Duck Walk

Duck Walk:

Start in Open Stance with feet hip width apart and lift the toes and balls of your right or left foot and then lower them. Alternate between your feet to simulate a walking motion. Involve the hips by wagging your imaginary tail. Look forward to keep your body upright, and play with fast, medium, and slow gaits. Use your arms to engage your upper body.

This is week eight of my 52 week challenge, and our focus this week will be Duck Walk. Invite Duck Walk into your daily routine this week, and allow yourself to play with the three planes of movement (high, middle, and low) as well as the three intensity levels. Let the five sensations of fitness, stability, mobility, flexibility, agility, and strength guide your exploration. Seek pleasure in this movement as you dance through life this week. At the end of your week with Duck Walk, report back or journal about your own experiences.

So, last week I noted that Rock Around the Clock was a movement that I have not enjoyed as much as some of the other moves of Nia, and I spent much of last week trying to understand why that is. I am happy to report this week that I HAVE a new appreciation for Rock Around the Clock. You might even say that I have had a breakthrough in my relationship with this move, and I have my knees to thank for this.

One of the reasons that I think I avoided this movement was because I rarely sensed stability in my base when I used to do this move. For me, the lack of stability also created a lack of pleasure. I don’t like to do things that I don’t think I am good at. Last week as I focused on Rocking Around the Clock, I would note those times when I felt like I was falling or leaning, and I would look down to see what was going on with my base. Low and behold, those silly knees of mine were locking when I rocked back causing me to lose my balance. I was truly surprised. I would have told you that I had soft knees every time, but I clearly did not. I worked all week at keeping soft, soft knees which allowed me to not only keep my balance and sense stability in my base, but it also allowed me to recover gracefully on those occasions when I got a little carried away with movements that were a little bigger than normal. Those soft knees also allowed me to sense agility as I shifted from sides to toes or tail or simply changed direction.

I have been spending a lot of time with Debbie and Carlos via the 52 moves pre-release video that I purchased at my white belt training, and it was on that video that Debbie delivered the pearl of hula hooping. I love to hula hoop. With this pearl in mind, I had a second “ah ha” moment with Rock Around the Clock–I needed to move my hips more. With fully engaged hips and soft knees, I moved between the planes and varied the size and speed of my movements.

I can happily report that I have found pleasure in this movement. My ankle and knees and hips all played nicely together, and I felt no pain as I rounded the clock. For the people in my life that played this last week with me and endured far too many conversations about body position or soft knees, thank you! Your encouragement and sense of play was instrumental in my new-found love of Rock Around the Clock.

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