The Bluearth Approach is built around six key elements, which are proven to help children move confidently and competently, and improve their physical, social, and emotional wellbeing.
The sixth and final element is Core Movement, which is designed to bring awareness to the structure and function of the body.
Read on to learn more.
What is Core Movement?
Core movement is designed to bring awareness to the structure and function of the body. This information is essential for enhanced awareness of more dynamic automatic movement, and imbalances within the body-mind. Key elements of alignment, connectivity, energetics, breathing and attentiveness are developed and understood through regular practise of core movement.
Silence and stillness are encouraged during core movement. This allows students to reflect on who they are, and improve concentration and composure. It is intended that this awareness permeates other lived experiences.
Benefits of Core Movement
The various postures involved in core movement help to open and release the tight areas of your body over an appropriate time span. Releasing contracted parts of your body will not only give you more energy, but it will also make you more comfortable in your body.
Additionally, core movements train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony, and thus improve your balance and stability.
Fundamentals of Core Movement
For core movement to be the most beneficial for the body and mind, there are some fundamentals to follow when undertaking postures. These include:
- Always performing the poses slowly and with awareness.
- Being aware of your areas of tightness and releasing contracted parts of your body.
- Where you are in the pose will vary each time you practice.
- Coordinating your movements with your breathing. Proper breathing adds a vital and dynamic aspect to relaxation.
- Every posture involves a “push” and a “yield”.
- A large part of the art and skill in core movement lies in sensing how far to move into a stretch.
This place in the stretch has been termed the “edge”.
How core movement is integrated into Bluearth sessions
Core movement is integrated into Bluearth sessions by designating time for activities that activate core muscles (aka the muscles deep within the abdominals and back, attaching to the spine or pelvis). Examples include the Chair Pose, Single Leg Balance (with hip extension), and Bow Bose. The steps for each are outlined below.
- Begin by standing in Mountain Pose and move to Standing Overhead Arms.
- Slowly sit using the body’s hinges at the ankles, knees and hips to lower the body, keeping the inner knees together, heels grounded and feet facing forward.
- The torso will tilt forward slightly. Strive not to bend too far forward, keeping the spine long, torso and arms aligned.
Single Leg Balance (with hip extension)
- From Mountain Pose, exhale and fold the trunk forward hinging from the hips. Place the hands down on blocks or on the floor.
- Lift the left leg in line with the trunk, ensuring that the hips are square and that the spine is long.
- Press your arms straight, making them long, and lift upward with your chest. Keep your gaze at the floor. Either stay here or for more of a challenge, lengthen your arms, lift up and stay lifted. Elongate your spine horizon- tally forward. Press backward through the buttocks and keep the energy lines alive.
- Hold this position with the intention of using the foot as support and lengthening the spine and therefore having the hamstring and calves actively lengthen.
- Inhale, bring the left leg down to the ground and come back to Mountain Pose. Repeat on the other side.
- Lie flat on your stomach, find length through the spine, connect front of the pelvis to the ground, and bend your knees.
- Reach back and take a hold of your ankles with both hands. Holding your ankles, lengthen the spine as you extend the heels up to the ceiling. Keeping the shoulder blades down, away from the neck, lift your head and chest from the floor.
- Using your arms, gently pull your legs so your thighs rise off the floor. At the same time lift your head and chest as high as you can off the floor.
- The goal is to listen to where your body can safely move too in this extended position not reaching a certain destination or shape.
- Breathe rhythmically while holding this position.
- To come out of bow pose, slowly lower your chest and thighs to the ground with control before releasing the hands from the ankles and laying flat on your belly for a few moments.