Being able to count in beats to music is an important aspect of SOMA Breathwork. By doing this you will then better find your timing for breathing to the music. For some people this can me more natural. For others you may require taking the time to practice listening for these beats.
For your first exercise, you will familiarise yourself with the routine moves in the video above. It is also a great opportunity for you to learn this in time for you to instruct your first class.
The above video starts with the Ambidexterity Dance Routine, then at 2min 25secs the Super Brain Yoga starts and at 3mins 25secs the shaking begins which flows into Ecstatic Dance.
Ambidexterity Dance Routine (0-2min 25sec)
This is a series of coordination exercises. When we do this to music with synchronised breathing, it activates both hemispheres of the brain.
Here is a breakdown of the routine:
- March to the beat (16 left and 16 right)
- Left elbow to right knee, right elbow to left knee. (8 on each side)
- Left hand to right foot, Right hand to left foot. (8 on each side)
- Left hand moves behind your back, to touch the back of your right foot; right hand moves behind your back, to touch the back of your left foot. (8 on each side)
- Side step and twist left to right, side step and twist right to left (8 on each side)
Once you have got the routine worked out, try going through it in time to the music. Eventually you will be able to do this without looking at the video.
Once you have that all in place, it is time to bring your attention to your breathing. Breathe in time to the beat and the dance movements: exhale when touching the opposite side of the body, inhale when getting ready for the next action.
In the class repeat this sequence twice to get everyone warmed up.
Note: each sequence will take approximately 1 minute 20 seconds at 126bpm (beats per minute).
Super Brain Yoga (2mins 25secs – 3mins 25secs)
This routine helps clear toxins from the brain by encouraging the movement of cerebrospinal fluid. It also helps to wake up both hemispheres of the brain.
- Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth right behind your teeth (as if you were about to say “La”). Leave it there throughout the exercise.
- Take your left hand and cross your upper body to hold of your right earlobe with thumb and forefinger. Make sure that the thumb is in front.
- Now take your right hand across your upper body to hold of your left earlobe. Again, make sure that the thumb is in front. At this point you’re pressing both earlobes simultaneously. Make sure your left arm is closest to your chest and your right arm over the top of it.
- Inhale through your nose and slowly squat down to the ground.
- Hold your breath in the squat position. Do not exhale until you start making your way back up to a standing position.
- Repeat this squatting action 16 times to 4 beats at 126bpm. It should be a smooth movement.
- At the end do a couple of big breaths as shown in the video.
Remember to keep holding your earlobes and to keep your tongue touching the roof of your mouth throughout the entire exercise. You will feel refreshed after this, and able to concentrate more. After a few weeks of regular practice, you should notice a consistent improvement in your ability to concentrate.
How the above routines benefit you
The cross lateral movement performed work both sides of the body evenly and involve coordinated movements of both eyes, both ears, both hands and both feet as well as balanced core muscles. When both eyes, both ears, both hands and feet are being used equally and in alignment with breathing the corpus callosum orchestrating these processes between the two hemispheres becomes more highly developed. Because both hemispheres and all four lobes of the brain are activated, cognitive functioning is heightened and ease of learning increases.
Note: In the class this routine should take about 1 minute
Shaking helps to wake up the nervous system. It also releases any trapped tension in the body.
- Ground both feet to the floor in a stable position hip distance apart.
- Begin to shake from the feet upwards keeping the feet still sending a vibration up through the spine and body,
- Begin to increase the vibration up into the hips, then into the arms until the whole body feels like it is vibrating.
Note: In the class this routine should take about 1 minute.
This is freestyle dance where you are free to go as wild, crazy, and energetic as you like.
If it is a group exercise, end with high fives and hugs.
Note: In the class this routine should take about 2.5 minutes
Practice, Practice, Practice
Your next mission is to make this a part of your daily morning routine for the next six days.
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