Intention and movement

Intention is the expression of a will, which in this article we will address specifically to body movement. We can manifest this will with a thought, an idea or an image and it may have as a direct consequence the realization of the project thought or imagined.

The movement imagined, precisely because of its greater specificity, is one of the best types of intention to engage the physical body. Having the idea or simply thinking about a gesture can be quite vague activities, but imagining it binds it to a three-dimensional and spatial context. The result is a kind of foreshadowing of what we are about to do.

Each of us has his own way of imagining, and it is right that his uniqueness is respected.

Creating the image of a movement requires several elements: starting point, path, arrival, position, speed, which combined with the awareness of a ‘real feasibility’ draw a very realistic picture that will easily resonate in the physical body. What we will do will be nothing other than physically trace what we imagine.

After having trained our receptors to react to images created by the mind (one of the components of Deep Touch) we will see how this mechanism will bring significant benefits to the quality of movement.

It would not be necessary to explain the reasons, the experience would be enough in itself, but talking about it often helps to deconstruct some beliefs that can limit perception and therefore hinder this mind-body connection. In order to enhance the listening and reception of this information, our nervous system must be in a state of relaxation and trust.

This connection occurs through the FASCIA.

Fascia is mainly connective tissue at different levels, from the most superficial (adipose) to the deepest, within the body. The fact that the term is expressed in the singular (Fascia) makes us understand that it is a single, connected, continuous system. The fascia wraps the muscles, it is between the fibers, around and between the organs, around the bones, it wraps the tissues and is even in the intercellular spaces… in short, it fills all the spaces acting as a sort of glue. It represents 70% of our body and its strong elastic capacity plays an important role in posture and movement.

The key to the process we are describing is that the fascia reacts and moves, in a specific direction, if subjected to an intention (with a little practice it is possible to have good feedback from this experience).
The intention is a kind of homeopathic movement, very small, but which has the advantage of being received by one of the strongest and most holistic tissues of the body.
Summarizing and simplifying, we could therefore say that “an intention coming from an image moves the Fascia which can then be supported by muscle and skeleton.”

The intention projects a sort of shadow of the movement (image/hologram) that we are going to do, somehow it opens up a preferential channel in a direction. By tracing this shadow with a real movement we manifest our
body/mind coherence.

A muscle that moves with the fascia will certainly perform a more complete, integrated and protected action. Through its elasticity (extremely powerful) it can make a gesture less tiring, involve the whole body and give us more control and awareness.

Here some text taken from L’eleganza del riccio, by Muriel Barbery

“Most people, when they move, well they just move depending on whatever’s around them. At this very moment, as I am writing, Constitution the cat is going by with her tummy dragging close to the floor. This cat has absolutely nothing constructive to do in life and still she is heading toward something, probably an armchair. And you can tell from the way she’s moving: she is headed toward. Maman just went by in the direction of the front door, she’s going out shopping and in fact she already is out, her movement anticipating itself. I don’t really know how to explain it, but when we move, we are in a way de-structured by our movement toward something: we are both here and at the same time not here because we’re already in the process of going elsewhere, if you see what I mean. To stop de-structuring yourself, you have to stop moving altogether. Either you move and you’re no longer whole, or you’re whole and you can’t move. But that player, when I saw him go out onto the field, I could tell there was something different about him. I got the impression that he was moving, yes, but by staying in one place. Crazy, no? When the haka began, I concentrated on him. Everyone was enthralled by him but no one seemed to know why. Yet it became obvious in the haka: he was moving and making the same gestures as the other players (slapping the palms of his hands on his thighs, rhythmically drumming his feet on the ground, touching his elbows, and all the while looking the adversary in the eyes like a mad warrior) but while the others’ gestures went toward their adversaries and the entire stadium who were watching, this player’s gestures stayed inside him, stayed focused upon him, and that gave him an unbelievable presence and intensity. And so the haka, which is a warrior chant, gained all its strength from him. What makes the strength of a soldier isn’t the energy he uses trying to intimidate the other guy by sending him a whole lot of signals, it’s the strength he’s able to concentrate within himself, by staying centered. That Maori player was like a tree, a great indestructible oak with deep roots and a powerful radiance—everyone could feel it. And yet you also got the impression that the great oak could fly, that it would be as quick as the wind, despite, or perhaps because of, its deep roots.”


The “body of intention” (as it is called in the Deep Touch) we can see it as a hologram of the body itself which may or may not move in the same position as the physical one.
When they coincide, in dynamics or in stasis, we have a coherent entity, perceived in ourselves and outside as a presence.
You will easily understand how this plays a fundamental role in all those techniques where presence and communication are fundamental. The performative act, for example, is the expansion of this presence towards the viewer. It is interesting to note that the more we are centered in ourselves, the more we project our energy outwards. A paradox that undoubtedly recalls concepts of non-duality.

Another advantage is that of strength, if the body of intention is in another position the physical body will be attracted to it and if it does not want to follow it it will have to employ an effort (losing energy) to support the friction that derives from it (the band moves towards the intention and the body in another direction).
The projection of intent out of the body makes the movement tiring, not present, unsafe and difficult to adapt. Fascia and body must move together for strength.

One of the benefits of this coherence is that of having a good proprioception, an essential prerequisite for accommodating movement variables. The fascia is rich in receptors which, if not aligned with the rest of the body, can alter the proprioceptive information and give us little reactivity, as well as instability.
Furthermore, the intention can also be excessively projected into the future or into space, aiming at a goal that is too far away. This type of projection makes us lose presence along the way. The body of intention fails to align with movement and we may not be ready for variables and improvisation. (A striking example is people bumping all over when they move.)
The intention towards a goal should therefore also include awareness of the path towards it. The Fascia seems to care more about the path than the goal.
Ideally the intention should travel together with the movement, but for various reasons (distraction, unclear ideas, lack of awareness) we often lack this coherence.
Obviously the intention always precedes the movement , but the closer the two are, the greater the capacity of the fascia to be attracted (physically and with specific direction) by the intent.

Our body, apart from the mind, also has its own intentions. Often they manifest themselves on a coarser level, such as the need to stretch for example, but in reality they continually express themselves even on a more subtle level. Understanding the intentions of the body, transforming the mind into the observer, achieves a profound communication with the magnificent intelligence that we represent.
It is possible to perceive the intentions of the body through the impulses that our fascial system receives. Our task will be to support this movement in order to reconnect deeply to its language. We authorize the fascia to express itself and as a reward he will bring itself in the only time possible to change, to heal, to create, the present time.

The intentions with which we can irradiate our body are many: images, healing, dance, sounds, colours etc … our perception will translate the stimulus into movement through the fascia.

It must also be said that we continuously interact with the external environment (lights, colors, objects, sounds, etc.). Every stimulus (even the most subtle) translates into an intention of the body to adapt or oppose, however an intention, which will give us a movement.
The resulting complexity of information is immense and opens an important chapter on integration with the environment, but fortunately it is also possible for us to “focus on one intention” and work on it specifically.

I conclude this article by saying that in order to use images as the helm of intention some concepts must necessarily be simplified. The clear distinction between body and mind and between fascia and the rest of the body is not entirely realistic, but it is a good training to become familiar with the system (duality dominates us to a large extent). With time and training, the “body of intention” no longer needs to use the image (bridge between the abstract and logical mind) or the hologram as a projection tool, but expresses itself for what it is, a essence without form, substance or color that cannot be translated by the senses we commonly use.

The activation of this perceptual sense also allows us, through observation or contact, to perceive, within certain limits, the intentions in others. Great tool for all those techniques that work with mutual connection.