Although it first appeared that we’d all be “resting” more than usual, many of us seem to be feeling even more tired and tense after weeks of couch-sitting and phone-gazing. Somatic exercises can add a bit of balance to our often outward-focused dance practice, and provide structure when we feel we need it. By developing a more increased awareness of the mind-body connection by exploring our internal sensations, somatic practices can help you to release tension and reduce stress while maintaining balance, flexibility and kinesthetic awareness. Experiment, explore, and find the best practice that works for you. While you’re at it, read up on how to get the most out of your somatic practice. As Dance Health Month draws to a close, See Chicago Dance is pleased to offer you several options for deepening restorative bodywork and finding some active rest.
While most of the local yoga studios have moved online, Ahimsa Yoga Studio has been live-streaming especially gentle, restorative yoga classes on a daily basis. If you’re unable to tune in for the live-stream, videos are posted on their Facebook page for easy access. On YouTube, you can find gentle yoga designed for small spaces at home by Mordine and Co. and RE|Dance dancer Danielle Gilmore and Molly Grimm-Leasure, a massage therapist and retired dancer. And platforms abound for at-home yoga from Peloton, Gaiam (on Xfinity) and Roku.
Freedom in Motion is offering multiple opportunities to incorporate Alexander Technique into your physical practice, including links to their daily centering practice, and sliding scale private sessions.
Looking to deepen your somatic practice further? Chicago's ballet guru Emily Stein teaches a pay-what-you-can Feldenkrais lesson online every Monday at 6:30p.m. You can access her website for more details. The Feldenkrais Guild® of North America (FGNA) has also moved their practice online.
Have a Seat
Chicago Center for Body Movement has Gyrokenisis and Gyrotonic group classes available on Zoom 6 days a week—check out their Facebook for more information. Best thing of all? Most classes require nothing more than a chair or stool.
Clear Your Headspace
Beginning a consistent meditation practice can be a lasting way to ease tension and stress. Now is as good a time as any to learn how to learn how to sit with stillness and clear your mind! While there are countless apps available (Calm is one of our free favorites), there are also dozens of podcasts available for assisting in your guided meditation practice—check out this recently updated list for The 21 Best Meditation Podcasts to listen to.
Wrapping up our Dance Health Month virtual events, we’re throwing a dance party! Join See Chicago Dance, Loud Bodies and Bollywood Groove for a free BYOB jam from your living room. Featuring music by DJ Sink Slow of Fun House Entertainment. Visit the event page below to register and receive the Zoom meeting ID and password.
Read more from our Dance Health Month series:
From Jordan Kunkel:
- Advice from Chicago's dance/movement therapists on how to cope with trauma and uncertainty offers exercises and tips for finding balance during the pandemic.
From Emily Loar:
- Five ways to connect without going online presents strategies to stay in touch with family and friends while avoiding digital fatigue.
- Five ways to up your cross-training game at home—or not explores online and IRL methods for keeping up strength and stamina while sheltering in place.
- Pantry-salvaged recipes: Budget-conscious, waste-nothing meals you can totally make.
- More pantry-salvaged recipes: What to do with those lentils, stale Easter bunnies and other mysterious items in your kitchen