As we continue the process of fine tuning our practice we may notice that doing the usual patterns starts to become easier. When even combining movement of the legs with the variations of movements for both the horizontal and vertical arm patterns becomes very familiar, it is time to start adding a bit more complexity. How do you know that it has become quite easy for you? If you find yourself thinking about other times and places, like planning your day while you are practicing, you will benefit from spicing up the practice so that your repertoire of movements, your coordination and focus can expand as well.
Some thoughts on learning
Learning requires stepping into less familiar territory. This means that we will make ‘mistakes’, we may move the leg to step two instead of three or we may get confused. This is an indication that we are moving beyond our comfort, which is the pre-requisite to learn. Like with learning anything else, it is a journey of discovery, and messing up, is part of the learning process. As we continue trying, we eventually figure out how to get things to move according to the new pattern. Then we can refine our movements and start playing with different speeds. The video below offers one possible pattern for moving the legs, and whole body, in 3D space while we continue using the already familiar horizontal and vertical arm patterns. Of course you can make up other combinations of leg movements.
Dance of Shiva Movements of Legs across Space in 3D rotation
- Right leg moves up and forward
- Turn to your left
- Left leg arcs in and back
- Right leg up and back to match the left leg
There are four leg actions that can match the four positions of the arms to take you around into a complete 360 degree turn. As you repeat the same leg pattern you have a chance to also modify the arm movements, so in the first turn you can go with arms forward (1-2-3-4), on the second turn you can move your arms backward (1-4-3-2), the third turn you can have one arm moving forward (1-2-3-4) and the other arm moving backward (1-4-3-2) and for the final turn you can reverse the arms. Of course, you can also explore starting with the left leg.
In this video you can see an example of playing with the leg pattern that turns you around in 3D space.
As you probably know you can create all possible variations to help you stay focused while you expand your coordination. Remember to modulate the internal narration and commentary to a minimum.
I hope that you enjoy your practice.
As usual, please remember that there is a very complete DVD on the Theory and Practice of the Dance of Shiva by Andrey Lappa on Pranamaya.com.
More Dance of Shiva articles:
- Dance of Shiva (Shiva Nata) Introduction
- Dance of Shiva (Shiva Nata) Starting with Arms in Different Positions
- Dance of Shiva (Shiva Nata) Linking Horizontal – Vertical
- Dance of Shiva (Shiva Nata) Arms and Legs
Simple guided meditation with Rubén