by VALERIE HUNT
Progressing from “Learning” to “Running”
In the meantime, a general guideline for the first 4-6 weeks of learning is to choose one day every week as skill day: Practice a drill, then a short run 25-50 meters in a repetitive drill/run for 30-45 minutes.
For every run, warm up with standing in Pose, pulling and falling. During your run, check in with your pace by counting your cadence or doing the 1-2-3 drill described below.
“The 1-2-3″ Drill
Start with a single change of support in place, then fall and change support — checking to see that you are in Pose at landing — then fall and change support again.
As this gets comfortable and consistent, progress into 3 quick changes of support at what I call a “1-2-3″ tempo: pull-pull-pull, quick pause to check Pose, then fall and 1-2-3. For those of you who are musically inclined, the Pose pause is like the length of a quarter note, and the pulls are like three successive eighth notes. Create a mental image — like running across burning coals or hot sand — to increase your cadence and do quick, low, pulls.
Your goal when you run is to keep your cadence at a minimum of 180 steps/minute or 90/foot/minute. Focus only on trying to pull as quickly as you can, while allowing yourself to fall and move forward. When I first started Pose, I would find a fall point close to me and just run to that point, then pick another point farther away and run there. Once you get comfortable with the feeling of your feet keeping up with your body, your fall point can be the finish line.