Open Floor is a resource-oriented movement practice. Resourcing ourselves is an ongoing process we can use to build resilience and capacity.
Resources provide support, sustenance, and fuel.
Movement resources support creativity, emotional intelligence, connection to oneself, to others, and to Source.
In Open Floor, we have highlighted 10 Movement Resources, which we regard as essential movement and life skills. There are many, many resources – these are simply ten that we recognize as fundamental.
In Open Floor movement practice we move mindfully with these resources, so that your body learns how to recognize, connect to, and cultivate them in your everyday life.
The Movement Resources are the ABC’s of an embodied movement vocabulary. They give us a simple, universally shared language and a way to communicate our experience of life in these human bodies. In these changing times, the 10 Movement Resources are a way to support ourselves both on and off the dance floor
Open Floor 10 Movement Resources
Centering is a helpful resource for maintaining an embodied connection with oneself, especially when in relationship with others. Every embodiment practice highlights this skill.
Knowing the dance between center and off-center gives a feeling of freedom and grace from within. Learning to center again and again teaches us how to find equilibrium when life knocks us off-balance.
Grounding is an essential skill for settling ourselves when we’re feeling out of balance or over-activated physically, emotionally, mentally.
How we stand on the ground and move across it is a mindfulness practice that supports our solid presence no matter what is swirling around us. It is grounded movement that supports our sense of safety within our own bodies and in the world.
Activate & Settle
To Activate is the ability to connect with an impulse to move and allow our physical, cognitive, and emotional systems to reach states of intense arousal. To learn the skills of activation is to build, tolerate, and benefit from powerful movement both inside and out.
To Settle is the ability to calm our physical, cognitive, and emotional systems, to stabilize our breath, slow down the pulse, and come to rest. Without the skills to settle in life we may find ourselves unable to rest peacefully between periods of high activation.
Expand & Contract
This organic movement is found everywhere in nature. We practice the ability to open, extend and reach out, then come back in towards center again.
Following our own impulses towards expansion and contraction, we learn to listen to our embodied intuition as a guide and shift habitual patterns that no longer serves us. With this resource we are learning to put our own hand on the dial as we increase and decrease our range of expression.
Towards & Away
We are constantly moving towards or away from something: a feeling, a place, repetitive thoughts, pleasure…and often, other people.
Mindfully practicing the dance of towards and away, we learn to actively and honestly choose to go towards or away from anybody or anything. Even when it feels as if there is no choice but to move towards something painful, or we habitually move away from the possibility of true intimacy, this embodiment practice is a big first step towards awareness and shifting long-term patterns.
This is the capacity to know where we are in space and how to move confidently and safely in any direction.
We are mindful of our shape and size, our posture, and navigate direction, proximity, and distance in healthy ways. We can dance with daring velocity without crashing into others or hurting ourselves through the awareness of this amazing resource. In life this translates as being able to move through the world with confidence and self awareness.
There is a subtle difference between letting go and releasing. Some mindfulness practices promote the discharging of strong sensations, feelings, and thought patterns. In Open Floor movement practice, we encourage making ourselves bigger in order to hold the sometimes overwhelming experiences we all have.
The use of releasing as a movement resource helps us in cultivating a bigger container for strong feelings. The ability to release tensions, emotions, thoughts, and even a breath is an essential healing skill.
Dissolving is the movement of softening our sense of shape and physical form, of aligning with spaciousness rather than mass.
This is a delicate and exquisite exploration that’s helpful in dealing with wounds, fixations, or rigid belief systems on any level.
It is also a way to cultivate a sense of peace and oneness on or off the dance floor.
This is the ability to turn the our movement in a specific, intentional direction: to move here not there, now not later, right not left.
Working with a vector means we choose to establish a certain direction or follow one that is already happening.
We learn to harness our forces with clarity and intention, whether our movement is intense, chaotic, soft, or subtle.
Pause is an alive yet receptive state where we can become aware of subtle embodied states.
Pausing opens us to notice, feel, and sense before or after we act. Pausing helps with listening and witnessing.
When we pause we have a resource available to bring full attention to the moment and to our breath.