● 1) Be Curious
When we are curious our minds are like that of a child – open and ready to learn. We can experience the childlike enthusiasm about seemingly simple things. When we are curious we are more apt to allow ourselves to imagine – our creativity can excavate our deeper potential.
Variation is food for the brain. When we are curious we are more likely to deviate from our habits and try new things. Our brain gets the information it needs to create new possibilities in thought, behavior and action.
● 2) Go Slowly
Time is an important tool for learning. We need time to clearly asses ourselves and understand not only what to move, but how to move.
Easy and efficient movement is found when we move away from strain, parasitic action or exertion. We need time to learn where we are holding unnecessarily and it is impossible to learn in a rush. Fast action at the beginning of learning creates strain and confusion and makes learning unpleasant.
Imagine you were sprinting down a street, all you could see would be what is immediately in front of you. Whereas, if you were taking a leisurely stroll you would be able to take in your surroundings, hear the sounds, smell the scents and see the colors and textures around you.
● 3) Embrace Subtlety
Intensity negates sensitivity. The objective of Somatic Movement is to refine our ability to listen for -then to – sensations, feelings and thoughts. If we listen to the loud banging of strong, powerful movements, we are unable to hear the whisper of subtle sensation.
If we were to carry a heavy box and a butterfly landed on it, we would be unaware of the butterfly. If we are holding a feather and a butterfly lands on it, it’s subtle presence could be felt.
When you practice Somatic Movement, periodically do less than you can, make movements smaller, sometimes even stop completely and simply imagine the movement.
● 4) Enjoy Yourself
Pleasure relaxes our breathing and relaxed breathing is pleasurable! Pleasurable feeling is fertile soil for cultivating self-discovery.
● 5) Don’t Set Goals
When our movements become driven by achievement our ability to remain curious about learning and connected to easy, non-purposeful movement is disabled. A striving mind is not a relaxed mind.
When we are focused on achieving something we often begin repeating the same actions with greater force.
● 6) Embrace Your Own Movement Style
Grace and fluidity will develop naturally as our nervous system improves how it organizes itself.
Focusing on the appearance of the movement will take us out of the actual experience
● 7) Be Easy
When we focus hard and singularly it can produce excessive effort and/or can impede easeful breathing and create tension.
Let attention be easeful, sweeping and light
If you are unable to detect any kind of change or improvement in a movement remember that the objective is first and foremost improving our awareness. Seeing that we cannot see is still seeing!
● 8) Pause
When we take small rests between movements or variations we give our mind a break.
For most people engaged in any kind of learning, if we attempt to consume too much information too quickly we get oversaturated and are unable to retain.
Savor the rare opportunity to do a movement and then be able to listen for its influence. The pause is when our nervous system registers the changes and learning.
● 9) Make Friends With Your Monkey Mind
Practice being patient and kind with yourself (as you would a friend or a child) by observing the fluctuations of your mind.
Somatic Movement is an opportunity to LEARN HOW YOU LEARN.
Listen to when you get distracted, bored or check out. When do you get frustrated or agitated and when do you feel clear, comfortable and at ease?