Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The seduction of Stretching

some of garden
and the old barn back behind

Stretching is good
for teachers who want to lord
it over their students,
especially if the teacher is
more flexible than the students.

Stretching is a great way
to get the student
concentrating on self pushing
self pulling
self attacking
self violence
and then if they can't "do it"
then they can feel inferior
or bad
or worn out
or in pain
or all of the above
and won't have enough energy left over to realize
that the "teacher"
isn't "teaching" them anything,

that the so called
is just more of the
try harder
hurt yourself
breathe through the pain
"let it go"
that can be seen
at many levels
in our society

is that true?
i'm not sure.
it sounds right,
but anything can sound

in health clubs
and yoga places
the pushing a little more
and getting to the edge
as you hurt yourself
just a little bit
is way the norm

and is it part of our society
or are we moving toward
the fat lazies
at the end of Wall-e
unable to make any effort

these are all questions
than just coming to the present
this one
the only one
and being in our
in our
and if it
feels good
getting up from this silly
going outside
and look at the sky
and sense the fullness of us:
ten fingers, ten toes, belly, eyes, ear and nose

now that's a
that won't hurt!!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Neurological Upgrading Lessons


Chris Elms doing this for the first time in his life, at 63:
Feel younger, more at ease, happier in your body.

Whole Brain
Whole Self

to come to the
of moving,

In these lessons, you either sit or lie down,
fully clothed,
on a firm and comfortable
table, chair, or bench.

You are guided
to being present
with yourself
and your breathing
and your awareness.

functional integration with Wenonah

From that being present,
in easy and gentle increments,
you are guided,
by touch
and word,
to new and better feeling
of using yourself
and being in your body.

These lessons
to beginners
appear to be "body work."

back ease
neck ease
shoulder ease
grace and joy in movement
moving as if 20 years younger
ability to "work out" without the usual masochistic nonsense
discovery of whole new movement, dance and voice possibilities
discovery of the miracle of having a "body"

new ideas
trying new things in life
sudden creative urges
letting go of old, boring patterns
rekindling love of learning

the giggles
a sense of fun
a sense of mischief
a sense of humor
a sense of delight
loving other people
and yourself

These touch guided "lessons"

(a far gentler touch
than you may have ever

Wenonah being held in head

30-40 minute lessons.
You lie or sit comfortably and fully clothed
on a low and firm table.
You are moved and very slow, very gentle, very
brain awakening ways.

Best taken in sets of
5-10 lessons in one week

(10 for children is amazing)
for two weeks and then taking some time
feeling the amazing changes,
and then setting up an ongoing schedule
of 1-3 lesson per week for several weeks on
and several off.

The more you bring one lesson
close to the next
the more the reprogramming of your brain
and action
as a new set of habits and options
ways of being in the world.


contribute to
  • increasing everyday joy,
  • decreasing depression and anxiety,
  • and can
  • radically improve thinking
    and problem solving abilities
  • Sports can get better
  • Sports coaches can radically improve their capabilities
  • High performers
    can improve their already fine level of skill
  • Musicians can learn to tune their bodies
    and their instruments at the same time
  • Carpal tunnel and the aches of sitting around too much,
    or repetitive work can transform
  • Actors and executives can be more in touch
    with an inner clarity
    and vitality
  • Cerebral palsy
    can undergo amazing transformation
  • ordinary aches and pains can be undone
  • and your
  • whole life
  • set out on a course of
  • improvement,
  • joy
  • and
  • learning

If that's not enough
for you
check out the list at
BENEFITS OF THE Anat Baniel Method

To come to skill and understanding
in these lessons,
I studied 5years
in the Feldenkrais Method,
with 1000 hours of training.

The next level up from the Feldenkrais work
is the work of Anat Baniel,
who has kept the magic, and rigor and discovery
alive and thriving in this amazing
system of learning, change,
development and transformation.

I am certified as an Anat Baniel Method
have completed
200 days over four years
(21 of the nine day segments of the Anat Baniel Method

Advanced Training in the Anat Baniel System:

Special Needs Children: 31 days the first time around, and then redoing this training, for 4 nine day segments, for another 36 days

Vitality and Anti-Aging: 18 days, plus redoing the first nine day segment once again

High Performers and Peak Learning: 9 days

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Learning and Moving: On the ground/ floor/ Earth

Cottage porch this morning.

Can you take learning more and having more fun on your back? This is one of the great glories of the work that originated with Moshe Feldenkrais. He looked at our nervous system and saw clearly that a huge part of our brain is normally involved, when we are sitting and when we are standing and walking, in keeping us balanced and upright.

Lie down on the floor, the ground, the sand, the lawn, the bed and what happens to the brain?


