Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Practice Away From the Guitar
During my Qi Gong session this morning I paid attention to my head. Afterwards I choose to do an AT lie down in lieu of my normal sitting. Followed my breath but with my back on the floor and head resting on paperbacks. The tension in my back behind my sternum was relatively minor this early in the day. Twenty minutes later I was off the floor with some stiffness in my lower back. I have noticed this stiffness before and should check in with my fave AT person.
Upon standing I became aware of the top of my head and the place inside that Sandra has pointed out to me previously. Shifting my weight over the balls of my feet, I felt odd but stable. Did this two other times while getting dressed, stunned at one point by the shear beauty of the sunlight playing on the leaves of our dieffenbachia.
At a red light I became aware of how the car seat supported me and allowed my breath to enter the region of my sternum and possibly expand this area. Throughout the morning I noticed how my chair supported me and checked in with how I was using my body. As I took this gentler approach with my body today I wondered how my body would feel when I strapped on my guitar. Now at home I am about to find out, but first a lie down.
After 15 minutes I felt great, my back was much more relaxed than usual. Sat on my stool for a few minutes without the guitar to plot my evening. Very excited by the arrival of the first page of the Etude that Tony Geballe has written for me. Ready to dive in when I remember I needed to work on my right hand nails first.
A brief 10 minute warm up and I was ready to play through the first bars of The Etude. First back to the floor. What looks deceptively simple is not easy to play, but I asked for a piece that would stretch me. The piece is intriguing and I was joyful hearing these notes written for me. Excited and ready to continue I took a break after 15 minutes to stretch a bit. Back to The Etude for 25 minutes. After continually catching myself holding my breath as I played through the first measures it was back to the floor.
My back was tighter this time, most likely from my habitual response to struggling through learning new works. I felt very refreshed when I stood. I decided to let go of work on The Etude and to look at possible pieces to play an an open mic on Thursday. Really hate going to open mics but now I said it and will follow through.
Set up the amp and decided on a 3 song set list. Always jars me when I first play amplified. Most of my nights are playing/practicing acoustically. The first bars of August Born wavered. Halfway through the piece I stopped because of all my internal chatter. A few breaths and I began again. A bit more controlled, aware of my feet, energy of the piece coming through now. Onto Lost Balloon and Dandelion Wish.
Another visit to the floor. Realized I had lost track of the number of times I did a lie down today. Laughed. Up for another run through now that I had a clear decision on Thursday. Much better this time. After I put away my guitar I realized I was more relaxed at the end of my session than I have been in a long time. Of course I did not work as hard on the guitar and I am certain that my disruption of habits will prove fruitful at the right time. More joy present tonight and a lot of gratitude.
Back a bit tired as I type. Grateful that I typed half of this prior to practicing. Stay tuned.