Laying the Groundwork is a presentation of how I conceptualize movement. My intention is to share the tools and methods I use in hopes that it helps others build their own culture of movement. There's nothing magic here, just an in-depth look at basic movement that through practice will yield greater awareness, foster new connections, and set the stage for substantial growth. Movement is a gift - value it, enjoy it, and share it.
The Groundwork Integration video represents a blending of all the developmental positions from the Groundwork series - quadruped, side sit, supine, prone. We've taken time to work the individual movement variations so they can be woven together into fluid movement for the purpose of self-expression, play, or practical function. This process of integration results in what I have come to call free movement, the ability to move like water through any environment.
Free movement allows us to play, create, and interact within any environment. Free movement is a state of mind; a different lens to view the world.
Through this lens it becomes clear that life is rich with opportunities to move. When we move freely, health and happiness become our primary motivators. I know this may sound fantastical, but maybe you can see what I'm saying through my movements more clearly than my words.
The Groundwork series began by looking at all the individual pieces. This final segment is meant to illustrate how and why those pieces might fit together. This isn't a choreographed sequence. My primary intention is to freely move in the moment. I have learned to let my imagination take the lead to produce fluid transitions from one position to the next. Crawling to sitting. Sitting to rolling. Rolling to squatting. Squatting to kneeling. Kneeling to rolling. Rolling to crawling...one movement simply integrates into the next. There are many nuances that can't be fully expressed in writing. The subtle layers of breathing, alignment, weight shifting, sequence & timing, tension & relaxation are all revealed through consistent practice. Grant yourself permission to explore.
In recent years, these ground-based movements have become the foundation of my practice. They keep my body supple, my awareness sharp, and solidify the culture of movement within my life. This daily practice has boosted my movement IQ, allowing me to learn new movements and explore new disciplines with ease and confidence.
Wherever I am - a park, forest, beach, playground, gym, or urban setting - I'm able to express free movement. To me, that is a beautiful freedom to have.
And before long, I came to recognize that freedom overflowing into all areas of my life. Shall we go a little deeper?
The Movement / Life Equation In a complex environment, like the body, nothing operates in isolation. I see many people struggling to (micro)manage their lives. They use brute force to will themselves towards goals. Ultimately, this force is always opposed with some kind of resistance. The answer is found in flow, not force.
Free movement enables a connecting of the dots and allowing the whole lifestyle to come into view. How you train, how you work, how you leisure, how you fuel, how you heal & recover - it's all intimately connected. Zoom out - Work. Family. Friends. Fitness. Nutrition. Recreation. Emotion. Spirituality - it's still all connected.
Infuse each individual piece with mindfulness. Integrate them all into a single way of life. Experience the positive upward spiral creating a better, fitter, healthier you.
So I got to thinking, how could we ever quantify all these elements and the space between? Could an equation ever represent the recipe for happiness? The Movement / Life Equation is what I ended up with. Movement provides a parallel to life, we are how we move. Mindful movement promotes mindful living. Integrated movement promotes an integrated worldview, an understanding of how everything connects. The sum is a life that is aligned from within, a life worth living.
Mindfulness + Integration = Alignment.
This formula understands health as a composite of all your thoughts and actions. A blend of what goes on inside you and around you. Good health broadcasts positivity into the world. It sets in motion a continuous cycle that enhances the environment and the health of others. Making your health a priority in every action you take enriches your human experience, and the world around you. Maybe a bold statement, but I would be remiss to overlook that there's much more going on here than movement tricks. It all begins with you...and returns to you.
M+I=A. Be present. Move and live, freely. Because your health matters. To all of us.
This is the final installment of the Laying the Groundwork series. This series has been a personal journey to articulate the connection between how I move and how I live. Hopefully it's given you some ideas to contemplate. The development of your movement practice is highly personal, unique, and encompassing. The process that unfolds is one of self-discovery. I hope you're use these fundamental ideas and movements to build your own practice. Within these basics lies immense depth. To tumble down this particular rabbit hole is an incredible journey. Dive in and enjoy it.