Getting unstuck using your back!
At a certain point progress in Juggling can stall.
There are tons of reasons for this that I’m not going to go into here.
Its often a normal part of the learning process with ups and downs and plateaus. “Progress” is mostly non-linear but sometimes we can really feel stuck and start losing fun. The fun may still be there but perhaps you’d like to make a leap with your technical and creative abilities.
To help get out of this sticky feeling why not try something completely different!
Perhaps change the way you see juggling,
ask yourself new questions,
meet other jugglers,
or what I’d like to propose today: INCREASE YOUR BODY AWARENESS and in particular that of your spine.
The spine is a massive organization of bones, cartilage, tissues, fascia, nerves and lots of muscles that all cooperate together and amongst other roles consents us to stay upright. When working well the spine connects the upper and lower parts of the body and supports harmonious and functional movement. When the spine is at the centre of our movements everything is organised better. The spine becomes a central axis around which everything else irradiates. This includes juggling. Shoulders and hips can relax and soften as arms and legs are more connected to our axis and allow for more precision and elegance. In Taichi and Yoga much attention is put into waking up the spine and giving it a life of its own.
“Correct” or functional posture emerges from this but the work is best when done from inside out through awareness and feeling without imposing a certain form on the spine as this may lead to rigidity. The head gently stretches upwards lengthening the back of the neck, while the lower part of the spine pulls downwards towards the ground with the tail bone gently tucked in.
When, through weeks, months and years of practice with awareness our spine starts to come alive we become more focused, have more energy and are able to move in a much more organic way.
Our Juggling can improve greatly after even a few exercises before training with props. Aim at lengthening, bringing in awareness and making the spine as flexible as a shower cable.
Working (or playing) with images of the spine as flexible as willow branches and as strong as a steel spring can help even more. Play with cats, especially kittens, and feel how flexible their backbone is.
Move your body in a way that feels good to you while listening to the spine can be enough to become much more aware. Feel how reaching out with arms and legs connect parts of the body all the way through the axis. Experiment with twisting too.
Try out these ideas with and without props and see how much this can help bring your juggling to a new level of satisfaction!
Love to hear your thoughts.
Have fun playing, exploring and juggling!