In this excerpt from a rooftop movement session, Marlo leads a quick sequence to wake up your back musculature. Try these moves to enliven your posture and prepare for deeper stretching. If you have more that three minutes, great! Extend this sequence by performing more repetitions of each exercise -- try each movement for 30 seconds to one minute for even more Flowbility benefits.
If you look at any beginner movement class, you'll see widely-varying degrees of bodily awareness. However, regardless of how someone moves, with a little bit of cueing, anyone can feel if they are in contact with the floor or not.
You don’t need skill or imagination to sense your contact with the floor. You may not be paying attention to it most of the time, but it doesn't require anatomical awareness to grasp what 'weight-bearing' is or to notice which of your parts have the most pressure.
Weight bearing is a constant thing (unless you are temporarily airborne, space traveling, or swimming, you are bearing weight, somehow).
Yet, the details of rolling contacts are rarely zeroed in on outside of higher-level movement environments. But...they could be.
The first is called ‘Bodyfulness’ by Boulder author Christine Caldwell. It’s swelling with information for or anyone who’s ready to look at the how and why of how they move. The author founded the Somatic Counseling program at Naropa University and has been in practice for more than thirty years.
“The body isn’t a thing we have but an experience we are. Bodyfulness is about working toward our potential as a whole human animal that breathes as well as thinks, moves as well as sits still, takes action as well as considers, and exists not because it thinks but because it dances, stretches, bounces, gazes, focuses, and attunes to others.“
Have you been to a dance class that was supposed to be beginner-appropriate or all-levels, but the class progressed in a way that made you want to disappear?
Maybe you had fun the first few minutes when the sequence was short, but then the instructor moved on, and on, and on. With rapidly dwindling confidence, you were left stumbling in the wake of an ever-growing sequence. Perhaps physically you could have done it all, but you needed more time to really 'get it'. It was just too much to remember.
I've been there. In classes and in auditions, I've been there.
You can only stumble around, a count behind everyone else, for so long before you want to shrivel into the corner and become unseen.
When you’re new to a style or form (or even just with a new teacher), learning a lengthy complex piece of choreography (maybe alongside people much younger or more skilled than you) is daunting and often
disheartening. Based on what I've observed, the amount of choreography delivered in many dance classes leaves a LOT of people behind.
In my opinion, if you are still trying to remember the choreo during the last minutes of class, you're missing out on the joy of dancing, the part where the movement starts to carry you and you can transcend who you were when you arrived.
My message is this:
Pumpkin Flow Giveaway:
If you flow with a gourd of your choice between now and Nov 5, I’ll send you a code for $5 off any event or video.
Get busy with you pumpkin and catch it on video.
Post at least 15 seconds on FB or IG and tag #pumpkinflow and @flowmovement
Send us a message on either platform with the link to your video and we will send you your discount code.
Yesterday, I witnessed a group movement experience that I was SO glad I was not a part of.
After a month away and a week of living the truck driver life, I got a month-long pass to a nearby gym. It’s primarily a rock-climbing gym, but they have a weight room upstairs.
This particular gym runs some group conditioning classes inside of the weight room. While I was gleefully doing irreverent things on the back extension bench, a voice came over the loudspeaker letting everyone know that “Body Blast with Mr. Blasty Blast” [ok, not his real name] was starting soon. I thought, “Oh nice, I’ll get to see if I would ever want to join the class.” Consensus:
OH NO, I WILL NOT FUCKING EVER. (Unless you pay me. I’d consider it if money were involved.)
Have you ever noticed how much a dose of movement impacts your mood?
If you've been sitting down all day and you go outside for a walk, you are likely to feel better. I know I do. However, if you go to a practice session with unreasonably lofty expectations ('I'm gonna do this hard thing I saw and it'll be perfect, just like that Instagram video'), you probably won't leave feeling like a winner. And if you're not skilled at overriding and reframing your own nay-saying... you might not walk away feeling vibrant.
You've likely heard of the research which confirms that exercise is mood boosting (it's usually accompanied by a stock image of people in bright-colors faux-grinning on a jog). While movement does provoke chemical changes that make you feel nice, your approach can amplify the positive after-effects or knock them right out of you.
Did you know I spent decades of my life *wishing* I had the courage to be fully IN my dance?
Until my mid-twenties, I did the majority of my ‘dancing’ as a student in dance classes. As I learned and reviewed, I pushed myself, but I arely felt the dance was emanating from my body in a truthful way.
In an attempt to feel more connected to my movement, I would remind myself of how much I love to dance. I would repeat versions of the phrase, "You want this, you live for this, don’t let this opportunity slip by."