tone and texture in conscious dance

Dialogue with Truth

Moving mindfully as we do in a conscious dance class allows us to touch all the parts of our body with awareness. We notice how the body feels as it moves and orientates in time and space. The body is the conduit of awareness flowing from our infinite formless "I am" into  the conditioned point of view that is "who we call ourself". If we tune into the feeling tone of the body, and the textures of sensation that are created as we move, it becomes another place for us to dialogue with our Truth.

Sensation and movement

As you move and scan the body you will notice things like heat and cold, heavy and light, hard and soft, intensity and relaxation, pain and pleasure,  ebb and flow. These are physical experiences happening within the body. They are always there whether we create them or not. Our body will mirror these textures in its movement. Fast or slow, open or closed, big or small.

The first Level: The dance dances us

On one level we move with what is. Taking time to notice what and where we are feeling certain things. Discovering how these tones and textures create our experience and inform the way we move, think and feel emotionally.  In mindful movement we make effort to allow things to be as they are, without judgment or suppression. By noticing these tones and textures they inform the way  we dance. Our seeing is in many ways, a doing. It is impossible to notice anything without this light of our attention creating the possibility of transformation.

When we feel pain, we are likely to begin to explore movement that above all doesn't create more pain. Hopefully we find movement that actually helps to relieve it. We may move in ways that bring insight into the cause of a particular tone. A hardening in my belly may turn into a recognition of fear I'm carrying and an attempt to protect me from it. I can explore this hardened belly and it may lead me into a conscious dance of understanding the fear, or letting it go. If the belly releases the tension, it may give way to another softer sensation that I recognise as something else.

So we allow the dance to move us. We simply bring more attention to the feeling of tone and texture, and follow the body into the movement that is born out of that listening. Our body moving will unfold it's wisdom in this way: A story of movement, illustrated in tones and textures. It is always a good conversation.

Second Level: I dance the dance.

On another level we also create a fair amount of tone and texture in the body, through choosing movements, gestures, and expressions that create it. We can feel our arm for example, noticing it's limp texture and decide to tone up or harden the muscles, creating a more solid form of arm. Try clench our jaw tight, or soften it and let our mouth gape open. Choose to breath in a very deep and deliberate way into our belly, filling it with pressure and breath out choosing to let the body empty, releasing pressure, dropping to the floor. Each choice we make creates new sensation in the body. We listen and we continue to allow our dance to unfold. We add rhythm, pulse and waves of alternating texture, current and tone. Explore what each intervention creates and what insight it brings to our conscious dance.

It is important to honour and become fully aware of what is there already. Ideally we use this as a starting point to work with and create from.  If not, it will quickly become a play of the ego, and possibly even cause a fair amount of suppression.

So how to practice this?

It's really simple. It comes down to cultivating an ever deepening awareness of the tones, textures, and sensations in the body. Close your eyes for a moment and notice the space your body is inhabiting. Feel how its feeling. Notice the nature and quality of sensation. The influence of your breathing in and out on these sensations. Observe the influence of where you are, the clothes you are wearing, the contact you are making with the ground. See how everything is in some way influencing the feeling tone of the body.

Both internally, thoughts and emotions, and externally through your five senses. Listen. Allow movement to start in the body. Feel how each movement creates new tone and texture. After some time start to move with more deliberate movement and explore how consciously creating movement also creates influence in the feeling of your being. You can make yourself more tense, anxious or move toward relaxation, calm and centred.

A good provisor

When we create like this, it is best to go with the provisor that if it feels good it probably is, and if doesn't feel good it probably isn't. This may spare us unnecessary injury. It is important to remember  that it's the sensation of feeling good, not what our mind thinks is good. For example it may be grief we are feeling as good. Also it feels good to move it. The mind however might go "it's not good to move this grief", or the personality may be embarrassed by the expression. We should not  sensor or second guess our heartfelt feelings or allow our minds to override the feeling with it's preference. Practicing this will build trust in oneself. It takes us through a gateway into a place of deeper wisdom. All we need to do is dance mindfully.

See the blog on Sensation for more information about using the senses in mindful movement.

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