What happens in a 'Moving body' or Open Floor movement meditation class?
Each class is different and here are some guidelines that may be helpful for your experience
Barefeet or dance shoes only on the floor. Socks are fine when warming up but please remove them once you start to move around the room. Usually there is someone taking registration, if not please sign in on the sheet at the door so we know who is with us and pay afterwards.
The first half hour of the class is a warm up, a non-guided part of the session, where you can stretch, breathe, move, dance, let go of your day and tune in to yourself and the space. The music will change, different rhythms, different styles and the invitation is to move with it as you feel.
We create an altar space in the room, often based upon the cycles of the seasons and elements of the natural world, and you are welcome to bring objects, photos or something that inspires you and include it there.
After the warm up, we enter into a facilitated journey that we take together, exploring a particular resource or theme that will have been outlined or demonstrated. We follow our breath & movement and find ways to just allow the dance to unfold. This relaxes the mind and supports us to find our own flow.
With any form of meditation it is natural to get ‘stuck’ or distracted. Keep listening for what is moving, a fingertip, a toe tap, elbow, hip, or let yourself be supported by the music or the movement of the other dancers until you find your way back into the dance again.
It is natural and healthy for us to experience different physical, emotional, mental and spiritual states as we move, and a major part of the practice is to notice or engage with what is arising within. Sometimes people have a great dance here and go home to be met with a flood of feelings or deep dreams. Other times we move through various states while on the floor and end lighter, clearer and more awake. The possiblities are endless.
Know that when we invite the body to lead and to move in its own way, it orientates towards states of balance and well being, so any blocks in the way will begin to release. This can be challenging or very uncomfortable at times. All of us, no matter how long we have been practicing moving meditation go through this at times. The dance itself is the healer and the process, and we learn to witness and engage with how we are, allowing the passion, the hesitation, the power, the pain, the tenderness, the shyness, the awakenings. Everything has momentum and shape, see if you can put what is there into motion and watch what happens.
Each class is different, it usually takes about 6 to 8 classes to get a good sense of the embodiment aspect of the practice and to feel a shift. Let us know what the dance brings up for you, we like to hear how you are getting on and are happy to help you with your practice in any way we can.
What if I get tired, stuck or don't feel like moving?
In any meditation practice it's natural to meet places of exhaustion, distraction or resistance. Experiment with keeping something moving to the music, perhaps a finger or a nod of the head, and usually something will shift. If we can stay with what we are with, it gives it space for it to change into something else.
Music can evoke all kinds of different feelings and experiences, so whether you love or dislike or are ambivalent to what is being played, it has a dance or momentum that can be expressed. Sometimes finding ways to move for 3 minutes to music you wouldn't usually listen to builds our capacity for something different, or moving with what we don't like offers a chance to respond honestly or practice fluidity during times when things are happening in life that we aren't enjoying. In other moments releasing yourself to the joy of a track that you love can expand our sense of self, or release restrictions around excitement that may be habitually put in place. The explorations are infinite!
We all go through periods of self consciousness and insecurity - no matter how long we have been practicing or how much experience we have. Its good to stretch yourself, try something different, stay open to exploring and see what happens.
How will I feel after a class or workshop?
It's different for everyone depending on how you are and whats going on for you at the time. Most people report feeling lighter, clearer, more present and more relaxed after a class. Many appreciate having taken time for themselves to let go of stress and open up a little more and to be able to carry their practice out into their relationships, work and daily lives.
Why is it recommended to take a series of classes?
People usually report feeling glad that they committed to a series of classes, as they continued to turn up even when feeling tired or resistant at times, and were surprised by how quickly everything shifted and how much better they felt after it. Alternatively they may find themselves in a place of more acceptance of how they are, whats happening in their lives and what is needed. When we continue to turn up to ourselves, however we are in any given moment, we are creating space for radical change and new experiences to happen.
How is a 'Move into mindfulness' class structured?
The particular needs of the group, setting and organization are taken into consideration and the structure is adapted accordingly, so it can vary from group to group.
The session usually begins with an outline or theme for the class and some simple awareness exercises to bring attention into the moment. We continue the exploration with breath, body awareness, gentle movement and meditations to practice mindfulness and learn ways to focus attention.
What to wear /bring to class?
Loose, comfortable clothes are good, water to drink and a mat/blanket to stretch on for the warm up if you wish.
Bring some curiosity and the possibility of surprising yourself!