Your left side is my right side, when I stand facing you

I was driving down a narrow two lane street. The car in front of me was going slower and slower and slower. Then it blinked to the left while pulling over to the right, and came to a halt at the right side of the street.

Why did he blink to the left when he pulled to the right? I figured the driver used his signal lights NOT to indicate that he is going to the right, but to signal me that I shall pass him on his left side. 

Interesting. „Creative use” of his car’s turn signals. Made me question traffic rules and our common agreements on the use of traffic signals altogether.

I notice something similar in movement classes. 

When we are standing, or sitting, then everyone is very clear about:

  • Up is where the head is.
  • Down is where the feet are.
  • In the back is where the back is.
  • In front is… in front.

However, I often start my movement classes with lying down on the floor, supine in a horizontal position, lying on the back with legs extended. In this position, suddenly, the „creative use” of directions starts:

  • Up is suddenly no longer where the head is, but where the ceiling is.
  • Down is no longer where the feet are, but gets reassigned to where the floor is. 
  • In front is where the ceiling is. Double tap here. 
  • In the back is still in the back, but now that’s also where the floor is. Two is better than one, huh?

Maybe that’s not even a re-assignment of directions. Maybe that’s how many of us see the world, our position in its coordinates, the sky is up and the floor is down, always, invariably so, not coupled to our own orientation.

But how can I lead a beginners movement class, when a good half of my students erased two directions from existence?