Saturday, August 4, 2012

My Weaker Left Side

Having trained as a dancer since the wee age of 3, I have a deeply rooted sense of my body.  I can "feel" my body in space most clearly at all times.  In dance we call this one's kinesthetic awareness.  Well, whatever it is called, I got it. Bad.  No really, it is something I enjoy. My body memory is so strong that I can "feel" myself in motion when I am lying in bed, sitting down, riding a train.  I can envision dance and my brain and body produce sensations that mimic the actual movement.  It's a trip.

But, I realized some time back that I am almost always right side dominant both in these mental "kinesthetic" visions and in my active life.  If I am envisioning movement, my right side is the leader of the action, the initiator, the side of me that I most clearly sense and feel.  This of course is also true when I choreograph.  I am right sided.

If you are wondering, I am also right handed. I brush my teeth with my right hand and I balance best on my right foot.  No surprise there. 

But, I am concerned for my left side. In yoga, the left side of the body is the yin side of the body, energized by a softer, feminine, cool, dark energy.  The right side in contrast is the yang side powered by a strong, masculine, hot, bright energy.  Everyone needs both energies in their life.  It reflects our need for exertion and recuperation in all aspects of life.

What disconcerts me is that my left side feels asleep, numb, as if it were somehow paralyzed.  Of course in reality it isn't any of those things. I have full function on my entire left body. But, energetically speaking, I am deeply aware of the imbalance between my right and left sides. 

My left side feels awkward, disconnected, uncoordinated, and I wonder what effect this is having on my daily life.  Is that perhaps why I need so much sleep to feel rested?  That I need long periods of recuperation?  Is my left side limping along to such a degree that my right has taken the reigns in all aspects of my life?  Maybe it has nothing to do with it, maybe it has everything to do with it.

But, regardless, I feel a need to foster my left side.  And, I can tell all ready that it is going to be work.  My right side is so eager to help out!  But, my awareness of this fact is too strong for me to ignore it. 

So, the adventure begins:

Dear weaker left side, it is time to wake up!


Here are a couple interesting resources on Brain-Body connection
The Brain Dance

Article on Integration of the Body

Video of Body Half and Cross Lateral Movement patterns (Bartenieff fundamentals)

1 comment:

  1. Beth,

    Even now that I'm not dancing, I still feel the weakness of my left side. And I'm completely left-handed! I write with my left hand, brush my teeth left-handed. BUT, I'm a right-turner, my leaps and kicks were always stronger and highter on the right. Does that mean my left is the stronger support? Maybe.

    It's the dance training that made my right side so much more coordinated and classy. And, it's stuck with me even today.