LMA education

Snippet Blog #4 - It Can Do A Backflip, but Can It Hold Down a Desk Job?

I am excited to share this fun article written by one of my classmates in my first Module at the Laban Institute of Movement Studies. Amy is a unique woman, combining her love of dance and robotics to bring a unique perspective to both!

I love how, in this article, she brings to light the complexity of what we think of as the simplest of our everyday human movements - from unsticking a label from itself to choosing how to respond to an inappropriate joke!

She asserts what I too know to be true: you, yes, even you who do a desk job and believe you avoid any sort of exercise or physical activity can make claim to the quite incredible and complex things that you do EVERY day with your body. You are often doing intricate amazing things that you may not yet understand or, often, even value.

I especially love the line "this requires leveraging your full mechanical complexity to indicate shades of approval and disapproval simultaneously." Yes, folks, the way you express yourself is also movement.

Living one’s life as a moving, functional, expressive being requires a set of skills that, for the most part, we developed through responding to biology, reacting to the environment and practicing patterns and conditioning in our every day interactions! And while, like robots, we can simply follow our programming without question, as humans we have the capability of exploring the possibilities beyond what we have learned in the past. As humans, we have the capacity to develop consciously an extensive range of versatile competencies that we can choose to explore, refine and challenge as we live our daily lives fully. Unlike the robot programmed for a specific task, we (and our lives) are complex . You could say that we are “programmed” for growth and change!

We get to choose. Being human means we can be like the robot, adept at functional, repetitive, patterned movement that requires a narrow set of rules and conditions. Or we can be fully complexly human, taking risks, making conscious our habits, exploring the places where we are no longer or not yet competent, playing with options and possibilities! As humans, we have the capacity to continually deepen and expand our expressiveness, our variability, our resilience! Unlike the robot, we always have the option to be curious and to question our “programming”…and sometimes this can mean, simply, taking the time to be curious and to notice what is involved as you pick up a paperclip or negotiate an uncomfortable moment in a conversation.

Snippet Blog Post #2 - Practicing Health as a Daily Act: Seated Constructive Rest

In my cleaning and clearing, I found these two small items that really resonate with power within me. They are just two random pieces of information, like so many, that I collect as I move through my days because they remind me of something important and valuable to me. These small bits reminded me of the thing I desire in my own life and to share with all of you: this knowledge that one can choose to live understanding that each moment is an opportunity to invite health and well-being and to practice rewiring unhealthy patterns, and, likewise, to persist in the practice of patterns that deplete and deprive us of health.

The first piece of information I share with you is a quote from an unknown source:

the energy we expend defending and protecting unhealthy patterns, thoughts, behaviors, attachments could be spent practicing health

Voila! Right on! This energy we have within us is ours to do with as we choose. And yes, we may not have been taught ways to use our life and life-force to live life fully and it may feel like a daunting task to shift how we use our energy, but we can know that we COULD, if we chose to, use our energy to practice health. Yes. Yes. Yes.

The second piece of information is a nicely written essay on the practice of Constructive Rest, which anyone who has been a client of mine in either of my professional worlds should recognize as one of the key daily practices I suggest for supporting one’s health. Constructive Rest is normally done in the semi-supine position, which means lying on one’s back with knees bent and feet placed standing on the floor; however, in this essay she offers the practice with a twist, she outlines the practice of Seated Constructive Rest. Although her intended audience seems to be the harried New Yorker waiting for the subway, I invite you, my Midwestern friends, to enjoy this piece and use it as an inspiration to become more mindful and proactive about how you use your body throughout your day - even and especially if you spend your day seated.

As she says in the article, this is not a substitute for the lying down version or for taking part in other more active movement in your day, but it is an accessible option for you to gently transform possibly unhealthy patterns of posture while just living your every day life!

Practicing seated constructive rest is an opportunity to expend your energy to create more presence, relaxation, alertness and confidence in your day.

And it is yet another easily accessible tool that you can wield in your practice of health if you choose and you can do this one without ever leaving your chair!