I challenge myself to Move every day different from the day before. I find this helps me to keep the body young and the mind motivated to keep going. Some days I may wake and crave the dance. Others I crave the yoga. There are days when all I crave is to move towards that wonderful cup of coffee and just sit. To me, simplicity is the best form of movement especially for creating.
Artistically speaking, I can find movement within every day activities, words, and even stillness. I always say to my movement students the beauty behind the dance is not moving at all. As a dancer and artist, being still is sometimes the most complicated place to be. It is a skill that needs to be found to master the stage, our audience, and to be more comfortable with ourselves. Finding and connecting to the stillness will help us to understand what our bodies need and crave. Once we are still we will connect to our purest Movements. In return, we will see all the dancing and all the movements we do on a regular basis in our everyday activities without even hitting our mats or diving into center work. Our stories and wanting within our bodies will naturally unfold before us through movement.
The title for this blog “How do you see Movement?” came to me after watching a random commercial where people were walking down the street and breaking into their own craving movements. I thought to myself wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could allow our bodies to speak through movement in this way on a regular basis. If every day when you decided to walk out of your house you broke into movement to express how you were feeling. Some days it may represent anger and other days it may express complete joy. The body through movement would help us to accept the given emotion that our mind was holding on too.
The commercial showed all different people from all walks of life embracing their movements from the beginning to the end of their day. Some were at work, home, or play by themselves or surrounded by community and friends. I truly felt happiness after viewing this commercial. I do not recall the name of the commercial or how long ago it was on air. But, I vividly remember the creativity that sparked inside of me from seeing everyday people move and connect to their own pure movements in this simplistic filming. I started asking myself “How do you see Movement?”
I knew Movement for me was not only hitting my mat or dancing a piece of choreography. Movement to Me is my breath, my voice, my body releasing up, down, standing still and embracing the feeling of flying even if you are only thinking about the next passage of steps. I try to share my vision of Movement with all people who come into my space. The more I can share my vision of movement with others the more we will be dancing our own dance in our everyday lives. We will not necessarily need the stage or the theater to tell our movement stories. We will learn to express the movement through walking, talking, smiling, and all other pure natural movements that are given to us.
The question “How do I see Movement?” changed my daily focus on my personal practice and for my clients’ practices. For a couple of weeks, I started to notice how my body craved certain yoga/Pilates/or dance practices. I started to notice how my clients would ask for specific postures at given times throughout our practice sessions together. I started to embrace what my body was asking from practice and going with the flow on the days it was telling me to focus only on that craving. I did the same with my clients and shifted the personal practices when I needed too. Following this craving of movement is similar to giving into a rich piece of dark chocolate. There are many emotional and physical rewards to embracing Movement in a different light from a boost in confidence, connection to others, trusting, warmth, joy, and understanding of what Movement can give to us all.
This is my practice for today after reflecting on “How do you see Movement?” I hope this practice inspires you all to incorporate all different movements into your daily practices and life. Listen to your heart, if it is telling you to dance or to be a yogi then embrace it in the studio environment and out. Listen to your heart, if it is telling you to run like you never ran before then go and fight the long miles ahead. And most importantly, listen to your heart, when it is asking to be still. Be still for the endless discoveries before you in Life and in our given question “How do you see Movement?”
Sun Salutations with Directional Changes
Come to the top of your mat for Sun Salutation set 1 and flow through the movement with a fluid and slow circle of breath. Sun Salutation set 2 changes your direction to face the other side or the back side of your mat for this sequence. Set 3 of Sun Salutation will face in same direction as set 1. Set 4 of Sun Salutation will face in the same direction as set 2.
Grand Plies in 2nd and 5th Position
Find 2nd position and release into two grand plies with arms in high open 5th position. You will then shift your weight to find 5th position with right leg in front. Take two grand plies in 5th position with arms in high open 5th position. Repeat the grand plies in 5th on the left side. You will then repeat the entire sequence one more time. Try to keep arms in high open 5th for the entire conditioning sequence of 2 sets.
Releves in 1st and 2nd Position
Find 1st position and take plie releves for 8 counts. You will place arms in a 2nd position with palms facing down for the entire sequence. Tendu to 2nd position and repeat plie releves for 8 counts in 2nd. Repeat 2 sets.
Warrior I Flow
Step back to Warrior I and clasp hands in front of you and carry them over your head to high 5th position. You can drop your chin into your chest to release the back of your neck once your arms are over head. This Warrior I flow sequence will take 8 counts. Step forward to Mountain and repeat Warrior I flow for 8 counts on the left side. This sequence of Warrior I Flow can be repeated for 6 sets.
Leg Swings with Chasse
Find 1st position and tendu your right leg back. Bring awareness to your spine and abdominal core. Brush your right leg forward and backwards into small attitude leg swings for 8 counts. On the 8th count, shift your weight forward into a Chasse and then repeat the entire sequence to the left side. Repeat 2 sets.
Coupe Attitude Pulses
Find coupe back position with your right leg. We will be using a flexed foot in the coupe position. You will then lift the right leg from coupe back to a small attitude position of 45 degrees and release. Once you are comfortable with your balance, try to pick up the tempo and create a small bounce/pulse with the leg in this sequence for 16 counts. Repeat on the left side and for one more set on each side.
Dancer Posture with Sun Salutation Directional Changes
Stand at the top of your mat and find Mountain. You will then carry the right leg back into Dancer Pose for a flow of 6 counts. Release the right leg down to Mountain and repeat the 6 counts of flow with Dancer Pose on the left side. Change your direction to face the back side of your mat and come into a Sun Salutation Sequence for 2 sets. Return back to the front or top of your mat to repeat Dancer Posture with Flow on Left and Right side. Change direction once again to repeat Sun Salutation for 2 sets.
Battements with Forward Fold and Yoga Toe Lock
Stand in 1st position with arms in high open 5th. Battement with right leg 6xs to the front and then repeat to the back. Turn to parallel position and fall into Forward Fold with Yoga Toe Lock Posture for 4 breathes. Recover and return to 1st position to repeat sequence on the left side.
Sautés in 1st, Parallel 6th position, and alternating to coupe
In 1st position and parallel 6th you will take 8 counts of sautés in each position. Then as if you are prancing, you will shift into small alternating coupe sautés with right and left leg for 16 counts. Repeat the sequence for 2-3 sets.
Upper Body Swings with Jumps and Walking Patterns
Find parallel 6th position at the top of your mat with arms in high open 5th. Drop into 6 upper body swings and release into a small jump at the bottom of each swing. After 6 upper body swings recover and walk to your right in a small circle and then to your left in a small circle. Repeat the walking patterns to the right and left 2 more times increasing the size of the circle with each walking pattern. Repeat the entire sequence for 2 sets.
This blog is written and created by Lindsay Schaefer. For more information on Movement for You, A Way of Life Practice or Artists in Unity please visit the following sites.