Function 2 Flow | Feeling
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Feeling

FEELING (KINAESTHETIC CONSCIOUSNESS)

One may understand and assess the process of becoming physically educated in relation to the inner sensation of movement, such as musculoskeletal tension or elongation, the quality and sensation of breath, the proprioceptive qualities of balance, as well as the expressive possibilities that such sensations afford.

The inner sense of movement is very much connected to movement form and it is important to understand that the Function2Flow approach encourages interdisciplinary integration. As such, the Feeling register of movement consciousness is intricately linked to movement Form.  Hence, what is kinesthetically sensed and felt in poses, postures, positions, gestures, and expressions properly establishes a requisite self-awareness towards the onset of Flow. For if the Feeling or ‘kinesthetic’ register is the “inner touch” of the external senses that gives to us a “sense of sensing” (Heller-Roazen, 2007), then the Form or ‘aesthetic’ register properly brings this inner sensing to fuller expression. To ‘look fit,’ even to be a ‘picture of fitness,’ is to harness, momentarily, the flow of vitality within vibrant stances and alignments, dynamic changes of position, gestured motions of contracting and extending, pushing and pulling, sending and receiving, striking and arresting, and even expressive details of the face that are reflected in the carriage and bearing of the fittingly physiognomic form.

In specific activity contexts, we communicate very physically through the effort qualities of the movements enacted, the spatial arrangements and relationships created in the passages of play, and in the body shapes taken to convey specific intention. Curricula of health and physical education tend to interpret such self expression in conceptual and cognitive terms, suggesting that it is based on an explicit awareness of what the body does, where it moves, how it moves, and with whom (e.g. Ontario Ministry of Education, 2010, p. 24).  One might consider, however, that this communicative competence involves a more primary, visceral sense of the body and its ‘expressive possibilities’ based on the movement exploration of breathing, balancing, timing and touch.  By exploring the qualities of kinesthetic sensibility through breathing activities such as running, swimming, and yoga, balancing activities in gymnastics, circus arts, and climbing, timing activities in dance, juggling, and hooping, and touch activities in martial arts, contact sports, and horse riding, one learns to physically ‘read’ the overt intentions of others and to communicate one’s own.

ASSESSING FEELING

When you experience a mainstream or alternative activity, you may consider the following prompts to better connect to what you feel both in your muscles and mood:

  • Describe the rhythm of your breath during your activity.  Is there a time when you typically breathe in, breathe out, and/or hold your breath? Pay attention to the phases of your activity and take time to sense and refine your ideal respiration cadence.
  • What body parts are you squeezing while you perform this activity?
  • What body parts are you relaxing while you perform this activity? 
  • How do you respond to the feeling of tired muscles during your activity?
  • How might you respond to these feelings and move with more efficiency?
  • How would you describe your partner’s/ teammate’s body language when you see them perform this activity? What emotions do you think they are they feeling?
  • When you perform this activity, what emotions do you feel?
  • Is there something you might adjust in your movement timing (i.e., making it more slow or more quick) to change how this movement feels?
  • Is there something you might adjust in the amount of force you use to perform this movement (i.e., how soft, light, heavy, hard, etc.) to change the way this movement feels?
  • Does awareness of these variations in movement quality influence your participation in this activity?
  • Does this awareness transfer to the way you might experience other activities?