CNMN > Projects > Presence Warmups

Dina Cindric

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  • Voice
  • 13 to 18 years of age
  • Adults
  • Seniors
  • Intergenerational

2-20+ minutes, depending on warmup

  • Education
  • Community associations
  • Memory conditions (e.g. Dementia care, Alzheimer
  • Physical disabilities (e.g. Cerebral Palsy, Rett
  • Palliative care
  • Mental health

Presence Warmups

Description

These Pres­ence Warmups pre­pare the body, breath and mind for expres­sive and cre­ative music-mak­ing. They are most effec­tive when used at the start of a rehearsal and can eas­i­ly be incor­po­rat­ed into choral warm-ups, lessons, or your indi­vid­ual dai­ly prac­tice. They sup­port body aware­ness and increase pres­ence by con­nect­ing body, breath, sound and space.

The exer­cis­es are inspired by and have been adapt­ed from Body Map­ping, Alexan­der Tech­nique, Qi Gong, Con­tin­u­um Move­ment, and sound healing.

For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact Dina Cin­dric at dinacindric@gmail.com.

1. CONSTRUCTIVE REST GUIDED MEDITATION (3 mins.)

Con­struc­tive Rest is an effec­tive tool used by Alexan­der Tech­nique and Body Map­ping prac­ti­tion­ers to – among oth­er things – release ten­sion from the body and devel­op awareness.

It is nor­mal­ly done lying on your back and can take 10–15 min­utes. I have adapt­ed it here, com­bin­ing ele­ments of Alexan­der Tech­nique and Body Map­ping, into a short­er 3‑minute guid­ed med­i­ta­tion that can be done in a seat­ed posi­tion (or adapt­able for stand­ing), mak­ing it suit­able for the class­room, com­mu­ni­ty cen­tre, or rehearsal studio.

I begin all of my choir rehearsals and piano and voice lessons with a vari­a­tion of this guid­ed med­i­ta­tion and have wit­nessed the pos­i­tive effects it has on my stu­dents in mind, body, and expres­sion. Use the audio guide below to get you started!

2. DRAWING DOWN THE HEAVENS (2–5+ mins. )

This exer­cise comes from the prac­tice of Qi Gong which is an ancient Chi­nese exer­cise tech­nique that involves coor­di­nat­ing move­ment, breath, and mind to pro­mote the free flow of ener­gy around the body.

It is a per­fect open­ing warmup as it qui­ets the mind, increas­es ener­gy and focus, aligns the body, and con­nects body and breath.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Stand com­fort­ably with your feet shoul­der-width apart, knees soft, arms at your sides.
  • Feel your feet bal­anced and firm­ly plant­ed on the earth. Allow your spine to length­en. Take a moment here.
  • Inhale and float the hands out to the sides, shoul­ders relaxed. Imag­ine you are draw­ing ener­gy from the earth into your body.
  • Rotate the wrists, hands fac­ing up to the sky. Bend the elbows.
  • On the exhale, the palms wash down in front of the body. Imag­ine you are let­ting go of any ten­sion, wor­ries or stress.

Repeat the exer­cise 3, 6, 9, or 12 times.

3. WATER PLAY (15+ mins.)

”Water Play” is inspired by Con­tin­u­um Move­ment. Con­tin­u­um Move­ment is a prac­tice that uses move­ment, breath, the res­o­nance of sound and mean­ing. From Emi­lie Con­rad, founder of Con­tin­u­um Move­ment: “We are basi­cal­ly flu­id beings that have arrived on land… All liv­ing process­es owe their lin­eage to the move­ment of water.”

This exer­cise explores move­ment as imag­ined in, through and as water. It is pos­si­ble to do the exer­cise in a short­er peri­od of time, but it is most effec­tive when allowed as much time as need­ed. Give your­self 20 min­utes or more the first time you do it. The next time you do it, your body will recall what you did and you will find you’ll be able to dive into the work more quick­ly and deeply.

Your move­ments can be as big or as small as you like: from rais­ing an arm or leg and explor­ing the entire space around you, to sim­ply a sigh of the head or a release of a hand. Play. Explore. Enjoy the process and mar­vel at the beau­ty of the flu­id being that you are!

See scores for instruc­tions. Read all of the instruc­tions before you begin. The exer­cise can be done seat­ed or lying down.

4. BODY HUM (10+ mins.)

The “Body Hum” is inspired by both Con­tin­u­um Move­ment and oth­er sound heal­ing prac­tices. It uses sound – a gen­tle hum – to send vibra­tions through to areas of the body to retune it.

The vibra­tions will be more deeply felt if the exer­cise is done fol­low­ing “Water Play” but it can also be done on its own.

See scores for instruc­tions. Read all of the instruc­tions before you begin. The exer­cise can be done stand­ing, seat­ed or lying down.

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