BODYSCAPES / The Art of Movement in 5 Simple Exercises | Eleni Danesi | Skillshare

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BODYSCAPES / The Art of Movement in 5 Simple Exercises

teacher avatar Eleni Danesi, A journey into bodily creativity

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (58m)









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About This Class

If you are a designer, an artist, or a self-explorers, who whats to understand how movement is the fuel of life and creativity...

If you want to know how this creative practice of body-space awareness through movement can help you:  think faster and solve problems creatively, manage your time, navigate through your ideas, thoughts, and emotions, express yourself without words, to draw like an artist and dance like a dancer, then my bodyscapes method is for you!!! 

So what is a "bodyscape"?

It's the equivalent of "landscape" within our bodies, where only we have access. Bodyscapes represent the shape of our imagination, our view of our inner spaces, the way we perceive our bodies, and our story. Bodyscapes are already shaped throughout our lifetime but they can also be built/shaped by us through conscious interaction with our environments.

We can be the Architects of Ourselves!

Bodyscapes is my project in progress where I work with the relationship between our bodies and the environment we live, analyzed through the lens of Movement.

Through my practice, I guide people into discovering their ways of relating with their surrounding physical spaces, but also how to access their imagination and all the spaces that have been written there throughout their lives, how to engage with the creative process, overcome doubts and think creatively!

What to expect in this class:
In this class, I will present 5 practices that help me build body-space awareness through the art of movement. In the form of this class, the exercises might seem simple but when performed in a mindful and focused way, they can give us valuable results about our body-mind state and they can be a deep source of artistic inspiration. 

What you need and will also improve with these exercises are:

observation: taking time to slow down and focus on details

flow: the sensation of letting things happen effortlessly

acceptance: to be receiving and accepting feelings thoughts and ideas as they come, they are your personal feedback. 

You can challenge yourself physically as much as you want. Remember, you are doing this for YOU and for your pleasure. If something doesn't feel good for you, simply change it and move on to the next. 

But please, do challenge your physicality from time to time because movement in space not only helps us maintain our physical condition but also sets our thoughts and ideas in motion, wakes up our memories, and reveals our unique inner spaces, which can be a huge source of creativity, daily inspiration, and self-awareness.

Whenever you feel stuck in your creative or working process, simply take a break and go for a 10min. mindful walk and things will be clearer!!!


The 5 exercises: 

. Moving from within / Arriving in the body:  This is an easy warm-up exercise that you can use before every practice or simply in the morning to start an active day. It will help you detect pain in your body and set your bodily fluids in motion. Use an extended half-an-hour-version for a more physical result, or use a relaxing 10 min. movement practice late in the evening to mobilize your joints after a stressful working day. 
One extra tip: do this exercise even from a still position, just by imagining that you move your body. Sounds crazy, but it makes our brain believe that we are practicing movement, and therefore it builds movement memory!

. Moving with sound: In this exercise, we focus on the effect of sounds on our bodies. As the sounds make our bodies vibrate, we will try to catch these impulses and translate them into free drawings, which are the visualizations of our inner movement. This exercise trains us to tune in not only with music but also with the sounds of our environments in general and helps us discover our inner rhythm. Follow sound sources in your environments and try to respond to them. Collect sounds and find our what are the soundscapes that form your spaces. They are the source of vibration transmitted to your body. 

. Moving with touch: Touching our surrounding spaces can give us all the information we need to understand and detect them. By using touch as a spatial navigation tool, we train our body and brain to the qualities of the spaces which we record in our bodily memory. Every part of our bodies is a scanning surface, a window to our brain. 

What we touch that we become!

. Moving with vision: In our societies vision is dominating all the other senses, and that's why we don't give it a priority in our exercise order. Not that it is not important, but we need to give space to the other senses in order to build our bodily sensitivity. We will use 'vision' in order to recognize what attracts our attention and how we choose to chance our proximity to objects or people in spaces and to draw quick inspiration from our immediate surroundings. Focus on colors, patterns, and textures that you could memorize and use to 'decorate' your mental imagery. 

. Moving with thoughts: Staying still is a state that also includes motion, inner and mental motion. Our thoughts are moving even when our bodies stop, and in this meditative exercise, we will start by observing our thoughts and let them move us in space. By paying attention to the ways our thoughts are 'traveling' in our minds, we are able to detect our thinking patterns which affect our movement in our daily activities. Once we are able to observe them we are able to influence and even change them. 


How to follow the class:

This is not a one-time exercise!

In order to benefit from this practice, you can use it regularly in order to create something from scratch, get unstuck in your working flow, or simply check in with yourselves for an inspiring day to come.

