Notes from Class: The inner constelation

The inner constelation.

Draw an imaginary line from one toe to each hip. Draw an imaginary life from each hip to each shoulder. Divide the body by half side to side and front and back. Repeat the drawing of the lines to the front and back and side and side of each hip and shoulder. Now divide each foot to front and back and side and side and center (I know, Its so easy…) and repeat the entire process.

Now, Tense and relax each line in turn and play the inner harp, moving the tension from line to line and feel the interwoven (pun intended) resonance between the lines.

Extra credit. Start from that place in your abdomen where you push and move from and draw lines to every location we mentioned so far. Add the spine coulum and notice while walking how the lines shift and arch.

Have a partner place a a knife or a fist on your body. Tense a line and release a strike from the arms to that contact from each side and then from above and below. Repeat the play all around the body and at different heights and angles. Enjoy the process.

Have a partner push a fist or blade gently to your body. Repeat the previous work, starting with releasing your frame tension and creating with that release, one continous movement sequence.

Have a partner push a fist or blade to your body. Repeat the previous work and relax your hips to step toward your pusher.

Have your partner push you continously as they try to move through you. Repeat the previous work and allow your body to shift angles to be able to move in any direction you choose, while maintaining the freedom of choice.

Have a partner grab you and pull. Repeat the previous work and work to avoid being dragged. Choose your direction by both relaxing and initiating. Don’t just surf the wave.

Move toward a standing partner and innitiate contact  as you enter and exit their static engagement zone. Notice how this changes your eye focus and body tension. Keep yourself in your breath and maintain your freedom to move, pivot and angle while in contact.

Move toward a parten that is pushing always toward you.  Repeat the previous work as you engage and disengege. Notice where you are and how you choose your angle in the movement and where your eyes are drawn.

Extra credit. Draw lines from each toe to the center of the foot and to the heel. Bring one leg up by releasing the hips to move and avoid freezing one leg in a fixed position. Move on these lines with the grounded foot and from there, continoue to move the airborne leg from the hip. Draw shapes in the air and repeat.

Havea partner stab you with a rounded stick at any level. Move on one leg to avoid getting impaled as you engage with the airborne leg. Change legs often and move around to avoid getting fixed on a pattern.



Notes from class: Removing the Frame

One of the constants in life is our shape.

We hold it as a given with tension and angles and our perception of horizon.

Let’s dismantle this chain over us and relearn through awareness and honesty to join in battle instead of clash.

  1. Stand and with your inhale, tense the outside line of your frame. Tense the outer side of the thighs, tense the outside of the arms, neck and body. Release and repeat a few times.
  2. Stand and with your exhale, tense your center. Tense your behind and psoa muscles, tense your abdomen and lower back. Release and repeat a few times. (This will give you awareness to the inner and outer frame tension and the relationship between them)
  3. Stand and close one eye. Have a partner push and pull on you with both upper and lower limbs. Breathe continuously and release tension once from the outer and once from the inner frame and continue to play with this until you are feeling the merge between them. Repeat the work for the other eye and then switch eyes with every step.
  4. Have your partner strike you with both upper and lower limbs three times. Release tension and move with the contact on the first two and on the third, slide and entangle your partner. (This is done to release the need to answer all questions and to release the need to work only from certain positions)
  5. Have your partner strike you with both upper and lower limbs. Release your tension frames and from the movement that creates, glide along their limbs and body and maintain your continuoum of breathing, releasing and movement.
  6. Have two partners strike you together. use all the work so far to keep going on your own path instead of being reactive. The most important part of the work is not to be good in class. It is the honesty and awareness it builds for your life ahead. Work for yourself and it will pay forward.

Grace made simple

Here is a path for graceful movement. No tools required.

Stand on one leg and close your eyes.
Breathe and tense to your limit the muscles of the foot and leg one at a time.
Let the tension manifest without trying to balance yourself and let the movement manifest and move you.
Continue until you can do this with no excess tension coming out and switch legs.
Repeat from time to time.
Eternal vigilance is required for a state of grace.

The tennis ball gym

A tennis ball is small and light and easy to carry around even through the crazy show airports are today 🙂

Here are ten simple drills to do with one or more tennis balls you can do in a hotel room or almost anywhere and keep your nervous systema and body honed.

  1. Take one tennis ball and place it between the wall and your body. Slide and move the ball around without touching it with your limbs and use all parts of your body and your neck and head and keep your body loose and active.
  2. Take two tennis balls and place them between the wall and your arms. Slide and move the balls in independent routes and move on all facets of the arms. Relax your eyes and trust all your senses.
  3. Take one tennis ball and place it between the wall and your leg. Slide and move the ball around by moving the hips and both legs and keep your posture relaxed and comfortable.
  4. Lie on the ground and roll the ball away from you. Roll your body to intercept the ball and repeat. Make sure you continue to breathe and let your eyes move freely instead of fixating on the ball.
  5. Lie on the ground and place the ball between you and the ground. Move the ball with your body movements and keep your breath continuous and your eyes relaxed.
  6. Bounce one ball off the ground first with your palm and then with the back hand. Progress the the facets of the fist and move on to your forearm and further on. The limits are in your imagination.
  7. Hold one tennis ball in your hand and throw it up and catch it. Repeat this with just one eye open and then with both eyes closed. You will learn to receive without bracing and that is a great lesson.
  8. Stand three steps from the wall and start bouncing the ball off the wall. Step so you always intercept the ball with your body not in the way and keep breathing calmly. Progress to being two steps away from the wall and see if you can manage over time to be one step away from the wall. Footwork is key.
  9. Stand with your back to the wall and bounce the ball behind you. Intercept the ball and repeat. Learn to understand angles and how they work both coming and going.
  10. Place the ball on various places in the body (for example the crook of your elbow) and start walking and sitting down and getting up. Move the ball over your body and keep yourself learning.

Cost: time and one tennis ball.

Return: health, fun and much more.


Stand up with your feet under you.
Press your hands together from the shoulders
Press your legs toward each other from the hips
Squat in this fashion:
Down – 1 inhale
Up – 1 exhale
Down – one full breath
Up – one full breath
Down – 2 full breaths
Up 2 full breaths
Down – 3 full breaths
Up – 3 full breaths
Continue till you had enough
Stand with your feet under you.
Pull your hands apart from the shoulders
Press the legs apart from the hips
Squat in the same fashion working your way
up and down the Breath ladder.