center of gravity”? The center of gravity is the location in a body where the weight is even dispersed and all sides are in balance. The center of gravity of our body when we stand is a point inside us (in our middle, about two inches below the navel) upon which the gravitational field acts.
Our center of gravity’s location within us shifts as we move about. It can even be outside our body, as this short video and this interesting article illustrate. Here’s another page that has some interesting information about our center of gravity – but be aware that it has the center of gravity incorrectly located 2 inches higher than it is, and that the sit-to-stand sequence if flawed by having the wrong center of gravity used for the first part of that sequence.
Do I actually need to know anything about physics to use your program? No. I do include a few explanations about the way gravity works, but it’s not at all necessary for learning to use the process. I’ve found that small children, with no knowledge of gravity, are able to use it very quickly and easily.
How did the process originate? Several years ago I suffered a low back injury that involved a pinched nerve not far from my center of gravity. I had never given much though to that center before, and as I investigated it, and experimented on myself and later my Alexander Technique students, I discovered that it could be used to improve physical functioning.
In Tai Chi and in other martial arts, students are often told to “move from their center”. How does that advice differ from your center of gravity work? My work is not about “moving from your center” but about actually moving your center – moving it through space and moving it within yourself. I have found this to be an extraordinary powerful way to use the center of gravity.
The importance of our center of gravity is also stressed in some other fields – horseback riding, gymnastics and swimming are the ones I am most familiar with. But again, their approach differs significantly from the way center of gravity is used here.
Is the complete program available for free? Yes it is. Of course I would greatly appreciate any support, financial or otherwise, that you choose to provide. You can learn more about ways to help with this project on the Support Page of this site. You can also use the Donate button on the right.
Do I need a teacher to use this method? I believe many people can learn to use their center of gravity on their own. Combining it with Alexander Technique directions is a little more difficult, but certainly not impossible.
In my own teaching experience – in person and using Skype video – my students start using their center of gravity very quickly, and they often go on to teach their family and friends what they have learned.
If anything in the written lessons are confusing to you, or you can think of a better way to explain something, please use the comment box at the bottom of each lesson to ask your question, or make your comment.
If you believe some coaching would be helpful, visit Online Posture and Movement Coaching
Would this process work in outer space with zero gravity?
This question recently came from a student of the process! I have to say I really have no idea – not having used it in outer space myself. I suspect that the best answer might come from a scientist. It would certainly be an interesting experiment for NASA to consider.
Image courtesy of Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net