Human-y Movements: Classes for Curious Creatures

Who is the Expert of your movement choices and experiences?

Honestly, I fully believe the answer should be YOU. If it’s not, are you interested in being the authority (most knowledgable and respected) in the field of YOUR movement experience?

Frequently when I offer a student an exercise to explore they’ll look to me and ask, “What (or where) should I be feeling?” I’ve learned to hear that question as, "Am I experiencing this right or wrong!?"

If, for a moment, we switched context it could read like: I give someone a slice of pizza, and they look to me and ask, “How should I taste this? Should I focus on the crust or sauce? Should I like it or not?” Is there a right or wrong way to experience pizza? At first it’s super funny, but then comes the realization that both taste and kinesthetic feel are senses. Why are we experts of what we like to eat, but not experts of how we prefer to move?

How would your movement practice be different if it was guided by personal sensation, a curious search to consistently awaken and experience parts of your self long avoided or forgotten? What if each session was a space to explore how to feel great that day, rather than fixing some thing? What data could you collect about your movement, your body, and your world if you chose to pay attention to your own voice, supported by the experiences of those around you, rather than trying to mimic the preferences of outside authorities?

I’ve created a three-part practice to support you in becoming your own Expert. It’s both permission and advocation to self-organize, and explore your practice as a space to grow to know yourself better.

My goal is to give you language and tools to more deeply explore your personal relationship with mindful awareness, the Reformer, and your movement potential.

Class 1 - Emerging

  • Here you’ll spend some time sensing your body and the space you occupy
  • You’ll prime your nervous system for more physical work
  • Develop self-inquiry and the ability to ask experiential questions
  • This is the Guiding Light for the other two classes!

Class 2 - Cultivation

  • Using familiar Pilates exercises, you’ll utilize the Reformer as a partner to cultivate a greater sense of your physicality, led by cues of permission / sensation / visualization / and tension.
  • You’ll explore movement as a series of choices
  • Introduce self-discernment and getting curious about what’s “right” for you
  • Practice interoception, and collect data about your boundaries and preferences
  • Further develop the conversation between sensation & movement

Class 3 - Self-Organization

  • This is a MoveLab Class, and permission to play!
  • Develop deeper proprioceptive skills
  • You’ll explore and optimize your movement potential
  • Challenge your boundaries and balance
  • Discover and reframe movement as human expression

This series is about uncovering what happens when we allow ourselves to drop labels, explore potential, get curious, play, and self-discover? What do we learn about who we are? Individually? Together?

I’m inspired by the idea that when we soften our inclination to get something right, not be wrong, and limit embodying the preferences of someone else, we actively create opportunities for our own expertise and experiences to shine. It’s my hope that you can use and revisit these movement classes, tools, language, and my experience as support to find and trust your own, acknowledging and respecting your desires and boundaries, while stepping into the role as Expert of your unique choices and life.

Friends, this is whole-person movement! I hope you have fun and surprise yourself.

James Crader
About the Author

James Crader

Based in Sacramento, California, James Crader is a Self-Organization Coach, specializing in Resiliency & Movement Strategies. He is the creator of MoveLab, a fun and challenging floor work class aimed at helping students challenge their comfort zones, increase endurance and resiliency while learning and resourcing SOS tools leading to an embodied experience of awareness through movement.


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