The more you engage with the practice the more you can unfold the story of your imaginary landscapes, your very unique bodyscapes. Be precise with your findings and take notes of your experiences. Slowly you will be able to realize the moving and thinking patterns and start playing with them consciously, or changing the ones that no longer serve you.  

Mix and match the classes!!!

There isn't one RIGHT way to follow the class. The more playful and attentive you are the better. If you like an exercise more than another, follow it for a while and check the progress on your results. Use different ways to express your experience: use words, or drawings, collages, digital painting, film, music, and any other medium you have immediate access to. This is the way to reflect directly in your living environment and build a strong connection with people and the material around you.  


This class is designed for every person who wants to stay connected with their creative side and wants to learn some techniques of exploring their self-potential. You don't need to be an artist to draw, a writer to write, or an architect to understand space.

Everyone can benefit from this class in their own field of interest or expertise.

I hope that this class will help you unlock the doors to new personal directions in your creative life and figure out your ways of staying aligned with your most intimate space: your body!


 Experience needed?

You don't need any special moving skills in order to follow the class! Everyone can work from their own level. Use colors, pencils, a camera, collage, or anything you need to express your emotions: your energy in motion!

As humans, we are all movement experts!

This practice will help you realize what your body already knows and your mind hasn't discovered yet. I am very excited to share my practice of how to unfold your movement intelligence!!!


Let's get moving!!!

You can explore more of my work in the following links, feel free to contact me if you are curious about it. 

