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Finding Ourselves Before Finding Ourselves in Nature

sarahj's picture

After class today I found myself thinking more about what it means to be ecological and movement.  I do think that to truly realize our interconnected-ness with the natural world around us we need to incorporate more movement into our study. Being still or stationary in nature has its value, but I think movement has more.  How often is anything in nature motionless? If it is not moving of its own accord then some other force is acting on it.  I also remeber watching something on television that mentioned that the human body is not made to sit for long periods of time hence the creation of office desks attached to tredmills.  So I think we need to incorporate more movement into our class time.  We generally seem to associate dialogue with stillness.

The second thing I want to think about is how can we hope to be interconnected with nature if we don't understand our own bodies?  One thing that was brought up between Anne and myself was the interconnections within our own bodies.  I sprained my ankle, but the reason I needed crutches was because I was having trouble with my achilles tendon.  The Achilles was really tight so I couldn't articulate through my ankle correctly and, come to find out, my Achilles was tight because my calf muscle was incredibly tight.  I don't think many people are able to develop a real awareness of themselves within their bodies and of their bodies within a space.  Due to this, I would suggest that we take a dance class as a class.

I think this would be beneficial because I am a dancer (ballet and modern) and something that is imperative to dancing are the two senses of awareness I mentioned above.  You have to be aware of the interconnections within your body in order to dance.  This is true in multiple styles of dance.  In modern, I have to be aware that the energy contained in my arm movements comes from the way I'm using my back.  In ballet, in order to maintain my balance I have to use my core, but also remember to rotate my glutes (may have spelled that wrong).  I also find that in dance styles that are less "technical", there is still a stress on being connected with ones body and this connection leading you closer to the rest of the world.  Examples of these would be African and Bellydance.  Additionally, from dancing I find that I have developed an increased awareness of the people and things around me. 

By finding a deeper sense of connection to ourselves, I think we will find a better connection to the world around us.



Smacholdt's picture

The Movement of Thoughts

This is such an amazing idea! I love your line “We generally seem to associate dialogue with stillness.” I think that this is such a common association. But I also find it tiring to sit all the time. When my body is in motion I feel energized, and when I’m energized I have some of my best ideas. I also feel like it’s easier fro me to talk to someone if I’m walking or running. Difficult ideas seem to loosen up in the constant flow of motion. Maybe one class we could discuss our readings while walking through town or around Bryn Mawr’s campus? This could be an interesting experience. But I would also love to try dancing!

Srucara's picture

My full support and encouragement

"By finding a deeper sense of connection to ourselves, I think we will find a better connection to the world around us." Sarah, this is so poignant and beautiful. You are absolutely right in our modern day and age we are so used to sitting at desks with computers and ocassionally going to the gym to work out and take painkillers at the slightest onset of headache or pain without really sitting down with our bodies and trying to understand them, develop a more nurturing relationship with them, and becoming more aware. Thank you for sharing your insight in dance and the ways it has connected you with your own body and the world around you. I think dance for our class is a great idea to open up deeper levels of connection and awareness between our own bodies and the Earth - to feel energy flow through our beings and confront whatever our bodies may have been trying to tell us but we have suppressed for so long. Would you be willing to lead us in dance movement during class sometime? I would totally love that! 

et502's picture


I second this!