ANOTHER KIND OF BEAUTY
I had thoughts of writing this post back in the Fall when I was preparing to move to my current practice location. Somehow it didn’t happen then –but while walking past that old space earlier this week, the idea returned.
You see when I first moved into that little strip of five spaces my next-door neighbor did massage, next to her somehow did acupuncture and on the end was a very small yoga studio. In space five at the other end was the “nail lady” who had been doing “manis” and “pedis” before any other of us had moved in.
Time passed and the woman who had the yoga studio gave it up and in moved “Pandora’s Box” – a place to get “permanent make-up”, waxes and other types of “beauty treatments”. Within a few months the acupuncturist moved on and a tattoo artist moved in. So now three out of the 5 spaces were occupied by folks who helped others decorate themselves in ways that they believed would improve their appearance.
Although all of the businesses are owned by very pleasant women, I have to say that seeing sandwich board advertising tattoos near my space resulted in some “interesting” comments from some of my clients and I began to worry about whether this was a good location for my practice. Partly because of this and partly because of how my space was laid out, I started looking to move – and I also started thinking more about different ideas related to beauty and whether my work has anything to do with it.
Our society places a great deal of value on physical appearance. We visit establishments like the ones that were my new neighbors. We try all manner of diets in pursuit of thinness. And we exercise and sometimes injure ourselves exercising in the pursuit of rock hard muscles. (I’m here to help if that is your unfortunate situation) But my sense is that not so many people consciously associate the ability to move with ease and grace, without excessive muscular tension and effort, as being related to beauty. I do, and I think many perhaps less consciously agree.
And so I would like to share this video a clip of Ruthy Alon, one of Moshe Feldenkrais’ first students moving with ease and grace at quite an advanced age. Enjoy! She may not be young and pretty in the conventional sense, but she has another kind of beauty.