Re: So I started the solo exercises...
Well, I think you need some basic exercises with "shapes" that help stretch and amplify the connections you are trying to train, at least initially - since those connections aren't very strong and need to be conditioned over time. Once you've made some headway in that area, I think you can do more of the "intent driven" work. Best case, you have some simple iterative/feedback/loop exercises that don't require a lot of gross movement, but then train the desired fundamentals and can be applied in progressively less constrained paradigms.
The disconnect, I think is that people put too much value in the "exercise as technique" as opposed to the exercise being a way to trick the body into moving a different way (at which point the mind should be smart enough to go "aha!! something's afoot!" and then chase the hell out of that feeling).