Flow Movement

Less Choreography, More Dance

Less Choreography, More Dance

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:

DIY Pillows

DIY Pillows

Pillows. In our culture, they’re viewed as necessary bed-time equipment. Along with sheets and blankets, pillows are so strongly associated with sleep that the idea of foregoing one seems unrefined or ‘strange’ to many people.

This post is intended to raise awareness about how pillow use-habits can contribute to neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, tension, etc., and offer some DIY solutions.

We all want to move better, feel better, and get injured less easily, right? Well, looking at how you sleep might make a difference in how you’re moving and feeling the rest of the time. 

F.R.E.E. Intro to Flowbility™ Class on Qinetic's New App!

F.R.E.E. Intro to Flowbility™ Class on Qinetic's New App!

I filmed a 30-minute "Intro to Flowbility™" class and some tips last week for Qinetic. The class is already up on their new app and it's F.R.E.E. Check it out here: https://appsto.re/us/R0aZ_.i

For the video seen here: I believe functional warm-ups can be creative and fun. Try the exercise seen on this tip. Remember to move slowly; try holding the most distant position for three full seconds then make a smooth transition to your next hand or foot placement.

It's a Wrap! #FFTT

It's a Wrap! #FFTT

I woke up with my mind swirling from the memories of this weekend. I am proud of your accomplishment, honored you chose to train with me and totally inspired by your creativity. You did it! You are the first ever group of Floor Flow trainees. With much love and gratitude, thank you. I can't wait to see you all inspire others with your new ideas.

The Sit-to-Stand Challange

The sit-to-stand test received a lot of publicity in 2014. If you missed it, a Brazilian Study found that the ability to get off the floor without hands was a major predictor of longevity (as in, your life will probably be shorter if you struggle to get off the floor.)

Luckily, it's becoming common knowledge that if we sit (or remain in one position) for hours on end each day, our muscular system stops working for us the way it should. Here's the thing: difficulties in getting up from the floor or even a chair are not limited to older populations; it's a young people problem too, and that's scary. 

Do you ever catch yourself placing a hand on your thigh to get off the floor? Do you use the armrests of your chair to stand? Do you sit by falling, and rise with a heave-ho? If you answered yes (recent injuries aside), you are not using your musculoskeletal system optimally. 

Here is a video of a young woman performing the traditional test:

Now here is the fun part:


The Flow Movement® Sit-to-Stand Challenge!


First, find a song you love. Then lay down, flat on your back.  Slowly come to stand without using your hands or knees on the floor. After you stand, find your way back down with total control, still without your arms. You can move them in space, but you cannot use them to push off the floor or place them your own body to rise. Find as many ways as possible to do this challenge. Gradually, increase your speed to make things interesting…but NO HANDS. 

Post an an edited video on Instagram (you have 60 seconds now for videos, so no holding back!) or Facebook of your favorite ‘get up with no hands and no knees’  flow for a chance to win a free bundle of Flow Movement® videos.  Make sure to tag both #flowmovement and #fmsit2stand so we see your video.  We'll pick a winner for May on May 31, 2016.

Here are two of my favorite no hands ways to get up:

Training at Luna Salada Hotel de Sal

When you are in remote Bolivia, you either eat, spend time on the salt, or work it out in the hotel bar. I did lots of each....here are some moments form my training in the only room with a wood floor in an otherwise completely salt-made hotel.

Filmed at Luna Salada Hotel de Sal.

December Movement Explorations: Basic Pattern Play

1.  Choose three breathy songs with minimal lyrics.
     (Suggestions from the December Playlist are listed below.)

2.  Assume one of the following positions: seated, supine (laying on your back) with feet on the floor (start of a hip bridge), quadrupedal (all fours), or sitting on your heels.

3.  Practice breathing at a slow comfortable pace.

4. Then, follow the rhythm of the music as you...

Arch and Curl / Expand and Contract 

archandcurl
flowmovement
 

As you move through the song, focus on moving from your pelvis. Gradually, incorporate body parts you didn’t incorporate before: use your head, your arms, your fingers, and toes. Emphasize the lengthening on the front side of your body as the back side shortens -- and vice versa. When you find spots that offer more resistance, explore them more. 

