Back Kick

Back Kick: Pull your heel up and back toward your buttocks into Ready Position, then kick backward, in a motion similar to a mule kick. As you kick, keep the knee of your supporting leg unlocked and spring loaded, using your hands and arms for balance. Imagine you are leaving a footprint on the wall behind you. To challenge your sense of balance, look backward as you kick. To kick high, rotate on the supporting leg’s hip joint. To bolster your balance, sound the word wheee! Alternate sides. Benefits: Practicing Back Kick is an excellent conditioning for the back side of your body. (From The Nia Technique Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas).

It is week 26 of the 52 week challenge, and that means that we are halfway there. Yay! Join me this week as we play with Back Kick and report back at the end of the week about your experiences. Incorporate this move into your daily routine, 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.

Last week we played with Side Kick, and it was a bit of a challenge for me. I was nervous about my hips. My hips are not as happy as I would like them to be and frequently make loud popping noises. While I started the week with some slight trepidations, it turned into a great opportunity to explore and learn from my body. For example, I learned that if I keep my kicks small I have no issues. If I do Nia 5 stages first, I have no problems. However, if I don’t keep the kicks small or allow myself to warm up with 5 stages my hips are not very happy. I don’t have any pain associated with this popping noise, but it is worrisome nonetheless. Even though I wanted to Side Kick with wild abandon this week, my hips would not quietly be ignored. The message from my body was loud and clear, and it was saying “take it easy, be kind to your hips”. The final lesson this week was about respect for my body and its limits.

I played with the position of my toes this week on my supporting leg, and I enjoyed having greater range in my kicks when my toes pointed out. I also thought a lot about anatomy this week (WB principle 10); I weighted the inside of my supporting leg so that the large bones (femur and tibia) were supporting my body, and I imagined my heel connecting with various imaginary targets. Bringing the focus to the bones helped me with form this week.

The five sensations were with me all week. As I pulled my foot in towards my buttocks, I sensed stability in my supporting leg, strength in my kicking leg, and mobility in my hip joint. As I extended my leg, I sensed flexibility, and I sensed agility with each kick as my leg moved in and out and as I alternated sides. It was a fun week, and although I encountered personal challenges with my hips, I feel like I made progress.

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