survey

Submitted by Emma Lovell, 30, Female.

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part I  - I am

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What do you do for paid and/or unpaid work?: Yoga teacher

What do you do in your spare time, do you have any hobbies?: Lots of yoga and constantly researching/learning about yoga and moving in general, reading, writing poetry, swimming, gardening and foraging.

What do you like to do for fun?: As above plus lots of family and friend time, camping trips, forest walks

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part 2 - my movements

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What does the word 'movement' mean to you and do you consider yourself a 'mover'?: I think everyone alive is a mover. For me movement is communication, connection and growth

Did your Parents/Grandparents/Carers teach you directly about exercise, care for your body, posture, and/or ways of moving? If yes what lessons do you remember?: My mum was an aerobics teacher so I'd often go to her classes and was aware of exercising regularly, she was always telling me not to slouch and to pull my shoulders back.

Are there things that you just picked up from your carers through observation?: Walking style, crossing legs when sat in a chair.

What is your earliest memory of moving?: Being picked up and held.

Many people say they want to feel 'confident' and 'comfortable' or that they admire people who look 'confident' and 'comfortable in their own skin'. What do these words really mean to you and can you describe them as a way of moving?: Someone who is aware of and moves with their whole body, not just its parts. Someone who uses their body as an expression of themselves completely unselfconsciously and who has accepted their body as it is. Someone who acts with their body rather than on their body

Do you have a movement philosophy? If yes, what is it?: Move as much as possible and keep it varied.

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part 3  - my body

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What does 'self-care' mean to you?: Moderation, self-awareness

What sort of 'daily rituals' do you preform?: Washing, yoga, dressing

What are some of the things you feel you need to do each day to make you feel good about your body?: Yoga, walking outdoors

Do you think you have something 'characteristic' about the way you move? If yes please describe. : I walk quickly and am heavy footed and take quite short steps- my friends call it 'the bustle'. I have busy hands. I'm rubbish at catching!

What are some of the things you like about the way you move?: It's precise

What do you find yourself sitting on most often and how do you like to sit?: On the floor kneeling or cross-legged or on my bed cross-legged. Quite a lot of time in the car driving as well.

How often do you sit on the floor? Can you describe how your body feels when you sit on the floor?: All the time. I prefer the floor to chairs. I feel better supported, grounded and my hips are happier.

What kind of surfaces does the skin on your feet and hands come into contact with through out an average day? : Floor boards, yoga mats, grass, concrete, plastic, leather, cotton, metal, wood, skin

Which side of the mouth do you chew with more?: right

Are you right handed, left handed or ambidextrous? How does this affect your movement choices in daily life?: Right- my left side is stronger and more supportive but less flexible- I'll use my right side more for 'sensing' things.

Have you ever been injured? How? Does it still affect the way you move?: I have injured my back and neck- I am much more aware of my posture now and how I carry things- I try to use both sides of my body more evenly.

With whom do you talk to most about movement?: My yoga students and my boyfriend

What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had with someone about movement? : About squatting and the benefits of squatting.

What is the most transformative conversation you have had with someone about your body?: With a massage therapist who told me how my posture was related to recurrent neck issues.

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Part 4  - me and others...

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What are some of the things you admire about the way other people move?: Fluidity, rhythm, being light-footed. I admire the way children move- they have yet to acquire all the postural habits you get when you're an adult and are completely unselfconscious about using their bodies to express themselves.

What do you consider really beautiful about your movement habits? And is there someone in your life you really admire for the beauty of their way of moving? Who and why?: I admire the way my boyfriend moves- he's a climber and very quick and light on his feet. His moving balance is really good and he's really good at catching and juggling! I admire anyone good at catching because I'm so bad at it.

What do you consider really unattractive about your movement habits? And is there someone in your life you share this way of moving with? Would you change it? : Heavy footed- I get it from my mum.

Would you say you 'use your hands alot' when communicating?: Yes, especially when trying to make a point. I also touch my face and neck a lot when I'm thinking or communicating.

When you need to concentrate on something do you find yourself 'moving'? If yes why do you think that is?: Yes, pacing when on the phone, or general moving about when thinking, especially hands. It's like the body needs something to do whilst the mind is focused- it wants to get involved as well.

Do you have an organised way of approaching exercise time? Please explain.: No, I don't like to see it as something to enforce on myself.

Would you say 'you know what you like' when it comes to exercise choices? Would you say you also 'know what you like' in other areas of your life?: I like 'exercise' that is varied and encourages better overall movement using the whole body- like climbing or swimming.

 I have been really influenced by the work of Katy Bowman and so try to keep movement as varied as possible.

Is there an exercise trend you refuse to participate in? If so what and why?: Anything that just focuses on one area of the body, without considering the body as a whole.

What is your favorite song or type of music to dance to?:

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Part 5 - me and the world...

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Do you consider how your mechanical environment impacts your movement choices on a day-to-day basis? What would you most like to change about your mechanical environment?: Yes, all the time. I'd like to get rid of chairs/sofas.

What surface do you walk on most?: Concrete

Describe the last horizon you saw.: This morning whilst in the car driving

What material do you like most against your skin? Are there materials you won't wear?: Cotton. I'm really fussy about material and don't like anything too hot or rough so no denim, wool, synthetic stuff.

Do you have a favorite pair of shoes? Please describe the shoes and why they are your favorite.: No, I have never enjoyed wearing shoes but do have a pair of comfy sandals I spend most of the summer in as they are soft and allow my toes to move

How much of your day do you spend barefoot and what was the last surface you felt with your bare feet?: Last surface was a wooden floor and I probably spend 70% of the day barefoot.

Day-to-day do you ever chose to wear things even though you know it will restrict your movement?: Not day-to-day, but I will wear heels when going out knowing they make walking harder.

Do you think men and women occupy space differently? If yes please give an example.: I always think it's interesting how men and women sit on the tube- it's normal to see a woman sitting with her legs crossed, almost trying to occupy as little space as possible with her body. Whereas I've seen men basically taking up two seats as they are sitting with their legs (and sometimes arms) so wide. I think this says a lot about how men and women are brought up to occupy space differently in general.

What sort of cultural expectations do you think influence the way women move? : From my own experience I think there is an expectation that as a woman I will be physically weak and so people feel a need to help me do physical things- lifting, carrying etc. I think this has meant it's easier for women not to be as 'physical' in this sense as men and so maybe lose interest in that side of things- DIY, manual work etc. Even the sports girls and boys were encouraged to do at my school differed- for girls it was always dance, gymnastics, whilst the boys were outside getting muddy.

Women's fashion also has a tendency to restrict movement more than men's - heels, tighter clothing, makeup etc.

It's like women's bodies aren't really there to be used, just to be looked at and kept clean.

Do you remember a time in your life when you moved differently to the way you move now?: I remember a moment more when I started moving less- transitioning from primary school to secondary school, from sitting on the floor to chairs, from playing outside at lunchtime in the playground, to sitting and talking inside at lunch.

Do you feel more or less comfortable in your body as you age?: More comfortable