If you’re over the age of 24, there’s a high chance you wake up most mornings feeling stiff and inexplicably injured.
Maybe I just described myself here, but I paid some serious cash for an online yoga course and a foam roller.
Unfortunately, this requires a modicum of self-motivation that I do not possess at 7 am, or ever really.
So I ditched the guided yoga videos and tried this instead
Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of guided yoga videos, but sometimes I get caught up in the technique and the prescriptiveness of it all. It hinders my ability to listen to my own body and stretch, based purely off the vibes.
So I developed an intuitive movement practice for my mornings, and I suspect you may find it helpful.
What do I mean by an intuitive movement practice?
Playing some music and moving around my space in whatever way feels good to me. If I want to stretch my calves, I’ll start moving to the music in different postures until I feel like I’ve hit the spot. Then I sit in it and indulge in the juiciness of it that posture.
Here’s my process. It’s perfect for beginner dancers. Feel free to try it and let me know what you think.
1.) Warm up with a dance
Play a hype song, and go hard. Don’t worry about that Groove Therapy technique you’ve learnt in our beginner dance class. Get thrashing and keep it feel good.
Start with star jumps if you’re stuck for movement ideas. The idea here is to warm up your body, get the blood flowing and wake up the body-mind connection before you begin stretching.
After thrashing for a song, you should have kicked off that cardio and body temperature. Calm yourself down a tiny bit here so that you can listen to your body.
Close your eyes, take a few long breaths and focus on long, indulgent exhales. Notice the way your body feels, how your heart pounds and how your feet feel on the ground.
3.) Press play on a chilled playlist and stretch
Now begin to move in slow motion to the song, stretching constantly as you go. The key is to remember this is a dance exercise, so move slowly, transitioning between stretches smoothly and constantly.
Take at least eight counts to get to each new pose. Do this for an entire song.
- Extra Tip: If you feel like you’re in an awkward posture and don’t know how to get out of it, stop and breathe for a few counts and think of creative ways to change directions. This is dance, not yoga. Get weird with it.
4.) Move around your entire space, and use the objects in the room.
This gets you thinking outside the box (or yoga mat). Use the music to guide you through eight count movements as you hang off doorframes to stretch out your back or lean back over the armrest of your sofa to open out your chest.
5.) End with a tasked dance
Play any song for your finale and dance it out. Your body should feel more limber by this point, so really explore moving into the floor and back up to standing.
Now explore what it’s like to dance along the walls or drape yourself across a table.
Give yourself a ridiculous concept to explore through movement (like the life cycle of a noodle from being cooked to eaten) and see how your newly limber body interprets that.
6.) Give yourself a bow
Life has given you a standing ovation baby. That was a helluva performance.
Pssstttt! Got a little stuck in your movements? That may be from a lack of movement vocabulary or creative movement blocks, which you can fix by booking in for a beginner adult dance class.