Walk with me
Interview with the Amsterdam postman Rachid Tahri.
Walk with me, because I can think better when I'm moving, when through the stimuli of the environment I see things from many sides, that way the environment is part of the conversation: things are happening all the time.
People think it is obvious that their mail arrives, but as a postman I can assure you it's actually a miracle!
Like posting a letter, you cannot predict what will happen in life, so a better approach is to make sure you're antifragile.
From my cat I learned that if you want to be strong you also need to relax. My cat doesn't do any push-ups to be able to jump high.
I think movement has a quantitative value, and sometimes my students need that: can you do a handstand for one minute? But movement also has an intrinsic artistic value. When we practice, we don't just do it for ourselves, we do it as part of the entire universe. I guess we are almost a universe ourselves — with a body made up from all these individual cells which are living beings.
Every cell of our bodies is asking for movement, wants to move. In this, our body is like a fractal.
Strong or supple, there are many refinements between the two and exercises can connect that whole spectrum.
Exercises can be simple, you just need to get across a certain threshold to find their richness.
That may sound abstract, but everybody recognises beautiful movement. It is a transcendental experience.
Instructions are an illusion — reality is so complex, there will always be something unexpected happening. You can't capture all of that in instructions for students in their practice.
Often training is aimed at building up muscles. But why train your muscles and then not broaden what your body can do with them?
To stand balanced on your hands... at first, you stand like a banana. You have to become aware of your shape. You must exchange your feet for your hands.
I have an intimate relationship with the ground because I'm standing on my hands every day. When I squat, I'm already closer to the Earth. When there is intimate contact with the ground, it is no longer my enemy and I relax. When I relax I can fall with much more flexibility. Like it or not, one day you are going to stumble and trip, so you had better practice.
Footwear should interfere with your feet as little as possible. Your foot is already high-tech.
Your body doesn't take much notice of your intentions, just of your actions.
Standing is a skill, to work with gravity. To align with the forces of nature.
Do you serve the practice, or does the practice serve you?
Find Rachid at: https://www.antifragilemovement.com/
This text is featured as part of FoAM's Anarchive
Created: 12 Jan 2023 / Updated: 21 Jan 2023