Dance is your creative outlet. But some things are best done “off your mat,” at home, where you’re surrounded by a friend or a coach.
Practice dancing anywhere, anywhere — indoors, out, behind the sofa, wherever. For instance, on the couch in a hotel room. But don’t stop there. When in a crowded room, dance for 45 minutes on one foot or for 10 minutes on two. Dance in a small group or on a full circle.
This “off-the-mat” dancing is so critical for improving your coordination that I recommend you start a routine with one of these tips and expand it by the time you’re in your 30s.
Make your routine an hour or more long. The longer you dance, the more coordinated you’ll be.
Be deliberate! Don’t waste any energy just to have a great time.
Practice your moves while staying awake. The first few times you try dancing without music and lights, you’ll be amazed at how much faster you become.
Get your routine down in a couple of steps. Get it down on paper. Put some music and lights around you and you’ll notice that it helps. And the more you practice, the tighter your body gets together — and that’s good, because it helps your brain to learn what moves are good for you and your body to do.
After you’re done dancing, take some time to sit around a circle — a small circle or a long, winding path between your legs. Sit in the circle all day, as long as is comfortable for you. Your goal is to be there 20 minutes a day, even when you’re on a long road trip or in the middle of a house work session.
Dance is a very creative process at that point. Your mind begins to wander to other people’s performances, thoughts about their lives, dreams, hopes, and worries. For instance, you might begin to fantasize about your children’s futures. Or you start wishing that your boss would like you more, and maybe there’s an opening for you in a job that would allow you the freedom to be a full time mother.
I think of this practice as a “therapy dance” that helps your brain learn where to direct your attention and which parts of your body to focus your attention on. By “therapy” I mean that it involves focusing in on your body, focusing in on your muscles, focusing in on your breath
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