Essential One: Movement with Attention

This is also in my regular blog:

The First Essential: Movement with Awareness

Movement with Awareness

Movement with Awareness will change your life and your child’s life  faster than almost anything else.


The brain evolved as humans did.

Moving well meant surviving. Meant catching food. Meant avoiding danger. Meant finding high quality mates. Meant being graceful and attracting happiness to you.

When we move with awareness we are cultivating awareness, one of the three core elements of being human. ( The other two, love and kindness cannot exist for long without awareness. This is another story, one often examine on my Love and Movement Blog)

Let’s see what Anat has to say about this in her fourth chapter:

She tells the very moving and illustrative story of the two twins, one of whom, Ryan, starting off his work with the Anat Baniel Method is a state of very little awareness of his behavior or this body.

He was continually thrashing, and had little eye contact, nor much awareness of what he real size and shape were.

By awakening his brain to the movements in his pelvis, Anat allowed him to know about his thrashing for the inside and to begin to moderate it.

By slowly, and with connection, moving one leg at a time, he began to know, and get excited about knowing about a previously unknown part of his body. ( Read the book. This is cutting it way short).

He looked at Anat. He understood, almost for the first time, that he was a person at the center of his experience.

Brain cells, new pathways, as many as 1.8 million per second, were created. He was a new person at the end of the lesson, and after more, continued to change and improved.

His mother called him a transformed boy.

He was.


For centuries, Buddhists and other mystics have known that attention brings peace, happiness and a sense of a complete self.

Now science is proving that real changes take place with awareness.

Aware movement creates new brain pathways.

Automatic movement does not.

As a parent, without any new special program, you can begin to incorporate the learning that always accompanies movement that is attentive to what the child can do right now.

Anat makes it clear, in this chapter and almost all the others, that one of the unwitting “sins” of most work with special needs ( or regular, for that matter) children, is forcing them over and over to do what they can’t do.

This creates learning, but the learning that “I am a failure.”

Start with what is easy.

Start with something to which your child can pay real and deep attention.

Join in or slightly expand some movement that she likes or can be aware of.

By these signals you’ll know she is “attentioning” as Anat calls it:

AN INNER STARE. This is strong. It feels and looks as if the child is staring inside herself.

FOLLOWING.  The eyes, and the attention, move with what’s moving.

ANTICIPATION>  You can feel and notice the child getting ready for and even leading the next movement.

JOY. She gets a kick out of it.

PLAY. She begins to make her participations playful for her end.

Play, joy, fun:  these are all great for your child.

And you.

Your sex life.

Your communications life.

Even your work. ( Just to see if you are reading)


The book.

There are three levels of movement: body, emotion and thought.

this is worth mulling, especially when you see emotions and thoughts as something you can play with and vary in intensity and pattern as you can with movement. ( More angry, less angry. Thinking about blue, thinking about green, thinking about food….. Anat can give too much information in a chapter, and that’s okay.  Just hold this in the back of your mind:  everything can be seen as a movement that can be given more attention, and become far more excellent


However, her levels of touch, which can be seen clearly in the book, is worth replicating,

( and I’d say, copying down, printing and putting on your refrigerator, along with such phrases as “there are no mistakes, just chances to try variation”)

Here they are

Gentle Touch

Attentive Touch

Safe Touch

Connected Touch

Loving Touch

Seeing Touch

I won’t go through them all. Read page 66 over and over and practice with your mate. Your life will change, and so will you child’s.


Without mindfulness we can’t really have love, and without love, life isn’t worth living.

Those are my words.

Don’t believe me.

Test out in your experience.

Test this out too, ( reward for those who read to the end):

Movement with Awareness will change your life and your child’s life and your love life  faster than almost anything else.



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