Self-tape warm-up #1: Shake it!

Shake it like a Polaroid … wait … I changed my mind … shake it like a milkshake WITH A DONUT ON TOP?!

It’s self-tape self-care week here on the blog. I’m sharing nervous system warm-ups and somatic meditations that help me with making videos of myself. I hope they are helpful to you!

Body-wise, one of the hardest things for me about self-taping is feeling like my body is trapped in a weird video hamster cage. 

A giant audition room can sometimes feel like it’s swallowing my voice, but it also is usually big enough to meet the energy (nervous and otherwise) that is in my body, if that makes sense?

This brings me to self-tape warm-up #1: Shake.

Have you ever seen a dog shake its body before it transitions between activities? I know my corgi Edna does this all the time. Mostly because she is constantly transitioning between her two main energetic states: 1) STAND BACK WHILE I HERD THE CRAP OUT OF ALL THINGS THAT MOVE and 2) Ahhh, time to sleep in full back sploot with my tiny legs gently suspended in mid-air.

The same applies to us human animals. Shaking helps to relieve muscular tension and calm the nervous system. 

There are lots of ways to shake, but my favorite way is seated, so I don’t introduce more tension into my hip flexors while shaking my legs. 

I’ll usually start out with a body wave that connects the head and tail — more of a gentle rocking than shaking — before I progress to more energetic movement.

I also like to shake out one body part at a time before proceeding to a full-body shake-out. Imagine if your shoulder had a life of its own and was MADE FOR THE DANCE FLOOR — how would it shake? 

(This has the added benefit of allowing me to shake my arms like Kermit the Frog introducing a guest on The Muppet Show. But I digress.)

As with all of these techniques, I suggest checking in with your body before and after. Notice if and how a technique shifts your sense of yourself in your body. If you find a technique too activating, stop and return to an exercise you know works better for you.

Want a guide for your shake-out? Check out this free sample video on my Marvelous site!

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