Monday, May 27, 2013

Dodging in Crowds (Body-mindfulness in action)

So.. being mindful of the body, and its sensations whilst standing relatively still; or in a pose or lying or sitting, is all well and good, but most of us have to move around at some time throughout the day - getting to trains/buses, going to the shops, etc. Sometimes we need to move quite quickly. 

One thing I like to do is make a game of movement whilst in a large group of fast moving people.  Practicing 'dodging', or moving through large groups of fast moving, and chaotic, people rushing to get places is a great game and applied body-mindfulness.  Great places to practice are busy train stations; foot-paths of major roads in the CBD in peak hour, and exiting major sporting or music events in stadiums. 

Basics are: Move quickly (no running), smoothly and unrelentingly. Keep you body 'light' and ready for sudden changes of direction; 'morphing' your body to fit spaces in between people, and keeping smooth relaxed breathing going throughout.  Bonus points for cool changes in direction laterally between people; pulling of a sweet 'morphing' through a tiny space between fast moving people without 'clipping' anyone, and maintaining a smiling face the whole time. 

Throughout the dodging, you have your Awareness in the body (whole body with emphasis on soles of feet is a good one) as fully as you can; and a second attention on spatial awareness of moving humans around you.  This trains you to watch the momentum, movement quality and subtle body language cues of other people at an before-thinking level.  Plus it is heaps of fun (when done right)! You kind of feel like your in a chase seen from an action/thriller movie if you get it correct.  Great spatial awareness training and fun! 

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