My website

My creative studio: Studio Eleni Danesi



Meet Your Teacher

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Eleni Danesi

A journey into bodily creativity


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1. INTRODUCTION: For me, movement is a constant, becoming less is a state of always changing something in the environment, but also within yourself. And it's quite often is to fear of not understanding this movement or these changes that makes us stop. If you already know. I'm a Lenny, I am I am the movement artists. I am space body architect. I love body space awareness. I love learning about neuroscience on how our brain works, and how everything is linked together on how nature and us, we are one thing, what organism? And this is a concept that took me sometime to understand and really heated and be aware of it and work with it in so many wave, like not only to make art pieces, but also to have my political voice and my political consciousness about connecting with other people and what it means to be together. And by being flexible and understanding this momentum of the movement and call we can just be on this wave. For me personally, it has helped me to reveal so many things that my personality and at the same time exploring new skills. So by these simple exercises, I found that I helped myself to a disk. Why am I helped myself discover what I like and what I am attracted to from the outside world. These exercises can help you map out bottoms of yourself, your personal storytelling, your personal experiences. You'll pause, but also they can help you manifest who you want to become in the future. So if you think that this is something that you are ready to explore, then you are welcome to my class. I'm very happy to host you here and I'm very happy to share whatever I have discovered so far. We'll see you in the classes. 2. LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION: So before we start our class, I would like to take this momentum, present you one of my paintings, which by accident I discovered that I would like to present to you through this reflection mode. So this became the example for me to sell you how creativity can work. In very few seconds, like you are looking for something you don't know where to find your answer by while you start your journey into discovery. And be attentive in the moment and in the space, there will be things that appear to you. The question is whether you will be able to detect those lines and how to be quick into connecting these information. So for example, these was the reason why I started filming the reflection of myself in the painting because I wanted to present to you how I do my work, where I draw my inspiration from, what things I'm looking for and how I create my pieces. So while looking around in the mood to try to find things to film in order to present where I start. Then I found one of my paintings and I flexion in the painting and I realized that actually the way I draw the paintings are the reflection of my inner state. They are the reflection of my imagination in the moment. And sometimes they are the reflection of my bodily state, how my body feels, or how about my body moves. But in this particular painting, it was interesting because I remember I was looking at the blank page and I was really feeling intimidated. I wanted to paint something, but I didn't know what. So I started by closing my eyes and choosing the first image that happened to be there in my, in my head. In these words, these two eyes that appear here. So I started by painting eyes and then I felt that they look like two heads. So I added the bodies here. And then I felt that there is a connection between these two humans. They are probably a couple. So then I took the red paint and I started making these images of their faces. And I felt that they are really kind of an old couple. It really felt that they are maybe even my grandparents. And long story short, I transferred myself to an imagination of how my grandparents would look like as a couple. What they would think. I started intuitively painting other people around them. At most probably their family and their environment that they grew up into. There was a lot of nature around. So I remember starting being immersed in this leaf drawing and the poppy flowers that they had in their olive tree. Some odd and I can remember as a child. So there was a lot of memory starting, appearing while I was drawing and wire layer was immersing myself into some repetitive and intuitive movement. And after a while, it's very clear that there is not about the story that I have anymore, but I just keep connecting things. I started adding some lines that we are connecting. One part of the drawing, the other and giving some flow and some movement. I started focusing on little details that sometimes they could see as a city scape or it's three, or maybe even the path of an insect. So I really like move between scales, for example, like the micro-scale of small E62, the bigger scales of a bigger body. And actually change these images within themselves in order to create my storytelling and build up my imagination. So I found that this would be a very interesting way, probably to reflect on my own drawing and make you see that just also the image of this video at the end that I choose do to make it through my own reflection didn't happen because I had the idea in the very first place by just arrived to me by really going around my room and start focusing on what is there and what I create with what I already have. So I hope you enjoyed this introduction. This is something that we're going to go through together. How to focus on your immediate space. How you can take inspiration from what is right, right there in front of your nose, actually. Or how you can go outside and just take things inside that you didn't choose. To focus before. All this information can sparkle your imagination and can reveal your own personal landscapes. The imagination that, the pictures that you already have within your head and you can turn them into it. Very interesting and artistic story. So I hope to see you in the next classes. 3. HOW TO APPLY THE CLASS: A whole practice display some improvisation allusion to the movement. This is what I propose to you. Here's how everything started coming to my early practice. I had been deeply inspired. Graded broker, you enter by Julio capacity. This book and broccoli from this good influence buildings that I have to follow someone else's suggestions per say. Instead, it gave a lot of freedom to the reader to follow their own path inside the book's narrative. The reader would read the book in a linear way. Start to end. Read the book by following the number indications of the end of the chapter, author suggests only use the properties randomly and lack a new narrative within, within the reader's mind. I follow this method and all my creative practices, and this is what I suggest for my class as well. I have created a structure which is not to be followed only in a linear way. Instead, check the book glass wants to get an idea of what I'm presenting and then revisit the exercises following their body MOOC. Play with your senses and allow your body to focus on one sense at a time. Once you feel more confident, you can mix two sensors following one exercise after the other, or even work on two or more senses at once. For advanced practice, you can use the arriving embodied chapter before starting any of the exercises, or simply use it as a daily morning waking up routine to bring smiles and new data. Sets the body fluids in