The Four Directions Eurythmy Exercise is my take on a eurythmy exercise passed on to me by a Waldorf educator and friend. I’ve combined it with the Natïve American concept of Four Directions and with some of the basic sounds I use in the Sound Playshops I facilitate.
Waldorf schools, based on the teachings of seer and visionary Rudolf Steiner, have within their curriculum “eurythmy,” an art of movement that tries to make visible what Steiner believed were the inner forms and gestures of language and music, brought about by the spiritual world penetrating the soul. Eurythmy enhances coordination and strengthens the ability to listen. It also strengthens and harmonizes the body and the life forces. Steiner was a seer and visionary whose revolutionary and profound ideas have spawned what is termed anthroposophy. I’ve written below the notes I give participants in Playshops.
The Four Directions Eurhythmy Exercise
Face east. Stand with your left foot forward and your left hand and arm extended upwards. The left palm is forward and the right palm is backwards. Stretch. Your right heel will be off the ground. Your gaze is forward with a vision for humanity. Make the ‘Ee’ sound which uses the smile form with the mouth. You can imagine the following words:
“I stand here in the ever present Reality—poised and balanced as a human representative between Heaven and Earth, light and dark, the invisible and the physical, the Father and the Mother.”
Now step back with the left foot figuratively into the past and take a small step back with the right foot to establish balance. The feet will be parallel again. Both arms go up and out to about 60 degrees. The palms are forward. Make the ‘Ah’ sound with the mouth wide open. Stand in awe (pun intended), open and receptive to where you come from. You can imagine the following words:
“In doing so I am connected with the past—nourished, guided, and protected by the ancestors, the planets and the stars.”
Note that the starlight we receive is ancient, ancestral light.
Make one step forward with the left foot and then with the right foot forward so that the feet are parallel to each other again. Bring the arms down and out to the sides at the level of the heart and turned in as if embracing a tree. Imagine moving into a future where humanity is deeply connected in unity with each other and with nature like one large family or community. Make the ‘Om’ sound with the mouth open in a medium sized circle and then closing to make an extended ‘mm’ sound. Imagine words such as:
“I stride boldly and securely into the future in the joyous expectancy of the best and Highest for all.”
Note that the term, ‘Highest’, represents our connection with Angelic realm.
Repeat the entire sequence in each of the four directions. In the Southern Hemisphere go anticlockwise from east to north to west to south. In the Northern Hemisphere change directions clockwise instead. You may do more repetitions if you like, but do complete the sequence at least once in each direction.
After the last future ‘Om’ sound, finish by bringing the palm of each hand to the opposite shoulder, with the forearms crossed over the heart, right over left. Remember that many Native American traditions embrace the further directions of up and down and the centre.
One could say that these movements represent a language of speech made visible. It may be worth noting that the ‘Ee’ sound is embedded in the Germanic word that is at the origin of the English word ‘here.’ You can think of ‘here’ implying ‘now’ or the present. ‘Ah’ is the primordial sound of creation, so it makes sense to call upon the ancients and mighty celestial beings when using this sound. ‘Om’ or Aum’ is the sound at the heart of all created things and beings and it denotes thankfulness.
Click Below to:
Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com
“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”
Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/
“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”
Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews