5Rhythms Friday: Progress

I feel like I’m rehabilitating. Or like I’m coming out of a really dark, unbalanced period and finding my bearings again. Or something. And I’ve made real progress this week, thank goodness. Here’s what’s going on:

-I’ve instituted a daily 10-minute movement routine in the mornings. It’s 4 minutes of the 13 Joint exercise from Nia followed by 6 (or more) minutes of yoga. Hey, I haven’t been moving at all since I *ping*ed my ankle last month, so this is a VAST improvement. I find I can get toddler-cooperation so long as a) I do NOT put on music (he’s currently VERY anti-Mummy-Dancing, which is not cool) and b) I set a timer and promise to play with/read to him afterward. It’s making a huge difference in how my body feels. Next week I’m upping my time to 15 minutes and we’ll see how that goes. And someday soon I’m going to re-institute a daily 5Rhythms practice, since that went out the window with the ouchy leg. I can’t wait!

(The kid used to dance with me! I don’t know what the problem is!)

-In keeping with my Lifechanging Discovery from last week, I am working very hard to keep my legs relaxed as much as I can (hehe…that sounds like an oxymoron, but I’m working mentally to remember to relax them). I’m also (and this is HUGE) making a point of standing and walking with my toes pointing forward instead of my usual automatic dancer-walk (yes, even after 10 mostly-ballet-free years). Oh. My. God. Dear readers, if you have a dancer walk I cannot urge you strongly enough to DITCH it. It feels amazing. My feet feel grounded, my legs feel powerful, and my hips don’t twinge when I walk any more. Such a huge difference from such a little thing. Try it.

(See? Toes pointed forward, knees soft. Xander’s got this down pat.)

-And, finally, I am THRILLED to announce that for the first time in 3 years I managed to go to a public dance class. I finally made it to a JourneyDance class with local teacher Michelle Maclean. Darlings, if you live in the Halifax area and you love to dance and you’re free from 6-7:15pm on Thursday evenings, you NEED to try this. It is beautiful.

It was a particularly meaningful class for me, because dancing outside of my own house with someone else in charge was something that I was really struggling with. I hadn’t done it in SO long. Like it or not, dancing in your living room and dancing in community aren’t the same thing. Even though I knew that JourneyDance has the same philosophy as DansKinetics (love and honour your body, you are perfect just as you are), I was, frankly, terrified. But I didn’t need to be. Taking this class, I remembered my dancing self. I remembered why I love to move. I remembered why I love to teach. I felt my energy expand until it felt like I was filling the entire studio. And a little fire reignited in my heart.

And a voice whispered, “Yes. This is the right path. Keep going.”

I’ll be going back.

So that’s my check-in for this week. Slowly coming back on-course. Eager for more moving. Looking for more opportunities. Introducing some additional self-care. And loving every toes-forward step.



7 thoughts on “5Rhythms Friday: Progress”

  1. Xander’s approaching three, so you can expect more of that sort of behavior. It’s normal β€” he’s trying to exert his own will and control things. It’s so much fun! (Yeah, no. But, it’s totally normal.)

    So glad you’re feeling better!! (I forgot to talk to you about my own dance class wishes, but we’ll talk again soon.)

  2. Oh man, the dancer’s turn-out! I think that’s what contributed to my hip problem. My biomechanics were all out of whack, and then I started a intense running/strength training regimen…not good! My right foot still unconsciously gravitates outward like a plant turning toward the sun!

    And I SO understand your apprehension about dancing in public. Before I took my first public 5Rhythms class, the majority of my dancing was done in the living room (side note: when we moved into our house, I told my husband that our living room would have to be laid out so that there was plenty of dancing space…no coffee tables in the middle of the room!). A lot of my movements are untraditional, sloppy, sometimes aggressive and raw. I was afraid that when I stepped into a public class I’d be afraid to be myself and try to cover up my authentic dance–but that’s the beauty of 5Rhythms, Journey Dance, etc. The teachers GET it. They hold and honor the space. And having ample square footage and space to MOVE is always a draw!

    I hope one day you are able to experience a live 5Rhythms class. I didn’t know it existed until I read Sweat Your Prayers; a year later, a yoga studio I attended announced she was bringing a 5Rhythms teacher to the area. Now I take class twice a month, and it has changed my life. Doing the Rhythms at home is also wonderful, but there is something so powerful about moving as part of a group. If you ever travel to the Philadelphia area, let me know!

    1. What is crazy is how proud I was of my dancer’s walk when I was younger. It never occurred to me that it was a problem. I do remember a modern teacher telling all of us that we needed to learn to keep our knees and our toes pointing in the same direction, and I remember it being super-difficult. Now it’s more a question of reminding myself, and honestly I tend to realize I’m turned out when my knees start bugging me, and then as soon as I turn back to parallel it’s like my entire lower body is breathing a sigh of relief. AHHHHHH! πŸ™‚

      I loved JourneyDance SO much! You’re exactly right. And there’s such a difference when SOMEONE ELSE is holding the space for you, instead of holding it for yourself, or holding it for other people (although I do love doing that). I am absolutely going to get to a 5Rhythms class one of these days…and I also want to try Authentic Movement. And Nia. And Dance the Rainbow (another chakra-based one that also incorporates art). Yeah…I have a long list of things to try πŸ˜›

      I will definitely let you know if I travel to Philadelphia! That would be great! πŸ˜€

      1. I never heard of Authentic Movement and Dance the Rainbow…time to consult Google!

        I actually did Nia for a few years; the woman who teaches the class is only in my area during the summers. I really REALLY liked it at first (I have the book too!), but this summer my interest began to wane. Partially because that was when my hip injury began flaring up, but I also found myself becoming resistant to the “dictated” movements. I don’t know, maybe it was because I was super-vulnerable at the time, and I just wanted to do more of a 5Rhythms thing. Sometimes we’d do the same “routine” week after week at Nia, and that kind of repetition really bugged me for some reason.

        I’m trying out a new modality next weekend called Biodanza. Can’t wait!

        1. Ooh! I haven’t heard of Biodanza (also consults Google) πŸ™‚

          I am DYING to try Authentic Movement again. I’ve done it one on one with an instructor (not recently, sadly), but never in a group the way it’s often (and I think intended to be) danced. I LOVE the complete freedom of dancing without music and with my eyes closed, and the safety of being observed and honoured in my dance. Unfortunately, my 2.5 year old isn’t very good at “holding the space” πŸ˜›

          I hear you about the “dictated” movements in Nia. That’s been a concern for me too, although I assume (hope?) that the degree of repetition class to class depends on the teacher. I tend much more towards things like 5Rhythms and JourneyDance, both in my preferences as student and my instincts as a teacher, but I appreciate SO much of what I’ve read about the theory behind Nia…I just need to try it. I also imagine it would be a GREAT way for people who think they “can’t dance” to get out of the aerobics class mindset and into the dancing mindset…and that is always valuable.

          PLEASE let me know how Biodanza is! it looks fun!

  3. I was searching around for 5Rhythms playlists on the internet and found you! Nice blog! Do you have any ideas of resources for me? Thanks so much!

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