Interacting with Nature and connecting with the Not-So-Human
Moving in and with nature has been a vital part of not only my practice but my wellbeing in general. To interact with nature and connect with the not-so-human is possible in so many different ways. In this article I share a collection of reflections about moving in nature as well of examples how you can interact with nature in a playful way.
Moving in and with nature
Summertime means also shifting my practice a bit more towards outdoor practices.
This video is a brief intro towards how I personally like to move with the not-so-human. Also in my work the natural world plays a central role.
As much as I love beautiful studios, dojos and urban environments I can’t neglect the fact that the place we came from – nature – needs to be taken care more of and through a deeper connection with it we can lay a first step in this direction.
A glimpse into some of my outdoor practices. All the spots I reached with Mountainbike in between. The spots are there, you need to find them: a (fallen) tree, a slope/hill, stones, rails, stairs, whatever.
The day ended with a lovely meal under a huge umbrella with pouring rain and thunder.
”I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life..“
Immersing in the Not-so-human
Usually I share videos of my specific practice of acrobatics, dance and the in-between here. Apart from this very enjoyable and to me meaningful practice I simply love to move, feel my body and even better, use movement to get in contact with the not-so-human, which is nature.
Experiencing nature with all of my senses – smelling thick jungle scents, tasting salty ocean air, hearing wind blowing through thousands of leaves, seeing microscopic biospheres on top of mossy rocks, feeling particles of sand gliding thorough my hands – is partaking in nature and interacting with it. In those moments I momentarily forget my ordinary life and it seems that the waves (mind) of the ocean (awareness) come to rest. Whenever I feel I get too overwhelmed by everyday life, I know how to exit for a moment.
The other day I was cycling up a steep hill in pouring rain.. Droplets of water and sweat running over my skin, heart pounding, heavy but floating breath and a happy mind.
Getting in contact with nature, in whatever way, and I mean contact with all of our senses, seems to be not a nice-to-have but a necessity. Climbing a tree in a city park, taking the shoes off while going through a puddle, hands into moist humus, smelling flowers on the way home, taking a brief moment to look up to the sky – possibilities to experience the not-so-human are endless and always available. If not with all senses, at least with one. As was @nelsonjsol writing in a post: “Find the bird singing … there is always one.“
Inspired by two books: The spell of the Sensuous by David Abram and Being Aware of being Aware by Rupert Spira
is a short movie in which I try to capture what moved me in that beautiful and wild cliff in the Algarve, Portugal.
As I was sitting in my car at the edge of the cliff, drinking a coffee and reading an inspiring book, I again noticed the wild beauty of the Atlantic coast.
The rain splattered on the windshield and the wind moved the car.
As I got off the car I felt the rain and wind on my skin, smelled the salty and slightly fishy air and felt the need to express this feeling of aliveness in a dance.
The rain, the slightly soft sand and the approaching high tide added a slight element of discomfort which somehow added to the overall feeling of aliveness. I did not focus too much on technical execution in this dance but let myself be moved by the situation and surroundings, allowing myself to simply move, falling for habits and enjoying the sloppiness of acrobatics in wet and soft sand.
The song adds to the whole experience with its kinda rough/dark/powerful vibe.
Looking at the finished piece takes me back to the situation – personal goal achieved!
A short film about a meeting with earth.
I smell soil and the forest.
I see light shining through leaves and dust that is flying around me.
I hear birds, the river and my own breath.
I feel the wind playing with my hair and dust all over me.
I taste the earth.
I move and dance and I sense the presence of life all around me.
I inhale I rise, I exhale I fall.
“To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles.” – Mary Davis
Originally my reaction was ”SEEK SHELTER“, until I realized that I had nothing to do, so why sit under a tree watching the rain when you can also BE in the rain, EXPERIENCE the rain?
.. because we are not made from sugar.
Spent the last five days in the Pyrenees bouldering
It’s been a while since I really practiced bouldering and the skin of my hand is showing me now.. If you have been quite new to my page here, you might get the impression that my practice is all about dancing, acrobatics and that like. And while my focus lies exactly on this at the moment (and probably will for a while) I do follow and promote a generalistic approach to movement.
As I have said before, I like to work on „projects“. Pick something that you find inspiring and practice. Keep working and exploring and dig deep within this project. At a certain point you might feel the urge to lay this project aside. Important note: it doesn’t mean to stop fully. It simply means to put the things you have been working on aside to let something new and different and maybe more inspiring to you at the time in. Being a generalist doesn’t mean to do everything at once, eh!