The Inchworm Story – movement antics at Harrogate Yoga
Is that an apple stalk on my kitchen floor I wondered? Or could it be ….ALIVE? I slid some kitchen paper under the ‘apple stalk’ and placed it on my kitchen table for a closer inspection. I gave it a little poke – this caused a sudden curling in and up, propelling the creature forwards and onwards. I was intrigued now – I took some photographs of these antics and sent them to a wildlife enthusiast friend. “It’s an inchworm!” He messaged back. From then on the apple stalk/inchworm received special treatment, with mange-tout and rocket to eat and an empty yogurt pot to live in. I sent frequent updates to my bemused daughter, son and partner via our WhatsApp group. It was a little light relief in amongst their political angst – going something like this:
ME “New pet! It’s an inchworm – doesn’t bring mud into the house but not affectionate either”
“Where did you find him??xx”
“On the kitchen floor! Don’t know what it eats – not rocket or mange-tout though”
“Can you google it to find out what it eats?xxx”
“There are hundreds of different varieties – caterpillars for moths. So could be a particular tree but no clue to habitat (found on mauve rubber floor!!) X”
“Love how you’ve made an inchworm a pet”
“Is it really an inch long?”
“Yes and moves an inch at a time!”
“Yes, they’re interesting to me because of their spinal movement. They’re not like most caterpillars because they only have limbs /suckers front and back. They reflect an infant developmental movement pattern called Spinal Yield and Push. When little babies get from one end of the cot to another, before being able to crawl, they most likely will have moved that way. You could see me doing a replication on YouTube 😉 X”
“INCHWORM NEWS for ALL – G brought his Wildlife book yesterday and we decided it’s likely the inchworm came from the oak tree at the back. A lot of work done on Kiftsgate rose up oak tree last Friday – maybe inchworm got disturbed and came in house. Anyway G has returned it to oak tree – but no leaves to eat. Perhaps it’s not in an eating phase yet anyway XX”
“Lol Love the attention that’s been given to the inchworm xx”
“Kindness to small creatures”
“The Dali lama would be proud”
“Wouldn’t have been allowed in if it had been an ordinary caterpillar tho! Only elite immigrants welcome ;-)”
I should explain that from time to time we practise ‘inchworm movement’ in my classes, plus I regularly include elements of the movement in my practice. I find that my spine really appreciates the process of gently alternating flexion and extension, with a kind of gathering in from the underside of the body.
I told my classes about my new pet and they became engaged with the Inchworm story – they wanted to practise inchworm moves again (see video below) One student sent me a link to the ‘Inchworm Song’ by Danny Kaye. I was amazed there was a song about an inchworm – I’d never heard of such a thing. Another student said “oh yes, I used to sing the Inchworm Song in the choir at school!”
Practising my ‘inchworm moves’. “But can you do spinal push movement on your back?” asked a friend and colleague. The answer is yes!
The Inchworm Song – apparently David Bowie was inspired by it.
Happy practising everyone – keep it fluid and fun!