One-Minute Practice: Tensegrity Support

Tensegrity is a term coined by engineer Buckminster Fuller meaning an integrity of tension. The right amount of tension allows for an integrity of structure with internal space at a maximum.

In humans, the muscular-skeletal system is very much like a tensegrity structure. Muscle tone and bone strength gives us internal space for breath, organs and fluid. The right amount of muscle tension, not too much, not too little, supports the bones in space.

When there is too much tension, or contraction, the bones are pulled together. This causes a lack of space internally. When there is not enough tension, or too much relaxation, the bones collapse in on each other, which also causes a lack of internal space. A “just right” amount of tension/tone allows the most internal space, and a dynamic support of our upright design.

Think of yourself as expanding into space. If you can expand by allowing a lively tone and mobility of muslces, you can feel a “just right” amount, in which you are not working hard to hold yourself up. You feel energized. The point is not to push yourself into a different shape, but to let yourself take up a bit more space in your environment. This will create a bit more space inside you as well.

Sense your breath moving through your whole torso as you allow your lungs to take up more space. Sense your head floating upwards as you give your head/neck joint more space.

Feel down into your pelvis and lower back, encouraging the bones to not-contract around your sacrum, but to soften and widen away from the center.

As you move through your day, ask yourself every now and then, What’s too much? What’s not enough? Invite your neuro-musular-skeletal systems to work in balance, and sense your tensegrity support.


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