About Me

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday morning

Well, I had a dental appointment this morning in the South Loop and so I decided to take advantage of the free day at the Field Museum, my favorite museum in the Museum Campus.  Here I am sitting, eating apples that the dentist always has in his office, looking at the skeleton of Sue, the resident dinosaur.  I don't know if I'll have a chance to work out today and it will be interesting to see if anyone will show up at ballet class today.  But, I am having fun walking in the snow, in this quieter neighborhood in the city.  Oh, and I also bought a plush brown wool stuffed bird for my new puppy!

The ballet class was cancelled, as I expected, so I went to the gym for Pilates followed by yoga -- too cold to swim.  It felt good to move and stretch after a long day outside.  The Pilates class was very flowy, and we did arm circles, leg circles, oblique rollups, bridges with the magic circle, and, lying on our sides, we moved the knees from side to side...we did the swan, flutters, leg kicks, nothing really difficult, but it all felt good and afterwards I stretched while watching a sort of Latin dance class next door, where the movement was all about hip swivels...

It was basic yoga, and the teacher explained all the basic positions, too.  The class had a good flow and I could really feel the kinks moving out of my body.  We did a kind of unorthodox triangle, where we started in a straddle and just moved our arms sideways to the floor, which he said is the beginnings of the triangle pose.  We also did squats and lunges, which are difficult when you have tight hip flexors like me.

Afterwards I chatted with this new teacher, asking him how I could do better lunges, and he told me something I have heard often, that I think too much instead of experiencing things.  He said I should practice a deep lunge and instead of complaining that I can't do it, to just let the feelings happen and then maybe I would even like feeling awkward, because nothing is perfect anyway.  He also suggested a Feldenkrais class I could try, taught by his friend, that I might like, since I think so much about how I do things and maybe the Feldenkrais would put it all together for me.

He has also studied dance, as many trainers I meet have, and talked about energy and how to experience movement instead of just making shapes or posing.  That is why, although you may not have the textbook warrior stance, you can still be functional within your frame.  It is better than forcing yourself into a shape you will never achieve.  I agreed that the textbook positions are like the scales of music.  They are the base but how you interpret the base is what makes you the "artist."

I feel restless that I did not dance today, though, but I still could go down to the basement gym and do barre.  After all, it is up to me to experience the energy, not just go somewhere and follow along.  It is great to learn things, but there is also coming a time for me to make fresh tracks in the snow...

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