“Ouch!” How to Avoid the Pain in Flow Arts
Increase your learning curve and decrease your injury potential in your flow arts practice. No matter what your prop, poi, hula hoop, staff, rope dart, whatever, these techniques will drastically decrease the amount of times you experience pain in flow arts and speed up your process of learning new tricks and in getting more easily into the “flow state”. Let’s go!
1. Yoga and QiGong Warmup
Don’t just mindlessly stretch for 10 seconds and then call it good. Remember that your original props are your breath, mind, and body. Without these things in order, your energy in motion (e-motion) are going to get out of whack quick and you’re flowing a prop is soon to follow. Just notice how happy and in the flow state you become when you hit yourself square in the nose five minutes into practicing. When we keep our posture upright and aligned, and our breath full and focused, your awareness dramatically increases.
Over time, when you come to master the mind, breath and body, you’ll know to keep your inner eye on the prize and only focus on your desired outcomes instead of the mistakes (“lessons in love”) you will inevitably make. For a quick 20 minute full body, mind, breath and life force warmup and/or cool down, check out the one I have on my YouTube channel here.
2. Frequent practices and breaks
If you really want to go for gold, you’ll need to not only practice frequently, but you’ll also need to take breaks often as well. Your body and mind (nervous system) needs time to recover from all the exercise. It’s better to have a solid 5-20 minute practice session with a small to long break than to push it for hours frustrating yourself. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re in the flow state and time flies by with your practice prop, by all means get it while the getting’s good. All in all, remember that you will learn even while you are not practicing (while you are resting), so practice well, celebrate small victories and keep imagining yourself getting that new trick right!
3. Know your limits
Understand where you are at with your flow arts. Don’t go striving to get that one expert move because you think it looks cool. Start with where you are at and take baby steps towards doing more manageable tricks. Don’t know what tricks are or aren’t manageable? If you have made little to no progress after practicing the trick for 30-40 minutes and you’re already starting to hate it, it’s too hard for you.
Practice and master something more simple (how flat are your planes?). Your new and fine motor skills will grow over time and eventually nothing will be out of reach. Till then, understand you have some soft, medium and hard limits. Stick to what is manageably challenging for you and you’ll be glad you did.
Hitting yourself is part of the humility we all must experience on our way to flow mastery. Though the frequency of the pummeling is strongly due to the way you practice, visualize yourself doing the trick right, and keep good posture and a steady breath. To really increase your learning curve, hire a professional teacher, like me! 🙂
Yours in flow,