motion, and prepares the brain for our daily mental activities. In the chapter moving thoughts. I think we talked about the importance of being able to observe our thoughts without engaging or judging them. You can use this exercise at anytime during your day by simply sitting or laying down still. And it will give you immediate feedback of your present thoughts. When combined with one of the other exercises, you will start realizing how the embodied movement affects your thoughts and what kind of new information and creative thoughts started appearing within your imagination. Take time to write down some thoughts you observe before and after movement practice. Remember, do not force him thinking. Write down only what comes easily into your mind. Don't be afraid of your thoughts. Simply let them pass through your body onto your paper and then let them dissolve. For an intense practice, repeat the exercise is two to three times a week. Even more, if you have the time and expect to observe changes in the way you interact with your environment. Expect to have new input in your thinking process. To be more relaxed within your body and mind, and to start filling more creative day-by-day in the way you deal with daily challenges. Gif these words in your body. Flow. Relaxation, inspiration, awareness, present moment. Imaginary spaces. Body escapes. You are the architect of your body mind spaces and joy your practice. I'll see you in the class. 4. ARRIVING IN THE BODY: What we're going to do is like we replace our feet parallel to the shoulders. And we will feel this grounding like you want to feel the heels on the floor and all the the surface of the foot. How step on the ground. So I want you to imagine that play even with your fingertips in order to realize how and which parts of the foot are stepping on the ground. And imagine that you have very steady pillars on the ground. At the same time you are pushing the floor. So this creates a counter, another direction towards the ceiling. So at the same time, while you are pressing the floor, you can feel that the body goes to the ceiling so you become long. Be careful. When you become long. We don't want Open the chest too much. We don't want you to exaggerate with your chest and opening, but it's just a very, very tiny feeling of not sinking inside your weight, but just pushing up your shoulders. We want them to place them back, not fold them into France. So if you feel that there is a tension of your shoulder towards the front, then I want you to relax, bring them back, set them down away from your ears, and let the hand relax on the sides. So for your SIP, I just be too low. Tried to maintain a straight eye level. And really make sure that the head can move freely, that you have no tension, that the shoulders are not going. Bring them down, relax, and then close your eyes once you feel that everything is set. And this is very important. Tried to understand whether there is stiffness in your body. If you are trying really hard to stay, still, know we, you always want to maintain a micro flexible movement either within your SQL. And it's flown in. This can work as an imagination for you in every part of the body like this microbe balancing movement. So close your eyes. Relax the eyelids. Relax the mouth. That's a make some exercises to stretch the mouth. Bring air into your mouth, and start bringing the air through the nose, exhaling through the mouth. Very relaxed and very in your own way. So make sure that when you breathe, you bring the air to your diaphragm so you don't put all the air up on your chest. But if it helps, you can put your right hand on top of the diaphragm right here. And when you breathe through the nose, you can realize how this space is expanding and contracting. And start being aware of these movement, which is a movement within your body from the air that's coming in and out. Relax your hands and start realizing that the air is not going in the diaphragm. Where else does it create movement? You might feel some movement on your back off and back, on the shoulders, on your chest. And slowly you can move the m lower and your pelvis. And by keeping the breathing, you will start moving the fingertips. Very calm and slow just to warm up your fingertips, your wrists. Pay attention to any pain that you might have. You don't want to force anything. Everything must be like really ARE at the moment. So you keep breathing in and out. And thus you keep moving the risks then start moving the elbows and ask the elbows move than the shoulders move. And slowly you can imagine how the movement, starting from the fingertips just goes up and the shoulders. You're just exploring the movement possibilities of your handles. The shoulder without tension. Tried to keep the head open and flexible. Keep moving the hands, keep moving the fingertips. Now, all of this is energy transferred within the body and how you change the directions. You can start sensing the shoulder blades that are moving very gently. You don't want draw anything, just know how you feel, move in all directions. You can imagine that all your joints are moving within each other. So you are creating this movement without control. But you are massaging the bone. So you have massaging the inner spaces. And as the chest is moving, you make sure that the head doesn't stay still because otherwise there will be tension. So we start moving the chest. And as aims moving in the hands, moving gently null directions in the chest. And from the chest, you start moving the pelvis. The way we move forward, we don't forget the previous thoughts. So the hands Never stop. The shoulder blades keep moving, the pelvis keeping, keeps moving. And maybe we want to pause one hand and focus on another. Myth circular movement. Just how it feels. You can already feel warming up. There is a lot of movement, energy inside you. There is no right or wrong. Just move edge. Move the join, smooth the hips. Just warm things up. In your hips. Find the smooth, then the circular movement that will lock your joins in the pelvis and make some movement on your knees. Already the feet are sticking off the ground. So start moving his feet. And round round ankles. And now we keep everything together. Circular movement, all directions. And when looking everywhere around the room. And slowly skew will relax everything and you will slow down the movement. And finally, we will return to the very first position. So we find that our feet best on the first position. Relax our knees, relax our hands, are willing and want to slowly stop. Slowly, slowly with calm things down. But we keep observing that there are micro movements within ourselves and that our micro movements around the joins. And there is micro movement around the spine and micro movement on the head. And on the fingertips we can feel sudden movement inside. The blood is moving. Water is moving. Air is moving. Can probably feel that blood pumping. The hardest, pumping. In your own time. You can open the eyelids and take a look around the space. Feel your body. And let's get ready for the class. 