Can you curl so small it is barely visible?  Can you make it bigger than you believed it could be? 

Song suggestions:
Track #3 - Kareful, "Backwards" 
Track #4 - Ash Walker featuring Zeb Samuels, "Blue Veins"

 

5. Either remain in that position, or change positions for the next song as you...

Side Bend / Side Rock / Side Sway

flowmovement
swayflowmovement
 

Isolate the movement to one part of the body; sway the hips, arms, or head as the rest of the body rests. Then gradually, move your head and pelvis together in a side bend. Swish to the other side...like a snake or a cloth in the breeze. Work out the kinks as you follow your breath.

Song suggestions:
Track 5 - Handbook, "Sixteen Lights"
Track 6 - George Fitzgerald, "Full Circle" featuring Boxed In (Bonobo Remix)

 

6. Finally, 

Circle / Stir

hipsflowmovement
circular flow movement
 

for the entirety of the third song. 

Can you do it only with the thighs, the head, or the hands? Feel the floor beneath you and the space around you as your circles become strong and continuous.  Reverse your circle and see what it offers.

Song suggestions:
Track 7 - Bluetech, "Phoenix Rising"
Track 8 - OBESØN, "Friend To An Enemy [NEST HQ Premiere] 

 

Do these movement explorations however you interpret them. 

 

As you repeat the patterns over and over again, you may drift into new positions. This is ok!

Focus on moving as a result of your breath. Begin small, subtle and easy. Gradually express full range of motion as you move.

There are no wrong answers, as it is an exploration. You think you look weird? Great, you are doing it right. Keep going. You feel sexy? Fantastic, exactly. You feel stiff? Beautiful, move through that.

Heightened focus brings greater results, so focus IN, and feel the space around you.

Enjoy, and share your discoveries....

 

Shushing the Shoulds...

All up in my Kindle at the Denver airport

All up in my Kindle at the Denver airport

I usually read full books, but out of curiosity I read the 15 min summary of the "Motivation Manifesto" by Brendon Burchard. I will never go for a summary over the experience of reading the book again. I felt like I was cheating on the author. Plus, similar to someone telling you about how good a class was, secondhand info can never replace what you may have learned from having the experience yourself. 

Anyway, that’s not what I am writing about, there was a quote in there that struck a cord....

"Waiting for the perfect day to initiate change is essentially the same as choosing never to start, because perfect opportunities are so few and far between.”

If you keep hearing yourself say “I should …..,” either take steps to make it happen ASAP, or have an honest talk with yourself about why that thing is not actually very important. It will probably never be done. 

Harsh? maybe.  But I’m here to fuel your fire. 

You are probably subscribed to Flow Movement because you are interested in moving better.  Perfect, I can help with that. But first, in what ways do you let opportunities for movement improvement pass you by?

Take a minute to think it over. 

Movement improvement can happen at any time -- not just during designated training times. 

Here are a few tiny things you can do NOW

(and over and over again/always) to improve your movement quality:

**Place one hand on your belly and one on the center of your chest. Check in with your breath. If you do not feel your abdomen move for the first 2/3 of your inhalation, and the chest for the last third, try to relax your airways and allow natural, three dimensional breath movement to happen.  Go for belly expansion with a soft chest and throat. 

**Check in with the alignment of your head.  You are reading this, but how are you holding yourself while reading this? Chronic forward head posture is a major stressor to your musical-skeletal system with repercussions ranging from chronic pain to lack of flexibility/strength and even negative emotions.  It’s worthwhile for you to become conscious of the relationship between your head and shoulders.

**Immediately after reading this go to the closest wall or floor and have two minutes of you time. Breathe, stretch, and explore.  Scan your body for muscles that could use some blood flow and pump them up.  Focus on what you feel.  Stay with what needs more attention. 

Short on ideas? I don’t believe that -- you have made it this far....Start with anything: move your head, your pelvis; squeeze your glutes; make yourself long. If you still need help, check out some videos HERE.