New to Awareness Through Movement?
Here are some important guidelines for a pleasant and effective experience.
- Straining is counterproductive. Move within your own personal range of comfort.
- Pain is to be avoided if at all possible. Pain is a signal that what you are doing has the potential for harm.
- Rest whenever you need to, including between each movement. The rests are often where your attention can restore itself, and your image of the movement can be refined. The teacher will indicate periodic rest periods during the lesson, but feel free to claim your own.
- Create a calm pace that allows for your curiosity and patience to be prevail. Mechanical, hurried repetition will only interfere with your learning.
- Develop a clear, internal image of the movements you make. Allow this image to refine the movement, and let your movements inform the image and vice versa.
- Focus on the quality of your movement (your contact with the ground, breathing, whether you're comfortable, curious) and not the quantity (how far/fast you can push yourself). The "no pain, no gain" mindset creates nothing but noise and distraction and will send you back into old habits.
- Stay connected to the ground. Do not let your movements get ahead of or disconnect from the support you generate from the ground.
- Stop, suspend, take time to notice. Whenever your breath is held, your eyes become fixed, and your head stiffens, these are all valuable clues that you are moving beyond out of your range of skill and into willpower. Instead, pause and wait for your willpower to drain away. Create a space for a clearer image for your movement to emerge. Only then proceed.