“Inner sensitivity is one of the most important qualities to develop” - Ido said something along these lines to this at Movement Camp. The past 2 months, I’ve been exploring a practice within the movement practice I’m calling "Somatic Coordination”. First, let’s define the terms:
“Somatic”: I’m generally referring to body awareness
“Coordination”: now this definition is more interesting and has been the topic of many conversations over the past few years. A few dictionary definitions: "the organization of the different elements of a complex body or activity so as to enable them to work together effectively” and "the ability to use different parts of the body together smoothly and efficiently.”
The idea of somatic coordination practice is to develop this inner sensitivity by seeing how many complexities can be held/embodied at the same time. In the same way I can move with my body in complex ways simultaneously (arms doing one thing, feet doing another, head/spine doing another), how can I hold multiple complexities in myself on the somatic/body awareness layer of the practice?
This can be done by yourself or with a group. Here is how it works:
-Agree on a position of stillness. Let’s start with a simple relaxed stance for this example.
-Partner 1 gives a "somatic cue”. Example: lengthen your spine as if you are being suspended from a string. See more examples at bottom of post.
-Both partners remain still, practicing this cue.
-Allow a time interval to pass (maybe 30-90 seconds to start).
-Partner 2 gives another somatic cue.
-Allow time to pass while holding both cues at the same time.
-Repeat for set amount of time, back and forth, seeing how many somatic cues you can hold.
-Every 5-10 cues, a partner can call out “repeat”, which serves as a time for both partners to verbalize the existing cues as a review.
-don’t let this stress you. don’t have a perfectionist or success-oriented mindset. relax, enjoy the process, enjoy the struggle. be light.
-note how much you are cycling thru various cues vs holding them in “peripheral awareness” at the same time.
Some examples of somatic cues:
let go of extra tension in your face and feet
imagine you can feel your blood flowing thru your vessels
imagine your skin is two sizes too big
sense the energy of the person next to you
release the glutes and pelvic floor
let the flesh drip off your bones
let your ribs expand laterally
imagine your body is filled with light
feel the electricity of your nervous system over every square centimeter of your body
imagine a small weight on your tailbone
feel your feet connected to the ground
Always be practicing. This can be done anywhere, anytime. Then it just becomes you.