BY JANE MALEK, Senior Teacher and Movement Training Teacher
My interest in movement began in 1980 when I was going to Marion’s weekly movement class. I had practiced yoga for several years and found that I was often over extending myself before my body relaxed. As a result, my lower back was in pain most of the time. The first time I went to Marion’s class I felt so self-conscious in front of all these women who were much older than me who were having so much fun acting like they were in kindergarten. I was not. I don’t know why I continued to go to class, but there was something that just caught my attention.
Over time I realized I could move more and more, I was having fun too, and I had more energy. When Marion started to travel to Sweden she asked me to teach the class for her. On one hand I really wanted to, and on the other I felt I really didn’t know how I could play the music, watch everyone, and think of some movements all at the same time. With practice I started to learn to put a class together. By listening to music at home, I began to feel inspired to stretch to a certain piece of music or to move my legs to a faster rhythm.
Once I began to teach the class, I discovered I could let go of my plan and create the class in response to the participants . The spontaneity brings in the fun. People of all ages and physical abilities can do the movements.
They are so simple that even people who don’t move very much can begin to loosen up. Moving together in rhythm to the music is a very joyous and integrative experience. This is when inhibition leaves and one no longer thinks about what they are doing. It just comes naturally and you can experience a very logical way for allowing the body to move.
Elements that are unique to Rosen movement include pausing long enough between movements so people experience the natural breath, opening the chest and feeling the inner stretch and ease in the diaphragm, doing the movements long enough so they are felt in the body but not for so long that one becomes tired, using the music to support the movement, emphasis on moving with the rhythm, and moving all the joints so the synovial fluid can continue to lubricate them.
It’s very exciting to see how people change after a five day intensive. One student said she was surprised at how much it was like a bodywork intensive and wished she’d given herself more time off in the evenings just to be with herself. The movements help to bring into life what you can become aware of during a class. You learn to move through life in a new way.