In this blog, Olena writes about diversity, curiousity and mindfulness. Three principles you can apply to the learning space of your movement practice.
When you bring curiousity and mindfulness to your movement practice, you stop being a passive participant and instead take an active role and responsibility for how you move and feel. The value of this is gold as the insight you gain then translates from your practice into your everyday movement. And frankly, that's really where it counts because you spend a fraction of your time doing a 'practice' and most of your time just living and being in your environment.
Mindfulness is paying attention to your experience in each moment. In our short attention span, multiple distraction culture, paying attention for any length of time is a challenge. But being present results in more effective exercise and a calmer mind. It's why practices like yoga and Tai Chi work so well; moving with your breath helps keep your mind focused.
Being curious about how your body moves can help sustain attention. Rather than moving 'mindlessly' you can feel how subtle changes make your movement stronger, more stable or fluid. And as you feel your experience in each moment, you are increasing your interoceptive and proprioceptive awareness. This means you move more efficiently, are better able to adapt your practice to meet your body's needs and feel more connected to your body.
As humans, our evolution has not kept up with the environment that we've engineered which, if you look at the research, has many downsides for our bodies and minds. Sure it is convenient, with many tasks that would have taken up most of our time such as finding food, now simply requiring a drive to the nearest supermarket. Many of our daily tasks are automated and a lot of our time is spent sitting, as in slouching in chairs. Bringing diversity into your movement practice is a great way to give your body what it craves.
As well as setting up my work and home space to enable diversity, I do yoga, corrective exercises, natural movement and pop into the Strength & Rehab Centre. Always curious, I recently introduced weekly Barre and Pilates classes to give me a new perspective on how my body moves.
Dancer was on my 'what I want to be when I grow up' list. I never did ballet lessons and you certainly don't need to have any dance experience for this class. Hayley's Barre classes are very much done at the barre with weighted balls and resistance bands thrown in for challenge.
I love Barre for the hip and leg work and the attention it brings to my back. I am prone to slumping over my laptop like anyone else and after this class I feel myself standing tall again.
Curiousity and mindfulness? Exploring the relationship between core stability with moving legs and arms. Embodying strength and grace. Try it out for yourself.
I got Pilates, I just never enjoyed it. Until now. I've been doing Danile's Friday evening class. Taught as Classical Pilates, I'm intrigued by the subtle differences between this and the yoga and natural movement I normally do. Particularly how the abdominal muscles are so firmly engaged throughout. Evolving from Joseph Pilates' 'Contrology' method, the emphasis is on control and that's the familiar territory for me of proprioception, interoception and motor skill.
Curiousity and mindfulness? Exploring the relationship between pelvis, ribcage and shoulder blades as a whole, dynamic core. Embodying control and ease.
What have you discovered about yourself through your movement practice? Join the akarmalife community and share your thoughts on our Facebook page.