“For this exercise, close your eyes. Wherever your body wants to move, go with it. You are doing research on your body movement.”– Scott, contact improv teacher
Mantras don’t do it for me. I can know the truth in words a million times, but repeating a mantra in my head generally doesn’t help get me out of an anxious state. What helps are physical tools.
It’s nice to do Scott’s exercise and let the body take over. If my shoulder pulls me that way, I’ll go that way. If my legs get weak, I’ll fall to the ground.
But doing this “movement research” in daily life is tough. There aren’t that many spaces you can go to roll around on the floor without people looking at you funny. Also, it’s tough to make time for this kind of thing when you are busy. That’s why I go to things like contact improv and acroyoga – they provide the time and space for free movement.
My friend Kristin said: “Yoga is not competitive. The only competition is how well you can connect your mind to your body.” Wild animals have a much better mind-body connection, I think. Just look at how a cat or dog moves, compared to a creaky person, especially after that person has been sitting for a while at a computer.
For much of life in civilization, the body is being whipped by the mind, like a horse by a rider. It’s nice sometimes to let the horse roam free.