Improving your Movement and Grace as a Servant

By HoneyBadger (aka Wildfleurs)

Beyond providing a good level of service, something that is important but
sometimes overlooked is the movement in service or in general. To steal an
example from a Catherine Gross workshop on “Refining Service Movement” that
I had the pleasure to sit through, the attention that one pays to the way they hold
their arms behind their back can reveal a great deal about how important their
current task is and how much attention they are paying to themselves and their
dominant. Its something I’ve become more aware of over time and through
sitting in a couple of classes on the topic and discussing it in a few online venues
I decided to write a brief article on it surmising a lot of what I have learned.

Some of the factors that can affect grace in movement

  • Overall muscle strength
  • Flexibility
  • Awareness

Overall muscle strength
Basically the stronger your muscles, the easier it is for you to move without pain
or pause. Since I am not a trainer or medical professional, the only suggestion I
have is to join a gym or consult your doctor about the best ways for you to build
muscle strength.

Flexibility
Yoga can help immensely in increasing flexibility and holding difficult positions
and breathing through it, which can help in difficult bondage or just pushing
through physical service when you are in tired or in painful heels. These days
there are a multitude of yoga centers in most town or gyms such as Ballys offer
yoga classes as well. For more information about yoga and illustrated poses for
beginners, visit http://www.yogajournal.com/

Belly dancing classes can help in terms of improving the grace and flow of
movements by helping the servant to become more aware of how their body is
moving. It’s a little harder to find belly-dancing classes than yoga, but they are
available and a good resource for finding dancers, teachers, videos, and books
on belly dancing is http://www.shira.net/.

Martial arts are an area I know very little about, however I have heard it
suggested as a means to improve service movement through gaining flexibility
(and I’m sure to some degree strength).

Awareness
There are a few ways to help improve balance, namely in the area of back
posture and standing erect but relaxed. The most popular is walking with a book
on your head. Even if you just do it for a day you will become much more aware
of your posture and how it affects the way you walk and carry yourself. A good
article on indicators of poor posture and how to improve it is available at
http://www.realsimple.com/health/fitness-exercise/better-posture

Another way to improve the grace and flow of your movement is to have a
constant beat to the movement as opposed to walking fast and then fast. So if
you are walking across the room to pick up a pitcher of water and pour it into a
glass *all* of those movements are done on the exact same beat including
picking up the pitcher and pouring. The idea behind it is that if you move at the
same pace that eventually you will just seamlessly move into the background.

So the movement would end up being:

  • Beat-step
  • Beat-step
  • Beat-step
  • Beat-reach for pitcher
  • Beat-lift pitcher
  • Beat-pour pitcher
  • Beat-put pitcher down
  • Beat-lift glass
  • Beat-pivot
  • Beat-step
  • Beat-step
  • Beat-offer glass to owner

If you can hear a constant rhythmic beat in your head similar to a metronome
then that helps in terms of a constant beat. If you need a little bit of help getting
a constant beat, there is a virtual metronome that will help you available at
http://www.metronomeonline.com

In general just being aware of how you are standing or holding yourself can be
beneficial. Being aware of things like your back posture, position of your
shoulders, head placement, can show a lot of attention to detail. Practicing
moving from a kneeling position to standing smoothly in front of a mirror can also
be very helpful instead of waiting to practice in front of your dominant/owner!
If there are other resources or hints for improving movement that you can think
of, please feel free to email me about it.

Copyright Wildfleurs@att.net. Do not reproduce without authors permission.
This article was published on www.withinreality.com with permission of the author.