Written by: Angie Berrett, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Intuitive Movement challenges you to move in response to sensory input from your body rather than movement dictated by your mind. Intuitive Movement is grounded in curiosity, somatic exploration, fun, and joyful movement, with moves like “Sky Dancer” and “Wiggle and Jiggle”.
The English language includes body-based idioms, such as “gut reaction”, “cold heart”, “shoulder the blame”, etc. But how much are you in touch with these sensations?
On average, the human body is capable of sending sensory or somatic information to the brain for processing at a rate of over 11,000,000 bits per second. However, the brain can only consciously process about 50 bits per second of information. This means the human brain is mindful of only approximately 0.00046% of the messages it receives from the body.
Some examples of somatic information are:
Breathing quality and rate
Lack of feeling in a body area
The good news is that you can increase your awareness of somatic input! One way is through Intuitive Movement.
What is Intuitive Movement?
Intuitive Movement is moving in ways that help you listen to sensory messages your body is sending your brain. Intuitive Movement increases awareness of your body’s experiences rather than disconnecting from this valuable information.
Intuitive Movement incorporates curiosity, joyful movement, creativity, imagination, and fun. Intuitive Movement lets go of your mind’s belief of what you “should be” doing or feeling and instead allows your body to express its needs.
Benefits of Intuitive Movement include (but are not limited to):
More fun and joy
Decreased stress, anxiety, depression, tension, and trauma
My top 5 Intuitive Movement Recommendations to get started!
Any of these moves can be done seated or standing. Lengthen up through your spine stacking each vertebra (spinal bone) on top of one another, engaging your core muscles. If you are seated, lift away from the backrest, protecting your low back.
Go with what feels most comfortable in your body. If you feel pain, ease back, stop, or skip a move.
Start with a side-to-side sway. Get curious about what is happening with your shoulders, jaw, fingers, gut, toes, breath, heart rate, or anything else you notice.
Now try swaying front to back. Bring awareness to those same places in your body.
Notice what sensations you feel when your body is relaxed versus when it tenses up. Most of us have one direction that is more soothing than the other.
Which direction feels more calming to you?
2. Jellyfish Hands
Imagine your hands are jellyfish floating in the ocean, rounding and flattening out on the waves. Begin by bringing all of your fingertips together. Moving at whatever rhythm feels comfortable to you, stretch your fingers as wide apart as they will go. Bring your fingertips back in together. Flow through these movements a few times.
Bring awareness to where and what you feel. Humans have many nerve endings in our hands. Additionally, many of the muscles that control our hands are in our forearms, so you may feel muscle activation in your forearms.
Where did you feel this move the most?
3. Growing Roots
Make believe you are a tree, planting your feet down into the ground. Pretend you are growing roots down into the ground from all 4 corners of your feet; 1 corner under your big toe, 1 corner under your pinkie toe, 1 corner on the right side of your heel, and 1 corner on the left side of your heel.
Pick 1 foot up at a time, imagining you have to pull all 4 roots up out of the ground. As you set that foot down in a new position, push those 4 corner roots back deep into the ground. Then pick the other leg up and do the same thing. Repeat each side a few times.
Explore what muscles need to be activated to stabilize so you can pick up one foot to balance. Then notice what sensations you feel as you ground that foot back down.
Do you feel all 4 corners of your feet?
4. Sky Dancer, Wind Dancer, or Air Dancer
Different names for the same move! Pretend you are one of those tubes with arms that fill with air to dance in the wind.
Bring your feet to a stable, comfortable distance apart. Imagine you are a fabric tunnel without any air in it. Then someone switches your air on. Pretend your body is weightlessly filled with air. Let your body freely move however it wants while keeping your feet stable as the base. Have fun!
Whenever you are done, as dramatically as you want, pretend someone switches your air off, and you deflate. Catch your breath. Repeat as often as you desire.
What did it feel like to have the freedom to move and to be silly?
5. Wiggle and Jiggle
Start to shift your body around, feeling your muscles. Begin shaking your body ‒ your arms, legs, torso, head, jaw, feet, wherever you want. Try to let your muscles relax and just flow. The more wiggle and jiggle, the better! Release the shake when you are tired.
Cycle through this a few times, exploring how to wiggle and jiggle different areas of your physique. Shaking releases tension in your muscles and body.
What did your body feel like after you got some wiggle and jiggle?
Intuitive Movement is a valuable tool to discover messages your body is sending to your brain. When you connect to sensory information your body communicates, your quality of life drastically improves.
To learn how Intuitive Movement can benefit you, schedule a free consultation with me today. Click here to book now!
Angie Berrett, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Angie Berrett (she/they) is an Intuitive Movement Coach, Registered Nurse, Advanced Trauma Informed Yoga Instructor, Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga Instructor and child abuse survivor who understands the human body and how it works. Discovering playful ways of moving taught her how to listen to her body, overcoming her own personal trauma in ways traditional modalities could not. She is the Owner and Creator of Angie Berrett Movement, coaching people to relieve stress, anxiety, depression and trauma through play, movements and fun so they can have healing and peace in their lives.