Throughout my whole life, it seems as if I have been on a mission to improve myself. I started dancing when I was five years old and continued professional training throughout high school and college. I worked hard at it--always in the studio--stretching, bending, and practicing. I was stumped, however, at how technique came so easily to those who seemed to never work hard.
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"You want me to what???" The instructor repeats, "Scoop in the abs, slide your ribs down the front of you, shoulder blades down the back of you and BREATHE." Little did I realize, that was only the preparation for the hour that followed. We moved from one exercise to the next at what felt like lightning speed. Some had fairly straightforward names like the Roll Up and Spine Stretch Forward, others like the Swan Dive, Saw, and Seal Puppy did not hint at what the position or purpose might be. Who were all these people around me with great bodies and how did they know what â€œgoing into the Hundredsâ€ meant?
For eight years I have been studying and practicing Pilates mat work, learning the movements and the form, enjoying the process of making shapes and keeping the pace with the counting. At the same time, I wondered how this work could fit into my Feldenkrais thinking. In class, I found I was focusing on obeying the teacher and getting it right. While practicing on my own, I allowed myself to be more playful and spent time feeling the movement from within.