"I am extending like leaves and branches." -SJM
Last week's Creative Engagement activity utilized the hands.
This week, we will continue to extend this work with hands and bring it into arms and shoulders.
Just like the hands, arms extend and reach. The hands complete the full extension of shoulders and arms. They work in relation to each other. Many of the same themes of hands, apply to the arms as well.
Arms and hands reach, hold, grab, punch, push and give us a way to build and destroy, hold on or let go. We express our desire to give and take, take in and release with this body part. They are extensions of our emotions and can help us communicate feelings.
Shoulders additionally create more flexibility, extended range of motion. Shoulders are often referred to as being connected to the "shoulder girdle", akin to the pelvic girdle. This provides connection to the ribcase, and gives strength and stability for functions like lifting, carrying, pushing and holding. The breath is thus intimately involved with the movement of arms- expansion and contraction of the chest.
Standing tall, lengthen the spine, while feeling gravity encourage a sense of rooting in the feet. As you inhale, let the arms lift from the shoulders. As you exhale, let the arms gently fall and loosen. Continue to work with this arm and breath dance and see what images arise for you.
Stand in one place or take this dance through the room.
Come to your drawing pad and create an image that reflects your experience. What colors are alive? What sensations? What story is being told? Does your arm dance have a title? Does it have a message for you?
Last week we worked with the feet, creating awareness and sensing support from the ground up.
This week our body part is hands. The hands allow us to create, to put into action our imagination and ideas. Arms and hands reach, hold, grab, punch, push and give us a way to build and destroy, hold on or let go. We express our desire to give and take, take in and release with this body part. They are extensions of our emotions and can help us communicate feelings.
"We often enact our feelings of love, caring and tenderness with our arms and hands. We most often use our arms and hands to connect with others. Arms and hands are the most socially accepted way to make contact in most cultures. Arms and hands reach out to express longing and desire." -Daria Halprin, The Expressive Body in Life, Art and Therapy
Begin your dance with your fingertips. Bring movement into the fingers, into the palms, wrists, elbows and shoulders. Notice the articulations, undulations, opens and closes of these body parts. Extend and reach. Fold and contract. Make a fist, then open this tightness and feel the contrast. See if your breath can mirror the open and close of the hands. Continue your exploration until your dance feels complete.
Come to your drawing pad. Outline your hands. Make a hand collage of multiple outlines or even just one. When your hand collage feels complete, answer these questions:
What are you holding in your hands?
What are you releasing?
What are you grabbing onto?
What are you pushing?
What are you punching?
What are you poking and prodding?
Last week we worked with our animal bodies, this week we will work with the "winds of Vayu and spreading our wings" as our theme. As per this week's horoscopes:
"This is a time of storm energy, 'cleaning house' so to speak, forced change- for better or worse. Spread your wings and surrender to the winds." See my article on Rahu and Saturn in Libra for further details.
We will use the arms and hands as our entry point and awareness builder. "Enter your body through your hand" as I've heard Anna Halprin say. Body part associations include: holding/letting go, build/destroy, give/take, push/pull. We feel with the sensitivity of hands and touch, we feed ourselves, create with them etc. The arms are an extension of the heart and lung area; they help us reach, embrace, resist etc.
With arms as your metaphoric wings, begin slowly to lengthen and extend them, reaching all the way out through the fingertips. Create a wing dance, linking breaths with arm movements. Be sure to include the full range of movement here- from fingertips and hands, into elbows and shoulders. Notice the connection to the expansion and collapse of the heart region as you flap.
Come to your drawing pad and draw an image of one of your bird feathers. Then finish these statements:
I am the type of bird that:
When I fly, I feel:
Without my wings I can't:
I imagine my bird:
My bird wants: