Friday, 29 January 2010

Giovanni's class: yoga, movement and the world

On Thursday 28th, at last I managed to go to a class at ID by Giovanni Felicioni, whose classes I am always interested in but don't make it often for some reason. Here is a description of his class:

Giovanni Felicioni
Mon 25th – Thurs 28th January
Finding The Ground Finding The Sky | This Body -- No Body
In these morning classes, which help us orient for the day, we will take the Tonic Function Theory of Hubert Godard as the main theme of our embodiment explorations on ourselves alone and on ourselves with others.
We will look at how context and perception are the basic continuum in which human movement takes place in space and time.
How this gives rise to our resource and our missing gestures and all the before before activity that goes on to finally blossom as movement in our changing world.
The experiential nature of the class will hopefully satisfy our need to move and our need to know. The small pools, puddles and rivulets will hopefully satisfy our need to know and our need to move. Yoga

Well, I actually did not read this carefully before I went and because I went only once I have no idea what the Tonic Function Theory is. For me, it felt like what we looked in the class was something really broken down from yoga. I recognise this rotation of the shoulder or that extension of the leg from this and that yoga asana (position) but what we did was just the initiation of asana and we repeat slowly to understand with the bones and deep tissues, which leads me to the state of a half sleep, like I used to feel in a Pilates session. A half sleep must be a good state to work on the body deeply.

Yoga tends to be alone practice even in a class. What I liked in Giovanni's class was that we did a kind of duet work. How do I tune in or not tune in to my partner. Then another good thing here was that we kept swapping a partner so that it was more like encountering a person and have a little conversation, rather than sitting down with a cup of coffee and talk for hours. I like this not-so-deep communication. This is more like the world. I remember what Deborah Hay said in her workshop; "here and gone. here and gone." about a moment in time that we never be able to catch and hold.

From a simple movement we tried in the class, I realised a clear fact that I tend to forget. As Giovanni pointed I tend to initiate a movement from my core, which is the essence of Pilates. But in fact, that is not only kind of movement. There is a movement that is initiated by a push with the feet or a swing of the arm. I do know these from dance but do they exist in Pilates? I guess not. Then suddenly I see this small box of Pilates as movement. Movement has much more varieties and there is no right or wrong in the end (unless you hurt yourself). The complex brings the expression and the identity of the person.

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