Shhh Your Mind is Listening: mental tricks to improve your movement
I’ve just taught a mindful movement workshop at Flying Fantastic to some lovely aerialists. They wanted a summary sheet of the things that we worked through. So I thought I’d share it with everyone. Here is quick summary of the techniques I use to improve my movement with the Franklin Method mental toolbox. :
Step One - NOTICE
Where am I holding unnecessary tension? Where is my breath? How much energy do I have today?
Step Two - MY MIND LISTENS TO MY WORDS and responds - even if I’m not correct. My mind protects me from pain and avoids difficulties. The words I use to describe myself and my movement are only positive. I use words like fluid, easy, strong, graceful. I tell myself that I am enough. I am unique and have something to valid to share
Step Three - I AM MOTIVATED and open to learning new things, With a positive mindset I will achieve what I want to. With a negative mindset I am defeated before I even start. I use words that support learning new tricks. I am interested, I am curious, I am open, I’ve got this.
Step Four - METAPHORS change my movement quality from strong and rooted with the image of a tree to light and lifted with the image of balloons. I play with metaphors to refresh my choreography and to help a group perform well together.
Step Five - tuning in and focusing on specific parts of my ANATOMY can improve my movement.
Step Six - waking up my PROPRIOCEPTORS (my sense organs) with tapping, squeezing, stroking and shaking helps my body know where I am in space. When I have a knee that bends, toes that don’t point or alignment breaks in a movement I can help my brain navigate my body better by waking up the proprioceptors in that area.
Step Seven - VISUALISING the movement I want to do with correct technique is mental rehearsal. The same area of the brain is activated even though it doesn’t look like I am doing anything. I can use this when refining technique; when learning a new skill; when tired; to improve my focus; and before a performance or a class.
Step Eight - though I focus on outcome goals (doing the big trick) I approach difficult movements with PROCESS GOALS. I can break anything (including housework) into manageable chunks. I aim to perform these parts well and slowly they all come together and the difficult trick has become easy!
Step Nine - I move EFFICIENTLY. I know that working harder is not necessarily working smarter. I focus on my breath and my form. I release tension where it isn’t needed. My focus shifts from achievement to moving well. This will mean that I will protect myself from injury and I will move well into old age.
Step Ten - I NOTICE AND REFLECT. Did the mental tool that I used work for that movement? Do I need to try something else?
And that’s it. I also incorporated some Marisa Peer techniques into our workshop because she has some brilliant insights into the workings of our unconscious mind. So if you want to learn more do visit her website too.