Dolce Far Niente

Exams are over!  With my last assessment handed in and left to determine my academic fate and all of my exams at school completed I am finally, finally, on holidays! Other than our school Track and Field carnival which is on Friday… Nevertheless, the feeling of freedom is utterly splendid. You must certainly know the feeling I’m talking about; when you leave an exam and all of a sudden you can breathe, you can smile and laugh and enjoy life without thinking about what you have to do, what you have to study, what you have to check off your to-do list. You are free to enjoy the art of doing nothing. Or as the Italians put it, dolce far niente; the sweetness of doing nothing (knowledge acquired from Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – a brilliant film and book for anyone). So upon arriving home after my final exam (maths) I indulged. Watching a chick flick and baking apple crumble with lights low and heater on is a sure way to relax. But even better than sweet-baking is a new ‘thing’ that I have recently been informed about. It is called ‘Feldenkrais’. Initially created by a German man and adapted over the years, Feldenkrais is a free, easy and successful way to feel amazing. If everyone did this I swear most health facilities would be out of business. A friend of mine attended Golden Door health retreat up in the hinterlands for a week and came back with this peculiar technique and got me to try it and holy moley I have never felt so… bizarre in my life. Bizarre in a good way though.

The set of exercises she showed me required a blanket rolled into a tight sausage, like a tube, which you lie on in different positions and stretch. After each set of exercises you are required to just lie on the floor. I must admit I was totally freaked out. Without any ounce of exaggeration I felt like the earth I was lying on had sunk. I felt like I was lying in quicksand. And after each set a new and totally insane sensation followed until finally the session was finished and you are required to just stand up. So intense was the difference in my posture, stance and general sense of feeling that I sort of lost it. My feet and legs felt weighted down and anchored to the floor whilst the rest of my body felt barely there. Every joint was soft and relaxed and when my friend pressed down on my shoulders with every ounce of her strength – I didn’t. Move. A single.  Muscle. I was a rock. And it felt amazing. I walked around for the rest of the day in awe.

So after my little recount – the moral of today’s blog is to invest in FELDENKRAIS! There are practitioners in Brisbane who can teach you how to do these exercises at home. I know after my lectures and tutorials at uni and after school my shoulders and neck always feel tight and constricted and my back usually always aches after studying but with the help of these totally bizarre stretches I am a new woman!  Seriously – if you ever feel the strains of study or even if you just have sore muscles from exercise you should try a few of these stretches. Your body will love you for it.

Any who, I have a challenge for you. One last thing. During your holidays I challenge you to have a day of dolce far niente. Let yourself enjoy doing nothing and soak up the freedom around you. Invest some time in relaxing. You deserve it.

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