Hello sweet explorers!
I loved last week's focus so very much. I can't wait to see where pt. 2 takes us this week.
Last week, we sensed our movement habits and explored around them to experience the full range of our comfort zone. This week, we're going to expand on that.
We'll connect with, explore, and sense our full comfort zone. Where are the edges today?
We'll focus on maintaining our full comfort zones (so that they don't shrink).
We'll exercise our "full range" (as much as is possible in 50 minutes of dancing, that is) in order to keep our entire comfort zone (and body, and self) available, fluid, energized.
Why maintain a comfort zone?
Our comfort zones - like us - are not static. They are fluid and ever-changing. They expand and contract with us over time, based on what we do, and who we become as we dance through life.
What I mean by maintain is give them attention and care. Use them. Exercise them---fully.
If we stop moving our bodies, our joints will stiffen and lose functioning, our muscles will tighten and weaken, our connective tissue will get all fuzzed up. The same goes for comfort zones. Like the tissues of our body, if we don’t use/maintain them, our comfort zones will tend to atrophy. We'll have fewer options available to us. We'll be less comfortable in our movements and life.
For example, is there anything you're no longer comfortable doing simply because you haven't done it in a long time?
The key to comfort zone maintenance?
So what can we do?
Keep doing things. Keep moving through your full comfort zone range of motion.
Dance all the way out to your edges. Regularly. Both in class, and outside of class. You’ve heard the saying “use it or lose it.” We can kind of think of it like that. Except that phrase has a bit of a fear-based tone, so maybe we could change it to something more like:
Use it to care for it.
Use it to nourish it.
Use it to celebrate it.
Use it to create with it.
Use it to express with it.
Use it to love it.
However you phrase it... whatever you do... keep doing things to help keep your full range of motion (and range of self-expression) free and energized.
Ways we can experiment with this:
First, notice your habit.
As you dance, notice your movement habit. Sense the ways in which you move that are automatic. The size, direction, height, amount of intensity, etc...
Next, explore the options surrounding your habit.
Sense the full range of comfortable movements available to you. Dance all the way out toward the edges of your comfort zone. See and sense how much wonderful, invigorating variety is available to you, even in the simplest of movements.
Experiment with going both directions from your habit...
In terms of movement, along with the option to move more, bigger, larger, faster than your usual habit, you can also explore going the opposite direction. What if you move smaller? Slower? Less? In life, along with the option of keeping comfortable doing more things... are there also ways you might keep yourself comfortable with "doing less" too? Delicious breaks. Rest days. Relaxation. Non-doing. Ease.
Play with all sorts of spectrums/dimensions...
I've mentioned joint range of motion quite a bit, but we can also explore so many other aspects of our comfort zones as we dance. For example, do you have any habits regarding:
Which directions you travel... Do you go backwards? Do you spin?
How curvy your movements are? Fluid? Strong? Powerful? Sexy? Goofy? Serious?
The intensity or vigorousness of your movements?
Where you position yourself in class?
How closely you move in relationship to others or your zoom camera?
Where your eyes tend to look as you dance?
How you use your voice in class (singing, hi-yahing, sighing, sharing in the circle)?
We can even explore external aspects such as clothing you tend to wear and how you have your hair?
Remember: variety is awesome.
Keep feeding your body (self) as much variety as is comfortable and enjoyable. Nourish your cells, muscles, joints, nervous system, creativity, and authenticity with all kinds of ways of moving and expressing yourself in the world. Keep your full juicy comfort zone deliciously exercised and energized.
Then, go beyond the dance floor...
How might you explore and play with this outside of class? Are there any activities you really want to keep within your comfort zone? Any ways of expressing yourself in the world?
Ready to play?
Oh you guys, I can't wait! Spring is a fantastic time to come out of our wintering shells and stretch out a bit. Already last week, I noticed myself moving in a much larger variety of ways and it all felt so alive, playful, creative, and freeing. I can't wait to see what we discover together this week.
See you soon, friends!