Principles, Learning and Comfort
Safety and Efficacy
  • To be an effective practice, the body has to be relaxed, in control, and engaged with awareness
  • Move in easy gradual ways
  • Stay comfortable at all times
  • Explore your own inner sensations
  • Respect your body
  • Listen, and honor your journey
  • Experience the feelings
  • Enjoy
  • Open yourself wholeheartedly, mindfully, patiently and completely
  • Let the body adjust
Fun and Practical
  • It can be a great way to rehabilitate injury
  • It is attainable at any age
  • Works for anyone of any size, gender or athletic ability
  • It gets us back to play!
  • It is participatory, non-competitive, and requires cooperation to play
  • It's a great way to activate a "couch potato" or a "desk potato"
  • And if you are not juggling... you can 'work out'! - what a great side-effect!
Coordination and Agility​
  • Improves reaction time
  • Makes your body move in new ways
  • Encourages sequencing of movement
  • It develops and innate sense of grace and rhythm
  • It stimulates neural pathways through touch and movement
Mental Skills
  • Improves concentration
  • It coordinates Left and Right brain functions
  • Teaches a mind-set for growth
  • It helps break out of mental ruts
  • It gives the brain a break
  • It provides a great model for how to learn:  By differentiating tasks, building skills in a step-wise approach and practicing
  • Like solving a puzzle, it unlocks the brain
  • Mastery offers its next goal.  It sets intention, and inspiration for future learning
  • It gives you simple, immediate feedback to evaluate your "errors"
Emotional Well-Being
  • Play can make us happy
  • Challenges our beliefs about what is possible
  • Helps you be more open to new possibilities
  • It improves self-esteem, giving a sense of accomplishment
  • It helps us learn that we can accomplish things with practice
  • Builds confidence
  • Alleviate stress
  • It allows everyone to be a teacher
  • It gives you skills for coping with blockages and setbacks
  • It helps you re-work your relationship to yourself when you make a "mistake"
Seeing Skills
  • Builds hand-eye coordination
  • Improves spacial awareness
  • Sharpens peripheral vision
Manageable Consequences
  • Now that's a relief.
Learning
How to Make it Fun and Efficient
Practicalities
  • Keep you hands low, elbows tucked in
  • Use your wrist to flick up the ball (not just your elbow)
  • Practice over a couch (the balls are easier to retrieve, and you won't meander forward as you throw)
  • Or practice over a table, letting the ball land, and then pick-up at a pace that is more manageable.
  • Body catches count!
  • Practice in a way that enhances control
  • Be willing to adapt to something easier
  • Complete a number of reps, and stop
Approach with Play
  • invite play into every part of it
  • When does humor come in? can it?
  • Play with variety
  • Notice if it stops being fun - what is happening?
  • A gentle approach works best
  • Keep a good relationship with it all
Mistakes are Expected
  • ​Accept that this is a practice with many "mistakes"
  • A gentle. forgiving attitude around failure is part of the practice
  • What just happened in the "oops"? ... that's curious! What can I notice?
  • If you are at a place of diminishing returns, practices something else
  • Choose your level of control and risk
A Somatic Approach to Self-Care
  • Try getting on the floor and moving how your body needs to.
  • Listen for what it asks for.
  • Discover your own movement.
  • Slowly move into that feeling.
  • Avoid increased pain.
  • However slow and calm that needs to be.
  • Take time to rest.
  • Lift your body weight from the floor.  Small lifts, slow little lifts.
  • Gradually improvement comes.
  • Gently get stronger.
  • Try comparing and balancing your different sides.
  • Use your own common sense.
  • Healing can take time.  There are few heroic cures.
  • Stay aware, focused, connected.
Body Wisdom
  • Start on the "weaker" side, it's more interesting!
  • Train your eyes, let your eyes move
  • Or keep your eyes fixed and broaden your peripheral vision
  • Reflexes are exciting.  Let this inspire you!
  • Use your ears. Listen for the patterns (sounds of catches for example)
  • Don't think too much, let your body act
  • And conversely, visualize the trick as "exactly" as you can
  • Stop and regroup if it gets too "wild"
  • Take a momentary centering pause before starting the trick again
  • Be curious about what you can see: the ball stopped at the top of its arc, its landing, the curve of its motion
Congratulations!
  • This doesn't happen very often in life, - so now's your chance.
  • Say it:  "Well Done Joe!"
  • Use your name!
  • Say it because you deserve it, you do!
  • No joke, and you'll improve faster with praise!
  • Take it in.
Enhancing Creativity
  • Use the concept of "planes" - notice a plane you are moving in, then change the plane
  • Use the concept of circles - we tend to move in circles, notice that, then change the direction, speed, diameter
  • Keep the sensation of touch acute - throwing and catching, tapping... and change the nature of that expression.
Important
  • Try for everything to be easeful.
  • If something is not easeful, pause, and just do what is easy.
  • Find the enjoyment in sensation.
  • The slower you go the safer it is.
  • Pain is never beneficial.
  • Explore with peace of mind areas of discomfort.
  • Adapt your practices to accommodate where you are at.
  • Let things take some time to heal.
  • As you get better, continue to never push yourself into pain, or do things despite pain.
  • Pain is a message to stop what you are doing.
  • Make an agreement with yourself that you will take care.
Adaptations
  • If there is something you can't do, stay within the part of it that you can.
  • The parts of movements that you can do are the beneficial parts of the practice.
  • Everybody starts less able than they wish, and deals with limitation right away.
  • Develop a good, peaceful, respectful relationship with your limitations.
  • Use your internal sensory experience to sense and feel what is ok.
  • Try other practices, for other body areas, or other toys too.
  • These practices are subtle.  They are designed to be exploratory.  If it curious to you, how is it that you are supposed to feel something - then good, that is the practice.
  • If you are patient with your limitations, you will also be surprised by how readily your body is willing to adapt and improve.
It Doesn't Matter
  • It's great to practice something that, at the end of the day, doesn't matter that much.
  • It's great to practice something that you can keep 'light', and that can give you perspective on what actually does matter.
Picking Up Your Toys:​
  • The idea is to try to minimize repetitive movements (like leaning over the same way every time) picking up a ball.
  • Here are some other fun ways to get something off the floor.
  • All parts of your play time adds to your agility - even picking up the toys.
  • Practicing these are foundational, and you will improve and master them quickly.
Chillin' on the Catch
  • sometimes we get anxious and catch the ball up high.
  • it's hard to trust that if we let something "go", that we can still get to it.
  • track the ball going down.
  • notice when you want to lurch, and for how long you can wait.
  • it's refreshing to delay the catch.
  • you can also just let the ball(s) drop if you want.  It's nice to not have to catch it.
  • and, taking this to the edge, you'll drop a few more and it's ok.
The Release!
  • Sometimes it's hard to get the ball to release.  It can open up all this uncertainty and expectations for the catch.
  • Practice by easily letting the ball roll up and off your fingers.
  • Give your wrist a little flick with the launch.
  • Let the toss ripple your body loose.
  • Also practice with mini tosses that barely leave your hand.
  • Hone in on the earliest part of your toss.  Sense it as it leaves.