Listening and Responding

Daily Movement Prompts, Sunday December 4, 2016 edition: Listening and Responding

I often start any introductory bellydance class of mine with this explanation: “I am *NOT* a medically trained professional. Please do not make me stop this class to *TAKE* you to a medically trained professional.” We laugh, but this is very true: YOU are the only person who can hear what your body is saying. Have you listened to it yet today?

When I start the stretching portion of our warm-up, the first thing I ask my dancers to do is to move their body in some stretch that their body is asking for. And everyone does something different (bending at the waist, lifting arms, leaning to each side, lifting and bending their knees, sitting down and stretching their legs). There is just a moment of everyone listening to their OWN body and responding to it in kind. Of course, then we all come back together for a warm-up that is shared and builds up from our feet to the tops of our heads. But we open with personal choice, personal awareness.

Today is a completely fresh day. Yes, our past has influenced us to get to this place. And tomorrow will be built on today. You have today and you have an opportunity to choose your movement and your rest (within the boundaries of all the demands on your day and your current state of abilities). What movement appeals to you today? When you really *listen* to your body, how does it suggest you respond? Today, I’d like to suggest that you take a moment (whether that is literally only one minute of your day or even just the length of one song) and stretch and move and listen to the feedback you get from your feet, ankles, knees, quads, hips, torso, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, back, and neck. Consider what your goals for movement might be and how you could respond, step one, today.