Hello my friends,
One of my students came for his lesson this morning.
I asked how he’s feeling. His reply was the same as always:
He said a new project began and he’s stressed.
He hasn’t danced AT ALL in awhile.
He’s been coming for a good couple of years, not too often, but very regularly.
I wonder, sometimes, why he continues to come.
Clearly, it is his choice. He gets aches and pains as we all do, but it doesn’t seem to be the deeper reason.
In the end, I think he comes here to get back into his body.
I suspect that he gets stressed and OUT of his body as a result. Mind and body separate and that feels very uncomfortable. It is dissonant with our Beingness.
I believe this work helps him ground back into the reality of his physical being. His psyche feels better, and his psycho-physical unity is renewed.
Our lives today are coupled with technology and distant from the physical efforts of a farming life, a weaver’s life, even of a walking life to go anywhere at all.
We get inside our heads when we first open our eyes and think of work. Sometimes we don’t come out for hours at a time. It is a basic disconnect from our own Aliveness.
In the lesson, I remind him…
…That he can connect to the place of freedom where your head sits on the end of your spine.
…Notice you can be present in the center, in the middle of your head.
…From there you can notice your toes, but you can keep awareness up in the center of your head.
I suspect we turn off our senses…we tune them down, tune them out, and tune in instead, to our anxious and worried thoughts.
We stop using our EYES. We tend – I tend – to glaze over when I’m stressed. I’m thinking, but mostly future thoughts and ‘what ifs’ that are not pleasant – and I’m not really looking OUT of my eyes when I’m stressed.
Alexander Technique helps, by reconnecting IN THE MOMENT, in the NOW, to the body.
If you were in my studio, I’d say
…Use your eyes to LOOK at something. See the colors of the tree, the red flowers on the pepper tree, the grays and whites in the clouds, the shades of yellows and browns in the wood floor…
…Think of the space around you. Above you. Behind you.
…Let a little space be inside your own head. There is space inside us, and I think there’s more space than we usually allow ourselves to notice.
…Now look forward to the street and look across the street to the two houses facing us. Let your eyes follow the flagstone path that wanders in a crooked way between the houses. See the colors and textures of stone, stucco and wood.
Getting present in the body is about being in the Now.
One friend told me she thinks I’m most present when I dance.
I’m thinking of my body with an inner awareness.
Thinking to myself to move in certain ways, noticing the connection with my partner and again, moment by moment, adjusting.
Thinking of the space around me on the floor, and of the other couples also moving on the floor. Very in the moment, and focused on creating movement now and now and Now again.
It is always a journey of consciousness. I’m always working to be more aware, more alert, more AWAKE. Being in the Now.
Using the awareness fostered through Alexander Technique* and applying it to dance.
Applying it to being here NOW, living in my body – THIS one – right NOW.
There is Joy there.
*Alexander Technique (AT) is about connecting thought and muscular activity. It increases your body awareness and gives you the power to change how you do, what you do, as you do it.