Cerebellum: Coordination & Play Applied

What is the cerebellum, and why should movement teachers/practitioners think about training it? And how can you integrate cerebellum stimulation into the group classes you teach?

In this video I quickly review why the cerebellum matters to us, and offer examples of how to weave in three categories of cerebellum stimulation into your group classes, building on the drills Erin shared in her tutorial. They are:

  • rhythmic ball bounce
  • movement following a vision chart
  • movement to a tempo set by a metronome (or song, as the case may be)

A couple of notes:

Rhythmic Ball Bounce:

There are so many ways to play with a ball in your classes! Another possibility, among so many others!, that I don't mention in the video is to turn this drill into a group exercise. Instead of passing the ball from your left hand to your right hand, for example, have everyone stand in a circle, and you might bounce with your left, catch with your right, and then pass to the left hand of the person standing to your right. The sky is the limit! So many ways to play.

Movement Following a Vision Chart:

Likewise, the ways you can use the vision chart are only limited by your own imagination. It doesn't have to look anything like Warriors, nor be limited to a sequence of poses that keeps your students moving in the frontal plane (that is, side-to-side). Play away and explore what works!

One other note I would like to add is that in a class I would warm everyone up well before beginning this, and also make my way through all of the poses I'd like them to follow in the chart at least once slowly and mindfully beforehand, focusing on finding a sustainable version of the pose for each person in the room. Only after that would I ask my class to try to follow the chart in and out of whatever group of poses I have chosen.

Movement to a Tempo

The song I play in the video in the section on moving to a tempo set by a song or metronome is called "Tai Ji Wood Flute" by Michael J. Leone, Jerry Dibble, Jason Campbell, & Fred Werner, from the album Shockti Bomb. In the video you can barely hear it, unfortunately! But you can listen to it in full for free here: https://www.amazon.com/Tai-Ji-Wood-Flute/dp/B00EK9K74Q. It's worth taking a listen, whether while watching this video or afterwards.

When you listen, I invite you to take the time to play around with moving to it yourself! What happens if you let your movement practice follow the rhythm of the music? Does the tempo free your movement up in anyway? Challenge your movement in any way? Does the limitation posed by the rhythm inspire your movement, or does it restrict it? I'd love to hear what you find when you play around with it!

Finally, in the video I mention that you can offer a set sequence to follow, fitting it to a given tempo, but another option is to ask your class to free flow for a little while. What happens when you give them total freedom to explore, but within the single constraint of timing their movement to the beat you've set?

As always, remember that the comment section below is here for us to dialogue together! Please use it to share anything you discover as you play with these ways of moving, any questions you might have, feedback, or general reflections on your Movement with a Brain journey so far.