Tag Archives: Strength

Touch. Move. Feel. Move. Magic in Relationship. 2

Stone Arch

Close to the end of Saturday’s class we went down to the floor (or deck as the case was), the Five Sensations showed up and we danced through each, separately, paying attention to the art of being in relationship with each.

Sensation of Strength – felt as tension; muscle wrapping – energy packing around bones; push-pull. Energy that is felt as contained and sustained. High energy output.

Flexibility – energy moving out along the bones; directional: extension, flexion, rotation; creating more volume and space around joints. Less energy output than strength.

Agility – the sensation of “start and stop”; distinct in beginning and end; clear, intentional, deliberate, decisive. Variety of speed.

Mobility – sensation of continuous movement; like Goldie Locks said, “Not too hard, not too soft – it’s just right!” Sensing a balance of strength and relaxation as you move.

Stability – “I choose to be here in space!”  Relaxed without collapse, Energy moving in and out from all directions. An energetically harmonious combination of strength, agility, mobility and flexibility.

How do I sense the relationship between my bones and joints through the sensation of strength? Flexibility? Agility? Mobility? Stability? How does agility affect the relationship between my spine and the music?

How does mobility in my pelvis affect the relationship between my feet and stability?

In what way is my head in relationship with my movement? With the rest of my body? With sensation? How does where I put or how I hold my head influence each sensation in turn?

Are my attitudes and beliefs the same, after moving as they were when I began?

How has my mental energy been affected by this dance?

Connected in another way is moving what I sense and pattern (put movements together into patterns and into music), in relationship with only the music and my body as a compass. (“Only” speaking to the the fact that I have no students through whom to receive feedback.) I’ll save that for another post…

As exploration, to discover the answers to the questions I’ve posed I could not rely on my mental or thinking self. This had to be a physically experiential exploration. Only through my body could I receive this information. My mind later processes my experience into words and images, but not until my body and brain have the material for my mind to “convert” into the type of information I’m sharing with you now.

What are the possible benefits to this experiment?

Stimulates the body-mind connection.

Mind: Squishy Pig:  Light, Soft, well – Squishy, Bumpy, Jiggly


Body: Sensations of Light, Soft, Squishy, Bumpy and Jiggly in my body.

= Connection

It has expanded my movement vocabulary.

Moving like a “string of pearls” gave me a concrete example of how connecting the dots (one movement into the next) looks and feels in my hands.

It interrupted my movement habits.

“Tried and true” increases the potential for overuse injuries and is not the stimulation my brain (and yours) needs to stave off premature decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s.

It stimulated my imagination.

How does Squishy Pig move?!

It made me giggle, which helped to encourage relaxation.


The ability of my brain (and yours) to change, physically, in response to stimulation (new stuff! how do I do this?) and activity (dance – considered one of the best ways to keep body and brain healthy).


Body-Mind Connection

New Moves

Awareness of old ways of movement


Brain Games

(For more information on the Five Sensations, click on For You,  then Learn and Five Sensations and the Art of Sensing.)

Pelvic Floor Firing and Wide Stances

Dancing Under a Pink and Purple Sky

What’s the connection?

Foot placement affects muscle firing sequence.

What difference does one make to the other?

Different foot positions affect the communication between body and brain. A Closed stance will signal muscles to fire in a particular sequence, while an Stance or Sumo stance will stimulate another firing sequence that tends to bypass the pelvic floor muscles.

What is the relationship within Strength, Agility, Flexibility, Mobility and Stability?

We’re tapping into the wisdom and intelligence of the human body; what the body is designed to do and will do unless there is interference.

I did an experiment to find out for myself what, if any difference, playing this information makes. To read about what I discovered, come and visit my site, click on Body Blog and Pelvic Floor Firing & Wide Stances.

Floor Play – Playing with Mobility

This morning’s focus for class was Systemic Integration which is just another way to say ‘moving all your parts as though they’re connected’.

My classes at the Indian Boundary YMCA are in the Fieldhouse – on the basketball courts. This affords us alot of space in which to move.

We began on the floor at one end of the courts using the song One Good Dub. With a piece of music that’s 8 minutes and 15 seconds in length, we had plenty of time to roll, wiggle, shift, undulate, rock, push, pull, ooze, and reach our way to the other end. Before the song was over, we got to our feet and continued to move – in the same way.

I love Floor Play. I love the floor – particularly wood floors and I spend quite a bit of time on the floor in and out of class. I am a devoted student and child of Floor play. My body tells me that the possibilities for fitness, wellness and overall functionality are greater than I’m taking advantage of.

We are built to move on the floor.

The fact that many people over 50 struggle and many over 60 “can’t” is not due to our design. It is due to our culture.

First, we’re an either/or culture. We are conditioned to believe that we only have 2 choices – yes no, black white, creative or not creative, athlete or non-athlete, smart or not smart, dancer non-dancer, strong weak, masculine feminine, young old, red or yellow. Really? Nothing in between? Dance professionally or go home?!?! Create a da Vinci or put away your art supplies!

Each of us is a remarkable blend of traits, characteristics, strengths, and works-in-progress. How does this get back around to Floor Play? Culture took us off the floor and sat us in chairs and other pieces of furniture that doesn’t truly honor our body design. Culture told us that only children sit and play on the floor – and either/or – I am a child and I can sit and play on the floor or I am an adult and I do not. Once deemed an “adult” I begin the slow painful journey to certain loss of mobility and potential illness as a result of poor circulation (since muscles contraction is often directly responsible for blood moving through veins)

I’m very, very fond of the color orange and I think I’ll be an adult who sits and plays on the floor.

I received information through my body during Floor Play today that I had not received this way before. The contrast of moving up on my feet had never been quit so stark. So stark that I guided the class back down to the floor. I felt limited on my feet. I have felt vertical limitation before, as a relatively normal human managing the affects of gravity. I’m not a gymnast or acrobat for Cirque de Soleil so I have some pretty distinct limitations. It was my awareness and sense of my body moving through the usual space that was different.

Floor Play definitely feeds what I do on my feet. If I did not have the relationship with the Earth that I do, I would not be the mover I am on my feet.

Moving on the floor takes a different awareness, perhaps a shift in awareness. My feet are no longer the foundation from which I am moving. This changes how I am in relationship with all of my body parts. When I am on my feet, my feet and legs are under me, my femurs/thighbones suspended from my hip joints and my shin bones (tibia and fibula) rise out of my ankles toward my knee joints. On the floor the relation-ship changes. My leg bones are resting on the earth. The muscles that surround, support and are responsible for vertical leg function now have to adapt. It isn’t strength that is needed for walking, it’s flexibility as muscles are stretched. To create strength requires that I think of my relation-ship with gravity in a different way.

Now my pelvis may be my new foundation, or my hands or perhaps my spine.

After a few minutes, I rediscovered the comfort of moving on my feet and the momentary awkwardness gone.

More deeply I wonder about the correlation between the social expectations of being permanently vertical, our waning relationship with the Earth and the tendency of ours to disconnect mind from body. Considerations for another post…

We began on the Earth and to lose the sense of the Earth as our foundation is to lose ourselves and our ability to move freely on our feet.