5. MOVING WITH SOUND: So our first exercise will be relaxing drawing in cross-section, what I invite you to do is to put your headphones in your year, choose your favorite song on your account, on your Spotify or YouTube or wherever you want. And then use this one for the exercise. So I will do the same. And basically, what is important is that all your body feel that is equally supported by your chair and feel that the shoulders are not up. This creates a lot of tension on your neck. Like relax your shoulders down. Make sure that they are moving still. Make sure that your head it's not blocked. Like try with me and go wrong. Well, now shake your shoulders a little bit in a way that you can feel that your body, your face is not like stuck, but that you are able to move and relax and observe how this movement is affecting your hand. So I'm only moving my torso. I'm only moving the upper part of my chest, but I can, I can realize that my fingers are moving on the table. So why this is important? This is important for you to realize that while one part of yourself is moving, it doesn't mean that you need to move everything for your body to move as a whole. We need to understand that the movement can be initiated in one part of our bodies. And this can work as a wave that is affecting all the other parts as well. And once we are very familiar and comfortable with moving one arm, for example, or with moving one hand. Then we can relax the whole body and really feel, not guide, just feel how the wave is traveling within us. So makes sure that your hips are able to free. You can warm up your pelvis by moving around and not putting any pressure. You can do this by imagining that there is this string pulling your head upwards. So we are lifting our bodies while we are warming up. So once you have put your, your song and you know, in your ears and you are ready. I want you to close your eyes. Take a few seconds to breathe and let your body tune in. It might be that you need to listen to the song once or twice, really, really focused. And what I mean by that is to, to get into the rhythm and slowly get into the different layers of instruments that appear in the song. And the different rhythms of course, that it seems to be suggesting. And then maybe work with one layer or one instrument. Let's say you are focusing on the drums. Focus on the drums and work with this layer and see how it can move your body. What kind of beat is it transmitting to yourself? After the first time listening to a song, you are going to be ready to go into the drawing process. So hold any of your tools very freely. Like we don't want to hold it very tight. This is, this already means that our body is putting a lot of pressure and a lot of attention into holdings. But we want to feel more that this is something that we're holding is an extremity of our bodies is like continuing our body forms. So let's imagine that this is really and rather finger extension of your body. So if you're ready, let's work together on the first song and listen to it. And I see you when you are done. For people who are poor or low. In this instance, for this simple example, greetings. As far as before. This is all of this. You can use. 6. MOVING WITH TOUCH: Hello. Hello. Hi. Hi. Hi. 7. MOVING WITH VISION: In this exercise, we will let our vision guide our movement and we will try to remain focused both on what we are looking at and how it makes us more space. Let's play with an image. Imagine that every time you blink, your brain takes a mental picture of what you see. It's picture is stored on top of the other and a big pile of images is created. Memories. Instead of absorbing the images of your environment, essentially, I invite you to start observing carefully whatever attracts supervision, follow what attracts your eyes and simply try to reach it. It might be far, it might be very close. Your movement will be affected accordingly. You might want to reach high, then you will start climbing. You might be curious to see what lays under, behind or into something. Just observe how your body responds to your impulses. Do you have any pain? Do you feel challenged to move? Is your movement Fast and Slow? Is your breathing smooth or interrupted? Your vision? Can move your thoughts given if you stay still. So give some food to your memories. Look around you four colors, shapes, patterns, textures, games of light and shadow, and an ordinary objects. Surprising compositions. Observe how things are organized around you. Once you feel immersed within the space, tried to establish continuity between the way you find your target objects and you'll movement. Find a state of flow. Keep moving from a to B, avoiding unnecessary. Think. Enjoy your intuitive movement through visual exploration. Feel one with the space. The space. Sweet, you just go for it. Are you ready to LED lights come through your eyes and follow its path to your imaginary spaces. Take a look at my quick image collection from McCartney lives and one day in the city of Lisbon. And get ready for your own visual exploration. Started mindful law can use a camera if you want to focus your attention. See you at the end of the class. Okay? So this is a fun one for this exercise. The second cycle. Since the beginning. Thank you for inspiring mindful walk, collecting one mental picture after the other. Second moment to recall some of the images and note down small description, somebody will remember that. And the tails are really important in our brain. Loves to be reminded even of the things that seem quite boring or instantly and don't forget to include your emotions in the description and link them to the specific parts of the imagery. You just gave a body a great chance to build awareness of who you are and traded to recall images and emotions. Next time you encounter similar qualities, new surroundings basis. If you ready been more practice, jump to the next session, or simply repeat this one and surprise yourself with a number of images, then we'll start popping up in your body. Congratulations, you just started in Logan, you're creative material. 8. MOVING WITH THOUGHTS: Make yourself comfortable. Laid down, use a pillow to call organic. Imagine that to melt into the floor. Relax your joints and release any tension. Relax your pelvis, connect. Scan your body had to tos for any pain or discomfort. Now your body is ready to dive into your imaginary space. Laden image appear in your mind. You've already observed. It can keep as much. Since assuming that the image dissolve into your body. Take the time you need to follow the image within your body. A moment ago, your impulses attend your bodily experience. Yourself in the imaginary space. I will meet you at the end of this meditation. Okay? Yeah. Hello. Hi. Okay. Yeah. Hi. Hopefully. Hi. Okay. A place for uremic best. And come back and get your bodily sensation. Whenever you're ready, let your body stand up, straight down some moments from your experience. Hi. 9. FINAL THOUGHTS: Thank you for attending my Skillshare class. It's been a very interesting process. You need to complete this course for you. Bring these exercises in a way that I can show you how movement has affected my practice. And I hope that it creates a big change for you as well. Please feel free to share anything that you born in the comments to contact me for questions, or to give you feedback on your artistic practice. That would be very happy to do that. I believe that the more we share, we are creating a collective way of thinking and creating together. So I really hope to see some results and engagement from you in the comments and that we can realize in practice how this can work. Hopefully, I see you in the next videos where I will be more detailed about how these XY, one by one can create results for artists or designers and architects, which is my name, practice. So I hope you enjoyed keep practicing because that's how you are going to have more results in the future and be more precise with whatever is happening within your body and within your spaces. Thank you again for attending the class and I hope to see you again in the future. Bye.