THE CONSCIOUS BODY SYSTEM
WHAT IS IT?
The “Conscious Body system” teaches movers how to build up strength rather than saving it, and how to use that strength in a safe and healthy way. It is a system which guides movers to be precise and work consciously with their bodies and unique structures.
During the classes, we train the body to magnify basic skills of moving to and from the floor, until we are comfortable with fast weight transitions. This is done through pulling and pushing movements on the floor, in safe and the personal speeds. Thinking through movement is an important tool for comprehending the muscular activations in the body. The idea is to create an environment where it is possible to go as fast as possible, or as slow as needed.
The Conscious Body System is structured in 2 parts : improvisation system and movement workout combination.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The class begins with hands-on work in pairs to facilitate the awakening of the muscles and skin while gently heating the body´s joints.
Working with repeating patterns which integrate strength, flexibility and functional movement, it is possible to activate neuromuscular memory to support safe habits and to awaken natural body consciousness.
After approximately 15 minutes of reciprocal awakening massage, we begin phrases in groups such as contact exercises where everybody works individually and concentrates on themselves and their own body but at the same time connects and interacts with others. This compels people to be aware and present at the motion’s effect of their bodies rather than the repetition of a singular body shape.
The majority of the class consists of repeating small phrases crossing the space, giving the participants a chance to repeat the material several times. Through repetition they gain a deeper understanding of both their bodies and the work.
WHY IS THE CONSCIOUS BODY SYSTEM IMPORTANT?
During the entire class special attention is focused on the work of core strength in order to give adequate support for safe movements and the development of upper / lower connectivity. By transferring and pressing weight into the floor, it is possible to understand how powerful movements can be produced with minimal effort. Based on each dancer’s personal skeletal structure and musculature, with conscious placement of weight on single points, movements become logical consequences of shifted weight.
Another very important aspect of the “Conscious Body” is the shifting focus from skin, muscles and bones, while doing the exercises. We do this in order to reach different movement qualities, either activating or relaxing muscle groups depending on the task the body should accomplish.
1- Improvisation system
The improvisation is very important to help the movers develop safe habits; respecting oneself, respecting the others, and increasing the awareness of space and movement quality.
During the improvisation, movers are guided to work on a very sophisticated movement quality by focusing on the skin contact to develop softness and an attentive physicality on the pressing points. This creates a strong connection with other physical surfaces, for instance, the floor, a wall , various objects, or other bodies. This helps the movers recover their human primitive movements, leading to a soft continuous movement quality, and a safe and organic way to manage their bodies.
The two fundaments of the Conscious Body System are : The awareness and strength of actively pushing against surfaces, therefore creating a strong base for ones body structure in order to execute the movement, and secondly, developing strength while consciously relaxing muscles when they are not needed for a certain movements.
By doing so, it is possible to strengthen muscles when they are in action, and relax them when they are not needed, thus avoiding misuse and stress of the muscles and joints.
2- Movement workout combinations
The workout combinations are designed to both strengthen and stretch in the same phrase. There are no positions or shapes in the Conscious Body Work Practice, however, there are pauses in order to activate the muscles. The aim is to constantly move and reach our limits before continuing to the next movement. To achieve an optimal result in the phrases, it is important to use the safe habits developed in the improvisational part of the conscious body system in order to avoid exaggerated tensions.
It is necessary to have moments to relax while working so intensely on the muscles, ergo classes are based on the repetition of exercises. Phrases are made and repeated in order to create neuromuscular memory. By repeating the same movements, this muscle memory helps the body understand and apply the technique easily in every situation. The phrases are composed by a pattern of movements, and in order to challenge the brain, there are constant variations of the movements within the phrases. This creates a playful space where one can experience, dare and learn.