Movement - Breath

by Jennifer Nugent (music by Ron Rost)

photo of Jennifer Nugent teaching Movement Research's Morning Class at St. Mark's Church, NYC

The Movement-Breath score includes an audio component, in which you will be led into movement by Jennifer Nugent:

1. Download the audio track for Movement-Breath (you can click the yellow audio button link, above, to download all audio tracks for this website) to your phone or listening device. You can use headphones or run the audio through a speaker. It is best to download the track onto your device first and then play it.

2. Find a place that you feel comfortable moving in and play the audio track for this score. Feel free to pause the recording at any time if it is moving too fast for you. [The duration of the score is around 25 minutes long.]

Movement-Breath score (text version) :

Find a comfortable place to sit, stand, lie down. At any time you can pause the track to take more time to explore. Begin by noticing your breathing The action of breathing- the action of breathing as the initiator of breath. Taking note of air entering the lungs during inspiration and air leaving the lungs during expiration —

I like to think about the inspiration as a kind of dilating opening towards my curiosity and the expiration as a sort of coming home, grounding my curiosity, maybe naming something I’ve experienced or taking a moment to listen. Notice the quality of your breath and breathing. How it might have changed now that you are noticing it. You might notice that the breathing action is moving the lungs, ribs, chest and abdomen. The breathing is the action, but what is the breath? What is breath? What is the substance of your breath? What is its texture climate? I am thinking about breath as a movement and as a partner.

Let’s try to guide the breath through the body, adding on some thought, metaphor, imagery some of which I can provide.

During this time if the breath moves your mind to somewhere else do not stop it, you can continue following the breath's initiations and make your way back to the original exploration, or not. Beginning with the crown of the head. Feeling the hairs on the top of your head imagining the crown widening and becoming curious. Allow yourself to follow any sensation as you invite movement and movements to be a part of the exploration.

Begin moving the breath into the back of your head- possibly allowing it to help you experience the weight of your head taking note of other parts in the body that might want to move while you explore breath and the weight of your head.

Try allowing the forehead to soften and find a weightedness in the front of the head and back of the head imagining your brain and it’s weight pouring from place to place As you move with attention to the head, feel free to change position, place, or level. If desired, locomoting through space is another option.

Continue working with the head, but begin to notice your tongue inside of your mouth and follow it towards your throat and try to relax or simply notice your soft palate. Notice the structure and presence inside your mouth and throat opening

By softening here, notice other areas of the mouth or head that might accompany this softening.

Following breath through the head, mouth, tongue, and soft palate, allow this exploration to initiate movement in the vertebrae, the spine.

Head, tongue, mouth, spine.

Directing breath into the throat. Sides of the neck. Back of the neck. Consider making sounds from the throat area. These can be soft and quiet or loud; it is up to you. Allow your breath and desire to be in the lead. How do you want to present your breath into space?

Inviting your hands to touch into a surface -------- and push the surface, allowing a bit of weight to be felt in the arms. Continue exploring throat, tongue, spine, head

Begin to bring breath and movement to the sternum, clavicle, arms, and wrists. Allowing breath to travel between and around these places in your body.

Perhaps you can feel the arms moving in air supported by the sternum or clavicle or perhaps you can access and consider the architecture there allowing breath to present to you the delicateness of the wrists. Trying to allow an opening in the wrist while considering the sternum. Widening the clavicle area while noticing the length of the arm. Allow the breath to travel along the back of the arm imagining the three dimensional air surrounding you.

At any point you can come to standing if you like Bring your attention to Your hands breathing opening with an inhale and returning with the exhale Your head breathing opening with an inhale and returning home with the exhale Your feet breathing opening into the ground with an inhale and returning home with the exhale Your tailbone the very tip of the coccyx tail breathing -opening with an inhale and returning with the exhale Six limbs pulsing breathing searching working reflecting

Thinking of the word “ensemble” maybe it is all the parts of you in dialogue perhaps it is a larger consideration, as if reaching out through these six limbs connecting outwards and bringing connection back inward towards you Play with the words: Touch - Yield - Ground - Place

Now begin to allow breath and attention to pass through the hip joints, down the femur bones and through the knees.

How do you follow breath’s pattern?

Allowing the pelvic halves to lighten with breath As you continue to send inquiry and sensation Down the leg bringing the forelegs and ankles into focus Softening the circumference of the ankle Allowing space for breath and thought to reach the foot Soften the front of the ankle the area of the talus while moving your softening breath down towards the heel. What kind of mobility can breath provide?

The feet I am thinking now might be a good time to come to standing if you are not already there... If you are just getting to standing, give yourself a moment to bring the research from where you were to where you are now. Transferring sensation to its new location.

Standing on two feet Allowing your feet to breath and find breath As the inhale arrives try to capture a quality of opening at the bottom of the feet, very possibly a release from the action of standing. Just for a moment, can you be precariously balanced on your feet? As you exhale come home, to standing As you inhale, allow the pelvic floor to soften. As you exhale, come home Arches of feet are in relationship to the to pelvic floor Inhale while opening the arches of the feet and the pelvic floor non standing in the negotiation of balance just for a moment. Can stability also be precarious? If this works better for you on an exhale or a different breath pattern that also works let the breath be a part of your exploration your experience. Watch yourself Experience yourself experiencing Try allowing breath to take over now. Let breath be your intuition, your guide into movement. Where can breath’s movement take you?


Prompt for Response:

1. You can choose one or more of the following prompts:

  • Transfer this score into a list of 5-8 simple tasks (examples: feel your throat soften and open towards the sun; imagine your skin connected to the wind, allow that to direct your body's path)

  • Make a 1-2 minute video of your final exploration. Share the link, below.

  • Translate your experience into writing this could be one sentence or a longer writing. The writing can be poetic, analytical, a list of words, descriptive, or abstract. Anything goes!

2. Share your response in the comments, below. To upload videos or photos, click into the comments box, a plus sign will appear to the left that you can click to upload media items from your computer. Videos should be uploaded onto Vimeo, Youtube, or Facebook for the video to embed in the comments.

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