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This is the final lesson for Movement 1. If you’ve enjoyed this free course or benefited from the practices, please consider making a donation. It’s easy to to do through the donation page on this website. All contributions are deeply appreciated and go to support future projects and teaching.
I want to once again thank Kaizen Taki of Movement Daily, as well as Vladimir Vasiliev, Konstantine Komorov, and the larger Systema community, without whom I would not have been exposed to this type of training. So much has been given to me, and through this course I hope to have passed on some of my understanding and insights into these practices.
When I started this course, I wanted to share some of the elements of my own training to help my students and other interested people with their movement, exercise, and solo practice. And I wanted to give people some direction for using their everyday training as a vehicle for self inquiry.
We’ve gone a long way toward laying out a framework of movement that can serve as the backbone for extensive practice — even life-long practice. There is so much more to explore with even these simple exercises. The scope of this kind of practice is a large as you care to make it.
For each lesson, I had to choose carefully just a few exercise that would point you in the right direction. There is so much more I would have liked to show you. But it’s impossible to show everything at once. I will continue to point and to answer any questions you may have, but ultimately, practice is a journey you have to discover for yourself.
In this final lesson, we’ll be taking all the different elements we covered — ground checks, turnovers, crawling, push-ups, rolling, sit-ups, transitions, squats, jogging, free move, walking, and recovery — and combine them into a 20 minute workout you can utilize in your daily training. And as usual, we’ll look at how to go even deeper.
STEP BY STEP
1. Get a timer you can use to time the practice intervals. Countdown timer on your phone will do, if you don’t have a dedicated interval timer. I use an app called seconds that allows my to quickly program different exercises for different times and link them all together. It has a voice which cues your next exercise, which means you can just keep moving! :)
2. Get ready! For each exercise, you’ll just be doing freestyle movement as follows:
- Ground Checks — 1 minute
- Turnovers — 1 minute
- Crawling — 1 minute
- Push-ups — 1 minute
- Rolls — 1 minute
- Sit-ups — 1 minute
- Transitions — 1 minute
- Squats — 1 minute
- Jogging — 1 minute
- Free Move — 3 minutes
- Walking — 2 minutes
- Transitions — 1 minute
- Recovery — 5 minutes
a. Look at the progression of exercises. They start with just lying on the ground in various positions while releasing tension. Then they slowly build in intensity. At or around Free Move (before or after), you can start to back off on the intensity, and start a gradual downshift toward cool down and recovery. Note that there are two Transitions segments. The first one is still ramping up in intensity, while the second one is more like a cool down. Remember that even while increasing intensity, we are still trying to minimize tension.
b. It’s normal for this practice to vary day by day according to you mood and needs. Listen to what your body is telling you and allow your practice to be self guiding. Some day you need high intensity, others will be more focused on relaxation and inquiry.
c. During Free Move, you can really do any kind of work you like, including more of any of the other exercises or combining all of them. Listen to your body and see what it needs and how it wants to move.
d. For Recovery, I usually lay flat on my back and just breath, restoring my body to a pre-exercise baseline and then going into a deeper state of mind-body relaxation. This is a perfect time to continue with further meditation and inquiry.
Movement is only a part of this practice. The approach is really broad in scope. We are using movement here at a sort of entry point or a gateway into what is ultimately a larger holistic practice.
To go deeper, we can first take all the exercises we have done so far and explore them in different environments and with different parameters.
If you have been practicing in your living room, for example, try rearranging all the furniture, closing your eyes, and then doing all the same work. It will be totally different. Or better yet, go outside, in the yard or in a forest somewhere and see how the practice changes and how you change. Roll around on the rocks, crawl into the water, run up a hill, and so on.
Next, see that whatever other practices you are already doing or that you take up along the way are not separate from this work. It is the same work. To look inward is what really matters, and to inquire into the nature of things and into the nature of yourself.
So this work really includes all types of health, meditation, and spiritual practices. Massage, sauna, cold-water dousing, good diet and sleep habits, zazen, mantras, rituals, and prayer can all be seen as parts of this great practice. And many more types of practice as well.
Don’t limit yourself. See how everything you are doing, everything you encounter in life, all the ups and downs, and every practice and teacher you are blessed by, are all working toward an understanding and a way of being beyond your current conception of yourself.
It is the nature of paths that we do not really know where they lead. We have to follow them, all the way to the end, to find out.
Every day for 1 week, do a 20 minute movement workout that incorporates all the movement elements of this course.
Find consistency in daily practice, but allow that practice to expand and change over time. Allow your practice to go where it needs to go, and you will always be in the right place.
preview | introduction | 1 ground checks | 2 turnovers | 3 crawling | 4 push-ups | 5 rolls | 6 sit-ups | 7 transitions | 8 squats | 9 jogging | 10 free move | 11 walking | 12 recovery | comprehensive practice