top of page

Exploring Movement and Perception through the “Six Patterns of Total Body Connectivity”
Tuscany Dreams 2024
Movement Sessions with Bala Sarasvati

In this movement session, you will experience simple movement exercises based on the “six patterns.” Steered by physiological impulse, infants commonly navigate through a neurological movement progression that derive these “six patterns” and research implies that this allows psychological/physical development. During the movement experience, we will observe and reflect thoughts, feelings and sensations that arise. Through increased awareness of each movement pattern, you may gain insights about individual traits, communication styles and interactions in the world. Progressing through the “six patterns” seems to stimulate personal growth through the abiltity to more fully express oneself.


I look forward to providing you this movement experience and seeing what happens!


Laban Movement Analysis and Bartenieff Fundamentals (LMA/BF) is utilized to observe and describe movement function and expressivity; and increase awareness and capabilities of one’s personal expressive movement experience. The scope of Laban/Bartenieff theories addresses five major components: Body, *Effort, Shape, Space and Relationships (BESSR). The “six patterns” are integral to the “Body” component of the LMA/BF system, utilized throughout the world in health care, the performing arts, sports, education, diplomacy and communication, personal development and a wide spectrum of somatic practices. (*Effort is how “energy” is used)

Movement Session (exploring the “six patterns” and perceptual “world views”)


1.  Breath is the key to life and its connections, an “all about me” feeling, at “one with oneself and the universe,” “taking care of self,” “good enough as I am” and even empathy. 



2.  Navel Radiation or Core to Distal establishes center of personal space (core). Promotes connection of the body from center to the ends of the extremities.  One beomes more aware of self and relationship to environment. Develops core support and ability to sense core issues such as "it means a lot to me."

Images: radiating star, jelly fish

Activities: volleyball, tennis and pickleball

Communication: “me and not me differentiation,” “me and my environment” “me and the universe”


3.  Head/Tail Connectivity or Spinal Patterning organizes the whole body to move and further generates sense of becoming individual. Through spinal flexibility, one can range between soft and supple or steadfast and rigid. Spinal pattern supports and prepares for upright (standing/walking/locomotion) as well as an increased range of movement possibilities. H/T also sets up basic neurocellular patterns to achieve yield/push and reach/grasp/pull, necessary for the next stage of development. 


Images: fish or snake-like, exploring the world around you, calming or excited

Technical Skills: movement in the planes of movement, ballet port de bras, dynamic dances that reach, push, pull

Activities:  swimming, basketball shots, in dance movements full plete (stable spine), modern roll down/roll ups       (supple spine)

 Communication: “I am going to reach out and get it and bring that back to me” ,

"I am going to process through the situation"  “I am flexible”” I am not going to move”


4. Upper-Lower organizes the whole body to move in an action, beginning with push and yielding, which require grounding. One begins to spatially interact with the world by getting ready to move into space.   

*PROPULSION is established.   “push! and yeild”  “reach!” "grasp" “pull!”   


Images: “leaps like a frog”, “heaven and earth”

Technical skills: contemporary dance level changes, certain contemporary and ballet vocabulary, gymnastics

Activities: hard work and labor, weightlifting, squat planks, basketball, endurance activities such as rowing

Communication: “I struggle to get through” “I can reach towards and "push through" and "pull back" (what I              want) “getting behind one’s weight” "leaning in" “achieving goals”


5. Body Half (Homo-lateral) defines the vertical midline where one has ability to establish one side and the other, highlighting stable and mobile sides of the body and improving balance and grounding. These stable and mobile relationships are vital to a lateral weight shift (moving sideward). Body-half expresses polarized perspectives such as right and wrong” “good and bad” “two different paths”

Images:  lizard or camel like walks, robotic, zombie-like, cowboy or “matcho,” militaristic

Technical Skills:   ballet barre, barrel turns, 

Activities:  side planks, mounting a horse, high jump

Communication:   “Either this or that”  “on the one hand” "do it my way or the highway" "which one - this or   this?"  judgements such as "guilty or non guilty"


6. Cross-Lateral emphasizes the interplay between the upper and lower body through spinal rotation and the rotary function of the global joints (shoulders and hips), which allows fuller reach space and precision. Providing the moving body greater access to the horizontal plane and diagonal connections, this pattern leads to limitless possibilities and capacities to facilitate full movement potential through the spiraling of the limbs and a dynamic and pliable spine and core. In this pattern, one is more fully capable to discover all the areas around oneself with complexity and expansiveness.


Images: entering a wonderland or forest and discovering all the areas around you

Technical Skills: spiraling, carving through space, radiating to the diagonals, complexity of 3-D; a variety of dance   (salsa and other Latin dances, Graham, breakdance)

Activities: Cross-lateral promotes virtuosity of movement in work (yardwork and gardening) and sports activities   such as  pitching, bowling and golf

Communication: allows for consideration all the aspects and perspectives, a fuller-scope view, and better         comprehending a vast and diverse universe.  (Ecologists and Astronomy)

-Journal writing and brief group reflection

-Explore the “six patterns” through communication styles

How do the “6 Patterns of Body Organization” support the following communication styles? 

socializing                                    common tasks                                  meeting someone new

partner interaction                      decision making                              teaching/learning                

leadership                                   conflict–resolution                            selling/buying

How do the “6 Patterns of Body Organization” support the following movement ideas? 

sequencing and phrasing                  stability/mobillity                adaptability      partnering lifts       

turns                                                 level changes                       off-vertical        aerial dance


Note: The Six Patterns of Total Body Connectivity” is codified by one of my life-long mentors, Peggy Hackney (Making Connections) and based on Irmgard Bartenieff’s (Coping with the Environment) and Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen’s extensive research and practice of “developmental movement patterning.”

YouTube- watch: Feldenkrais Class 1 by Baby Liv: Rolling

bottom of page