We’ve all done one of those communications courses where they explain that “Communication is a two-way process of reaching mutual understanding, in which participants not only exchange information, news, ideas and feelings, but also create and share meaning”. I never imagined that I’d be reaching back to that knowledge when I signed up for a class of Method Putkisto.
Monday evening and my first class arrive sooner than expected. I have managed to casually push myself out of my comfort zone again. Why didn’t I just go swimming instead? Or lay on my sofa, watch tv. I’m a bit intimidated. The studio is very intimate. It’s located in a leafy neighbourhood of Richmond in south west London. This is nothing like a crowded Bikram Yoga studio. There are only five of us. How can I make myself invisible?
The focus of the class in on elongating muscles that have shortened and tightened. I have a lot to work on. Surprisingly, the 75 minutes just fly by. These slow-paced classes requiring precision are usually not my cup of tea. There have been various failed attempts of Pilates and that disasterous session of Yamuna Body Rolling. Method Putkisto is refreshingly different, though. The session is all about learning to communicate with your body. I seem to have completely skipped the “Communication with Your Body 101” course. I send an awful lot of messages to my body. In in many cases, my body either ignores them or replies in a way that I have trouble interpreting. Or it could be that I never really listen to my body. During our 43 year journey together, we’ve naturally learned to co-exist, but all too often I resort to a tool that shouldn’t be used regularly – force!
Marja Putkisto is a legend in Finland. Founder of the Method Putkisto training methods and programmes. I’m happy to have her as my instructor for the session. It’s almost like personal training. She’s constantly asking us to visualise and feel the stretches in relation to our centre line. I like the approach. Very patiently and encouragingly, she corrects my positioning and alignment in the postures. And reminds me to breathe. Movement and breath go hand in hand, just like in yoga. We work through pelvis, hip flexors, waist, buttocks, thighs and hamstrings. I’m very concentrated, but I make a mental note to brush up on my anatomy vocabulary in English tomorrow.
After the session, I’m very disoriented. It feels like I just woke up. I remember almost nothing of the past 75 minutes. Walking towards my bus stop to catch a bus home, my legs feel suddenly very light and my hips all loose. I have spring in my step. Also, there’s some funny sensation in my core, but the feeling is somewhere deeper. The next morning, my pelvis seems to be floating and my legs move without having to impose any sort of ultimatums. I’m left wondering whether this part of my body and I have finally opened a mutual channel of communication?