expand your kinesphere

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https://youtu.be/sZ-PNBdFf70

“what in the universe is a ‘kinesphere’, stephanie?”

“i’m glad you asked, friend, because we are going to explore it through movement both guided and improvisational.”

kinesphere” is a movement concept developed by Rudolph Laban in the 20th century. with the prefix “kines-“ referring to movement, and “sphere” referring to – as you may remember from middle school geometry – a three-dimensional circle, “kinesphere”, like it sounds, can be thought of as a three-dimensional ball of kinetic energy surrounding our physical body. i like to think of our kinesphere more as a bubble of energy, supple yet strong, so that when we reach for its arcs, our kinesphere expands with us without popping. 

think of the Davinci man and all of his limbs creating infinite possibilities along the curves of a circle. 

for our intent and purpose, we will be using the concept of kinesphere to explore movement in our body and in space to bring EXPANSION to not only our physical movement, but also to the connection to the etheric realm surrounding us.

in other words, we’re gonna move toward BEING BIG and TAKING UP SPACE!

i’ve been drawn back to the concept of the kinesphere (i was first introduced to it as a performing dancer) as mon petit bébé moves and stretches and explores safely inside their pouche d’eau, their water sac, inside my own orb-like belly. it’s incredible to be witness to this tiny universe inside my body. even more so when i practice staying connected to the universe outside, including my own kinesphere and my own etheric body on this sphere of a planet we call home.

perhaps it’s more apt, then, to think of the kinesphere as the never-ending rings that appear when a stone is thrown into a pond – circle inside circle inside circle inside circle, each expanding both to contain and to allow for the growth of the next – especially as circles connote everything and nothing at the same time. 

the way bébé is positioned en ce moment is such that they distend my belly with an elbow, or a foot, or a head. so much so that the movement is visible – both comically (‘cause those ripples truly are kinda hilarious) and cosmically (‘cause it totally blows my mind). this little being exists inside their first universe, their first kinesphere, their first place of exploration. yes, bébé is contained within the confines of my body. but there is something deeper, beyond words and rational understanding that both brought this baby into being and continues to grow their existence. 

my physical body is expanding, and in some ways it’s as if i’m sinking inward, becoming more grounded in the three-dimensional-ness of existing as a human mammal on planet earth. and yet there is this undeniable connection to spirit and the universe that is profoundly present with every moment i carry this baby. 

this is what today’s movement practice is all about: imagining and feeling how BIG we can be within our human bodily selves; feeling the connection to all the energy around us and partnering with it to find new ways to move; and both existing in the space of the present moment in our earthly physicality and the expansive universe of etheric space deep within and surrounding us.

self-practice

stand comfortably and first simply listen to and feel your breath.

focus especially on the expansion of the inhale.

imagine you are inside a giant bubble. sense the three-dimensional-ness of this sphere.

now reach an arm as far away from your center as you can, spreading your palm and fingers. 

relax.

do the same for the opposite arm.

relax.

now reach a leg as far away from your center as you can, stretching your ankle and toes.

relax.

do the same for the opposite leg.

relax.

imagine your feet are sinking through the soft ground beneath your feet. stretch your arms up to the sky and feel as if you are both standing at the center of the earth and touching the infinite universe above with your fingertips.

from this place of expansion both physically and mentally, allow one side of your ribs to curve and bend and shape itself around an arc of your bubble. find a side arc, then move to the back, then the opposite side, and then the front. 

reverse directions, allowing your torso and hips to circle in between the reach of your arms and legs.

allow yourself to expand your movement by stepping away from your center, and then by reaching down to the floor and touching the ground. 

try this with your head. an elbow. the back of your neck.

never stop reaching and feeling for the arcs of your kinetic bubble.

finish your exploration when you’re done.

stand on your two feet. let your arms melt by your sides. take a moment to check in with your body, your heart rate, your breathing. flutter your eyelids open and take a look around at your space. 

return to this practice when you’re feeling enclosed or simply need a moment of expansion.

Stephanie Y Jolivet

Stephanie Y Jolivet is a mover and a shaker and has been since in the womb. as she now embarks on her own journey through pregnant person/motherhood, she is grateful for her lifetime of movement practices. she is some things: a certified comprehensive Pilates instructor for over 15 years, a GYROTONIC® Level 1 certified instructor, a certified Yoga Trapeze® instructor, an advanced intuitive reader, a holder of an MFA in Experimental Choreography from the University of California, Riverside, a holder of an MA in English Literature and Language from Oxford University, a recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council solo performer award, and a recipient of the Metro DC Dance Awards for upcoming choreographer.

but mostly, she navigates time and space by teaching amazing folx the joy of moving in their uniquely gifted bodies through her now virtual studio, Sayezz Pilates & Beyond in Saussay-la-Campagne, France, living there with son mari, Ludovic. here’s what she has to say about that: “part of my purpose on this planet is to share the beautiful harmony between the physical practice of movement and the intuitive practice of listening to your body’s own deep knowing. in this synthesis, we learn to live free in movement, from pain, and to breathe deeply, and remain calm under everyday stresses. together, let's unlock your LIGHT, you rockstar!”