In my dance life, I learned early on that if I wanted to develop graceful movement, I had to learn to “fall” out of things slowly. Moving slowly meant I could study the moment where I lost my balance or my focus, and “ABC CBA” the process… look at it backwards and forwards and trace the movement patterns.
Rudolf Steiner had a mental exercise at day's end for his teachers and students to reflect on the day, running through it backwards, especially the off-balance parts of the day. He called it "ruchshaw" meditation. I came upon the same process the semester I had a dance teacher who studied Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen’s Body Mind Centering methods. We learned a piece of choreography, and then we would have to reverse it. Not just do the other side, but reverse the entire chain of movement, like videotape running in reverse.
The key was to move slowly.
Slow movement means more mindfulness and the ability to open up the process for close meditation and the development of muscle memory. It also means strength building.
“Falling” slowly out of a posture in yoga does the same thing.
[Studying the moment of upset with a friend or a loved one does the same thing.]
Study the moment where you lose your balance and it becomes an exercise in curiosity about the body moving in space, replacing any storyline where judgment and criticism may creep in.
[Study the moment when you've lost your balance in life and the same gift of insight can happen.]
Even after years of practicing yoga, I still tell myself I’m not good enough, strong enough, practiced enough, dedicated enough; I’m not enough.
Compassion is a process.
Compassion happens in slow motion.