25. Secondary and Tertiary Directions

The primary control is a hierarchic process – the directions which encourage it to work well relate to each other in a pyramidal fashion. Each part of the structure of this pyramid is not equal to its neighbours but is subordinate to those at a higher level and supportive to those at a lower level.


Every individual, every moment, and every movement will require a subtle “re-shuffle”, especially of the lower levels of the pyramid, and particular specialist directions (for example, think of something funny to smile at) will need to be recruited, temporarily, at a prominent level for specific activities.


Notwithstanding this flexibility, I offer here, by way of example, a possible “general purpose direction pyramid“ and its twin “inhibition pyramid” – understanding what you need to avoid (inhibit) can often clarify the meaning behind the wording of a particular direction.






Neck Free


Head Forward and Up, Back Lengthen and Widen


Knees Forward and Away, Shoulders Widen, Remember to Breathe


Allow the Ground to Support You, Look Outwards, Tail Away From Head, Arms Lengthening out of Back

Release Front of Hips, Soften Back of Knees, Free Ankles, Allow Ribs to Move with Breath, Allow Yourself to, See, Hear,Feel


Feet Lengthen and Widen, Hands Lengthen and Widen, Stay Mobile, Front of Torso Lengthening, Back Stays Back, Jaw Releasing







Neck Stiff


Head Back and Down, Back Shortening and Narrowing


Knees Tightening Towards Hips and Knocking In, Shoulders Narrowing, Holding Breath

Clenching Upwards, Looking Crookedly, Overarching Lower Back, Tightening Arms into Torso


Throwing Hips Forward, Locking Knees, Ankles Stiffening, Rigidifying Thorax, Blocking out Sensory Information


Gripping with Feet, Fiddling with Hands, Fixing or Freezing, Bracing Chest and Abdomen, Exaggerating Spinal Curves, Jaw Clenching