We followed the basic rhythmic movement of expansion and contraction, with a poem by J.W. Goethe:
In breathing grace, may twofold be,
To breathe air in, and set it free.
The in-breath binds, the out- unwinds,
And so with marvels life entwines.
Thanks be to God when you are pressed,
And thank him, when he grants us rest.
The pendulum swings from one pole to the other, and health lies in the movement between them, with the equilibrium being created ever anew. The participants shared that they felt calm yet energized following the eurythmy.
Dr. Cathy then said that when we look at the human being we can see three main areas: The cool, round head area- as the central representative of the nerve and sense system and thinking; the linearly formed limbs as the main players in our actions and deeds, along with the digestive processes that fuel that activity; between them, having some round and some linear aspects, is the rhythmic system, where the heart and lungs are at home along with our world of feelings. When observing a child, we can see how they are formed physically, what their actions are like, and what lives in their feelings. This helps inform how we guide and support them.
Childhood is a dynamic time, in which the unique individuality is making this body “its own”. This process is by no means easy! One child might tend to be very dreamy, another might be a bit stuck in its ways, and inflexible. How can we help each child achieve more balance in their one sidedness? Therapeutic eurythmy is a way to give the child a gentle “nudge” in one direction or another. Some children are sensitive, “thin skinned”, and benefit from doing sheltering gestures in therapeutic eurythmy sessions, allowing them to create a healthy buffer between them and the world. Another child might be so “earthy” that it has trouble finding lightness in its movement and in its emotional experience. Here regular practice of flowing eurythmy gestures can help relieve the feeling of weight or depression, bringing light and levity.
Warmth is a medium of change, and the often occurring fevers during childhood, when safely guided, can result in a child making significant developmental steps after recovery. Different home health care methods of supporting children through illness were discussed, such as lemon wraps on the calves to help reduce fever, drawing the heat away from the head area. Several participants expressed the wish to have further courses or workshops offered on this topic. The emotional warmth from those close to the child, and in their environment also plays a huge role in how a child finds their way into this “earthly situation”. Therapeutic eurythmy can help support the child who needs more warmth, on a physical or emotional level.
Besides the talk/demo, Dr. Cathy spent many hours during her visit observing in different classes and having conversations with teachers about ways to best meet the needs of the children. During the upcoming parent-teacher conferences your child’s teacher may suggest your child be signed up for a series of therapeutic eurythmy sessions. AWS is providing funding this year for a number of students to receive sessions.
We are very grateful to a generous anonymous donor, and for a grant from the Association for Therapeutic Eurythmy in North America (ATHENA) for making this visit by Dr. Cathy a reality.
Please contact Maria Ebersole at school for any questions you may have or email firstname.lastname@example.org