All that effort that previously went into keep us from toppling over is now unnecessary. Which means, our brains have a lot more open space for learning.
This is why, among other things, swimming pools are so fine as places of rehabilitation. Gravity is even slightly counteracted by the buoyancy of water.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to lie still in water and to move our spine and ribs and shoulders and arms and legs and toes and hands in slow and selective way. And it’s hard to re-explore how we learned about gravity as a child: by pushing into the floor, grass, sand, dirt, ground with our feet and our hands and our arms and our knees and our backs and our elbows and our backs and our faces and the other sides of our head.
Watch a baby in learning, which is one of their three main modes, along with sleeping and eating. In learning it is pushing some part of itself against the floor/ ground.
And check this out: what we often see as the baby lifting some part into the air, can only be accomplished by pushing another part back into the floor, so even when the baby doesn’t know it’s pushing down into the floor, it is.

Push down, push against something, get feedback in the brain: do this and something happens.

And with a given body, gravity is always the same. Not moody gravity, one day fooling us by being stronger and another by being less.

Each day, if a baby lies on it’s back and push it’s right heel into the floor, if it pushes with the same amount of force and the same direction, the same thing is going to happen.

Salvia ulignosa, a great color, and a trooper plant.

Hey, let’s try that. Lying on the floor, push your right heel into the ground and see what happens. Do this a number of times, see if you can keep the same force and same direction, and notice: with your bones and your muscles and your nervous system as it is now, the same thing happens.

Which hip raises? What happens in other parts of your self? Are you straining anywhere like in neck or jaw or toes that doesn’t really have anything to do with this.

Now: try raising your right hip without pressing your right heel into the floor (keeping both legs long). How is that?

Then press with the heel and see how down push help up movement.

Fine. Now rest, and imagine the heel and heel-less version of right hip up. Then rest and let your brain integrate.

Then press your right elbow into the floor in such a way as to help raise your right hip. Do that a number of times, leaving the leg and heel out of the movement.

Now, press both heel and elbow and raise/ rotate your right hip. How is that?

Now, knowing about elbow and heel, see if you can raise your right hip without them.

It may actually be hard to leave the elbow out once you’ve gotten it clear how much that helps. If it is hard to leave the elbow out, drape your right arm over your body and let it be quiet while you explore once more hip without heel and hip with heel.
Then use both elbow and heel and feel the participation that comes, however small, from the middle of you.

This is exploring and learning and if you were a baby and did this enough, you’d soon learn how to roll over.

You might have a whole new world if you did.


Now roll your head to the left. Only to the left. Simply, a number of times.

And now roll your head with this variation: put your right hand on your forehead and roll the two together as you rotate your head to the left. Only to the left. Not beyond the center.

Now rest.

And then try this way of rolling your head: put the back of your right hand on your forehead and as your hand and head go toward the left, the place where the back of your hand touches your forehead changes, from middle of the back of your hand, toward your wrist. And then when you roll back to the center, move the hand such that the contacting surface moves along from near or at the wrists toward your fingertips.

This is complicated.

Go slowly.
Play around.
Figure it out.
Enjoy it and keep going slowly once you figure it out.

Now start a sweet and interesting roll to your left side. With your hand in this last position and rolling across and with your head in the last manner.

Sometimes start your roll from your heel.
Sometimes start from your hip (and add on heel and elbow).
Sometimes start from your head and then add shoulders and then pelvis and then a finally push from your leg.

Get a different feel and a different clarity from all these variations.
Have fun.
Rest in between and keep playing around with this and exploring yourself.

Now, bring your right foot to standing on the floor with your right knee pointed skyward. Push your foot into the ground and recall and re-co the two ways of moving your right knee as you rotate your pelvis to the left.

Salvia ug meets you on your way in, as and if you come for lessons,
or breathing and speaking in the present,
or gardening in the present.

In each way, experiment with pushing out your belly and holding it in as you push.
Come to a feeling of pushing out your belly as being a part of engaging your back, and notice how much that helps your rotation.


Now, roll to your right, as before, hand on head, sometimes starting at the head, sometimes the pelvis, sometimes the foot.

Have fun.
This is a lot.

(This is much of a chapter in a book I'm writing.
It assumes you've done some things
for a number of days.
That's fine.
If you play on through
you'll learn


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Creating Pathways to Change

watching last night a stunning
dvd on Joni Mitdhell

a life lived to create
to plunge into her own truth

a life lived to create
in paint
and word
and sound

a life lived to be
to itself

a fine reminder
of how we
can all
un-rut ourselves
come closer to the moment
come closer to the new
come closer to discovering
what is

what is
right for
us to be learning
and changing
and evolving
and revolving
and revolting
and catapulting

at this time
this month
this week
this day
this hour

of our sweet little


our life

Friday, July 04, 2008

movement and Independence



from what?

to do

and sure
it's nice to have
some habits,
know how to walk,
or tie our shoes,
though that's not needed
how to hold a fork,
or chopsticks,
how to speak a language
all nice habits

and what would freedom
in thinking
and movement
feel like
look like
be like?

what if we had a bunch of
things in our lives
that were new and
not scary
but new
and curious
new and
and exciting:
that good old
freedom from the place:
i don't know?

what if
instead of rushing
through something new
we slowed down enough
to know
that we had possibilities
for change
for a larger way
of seeing
and knowing
ourselves and the world?

what if
instead of
going to yoga
class and
trying to "do it right"
and not giving ourselves rests
and not exploring whether
the "rules" these barely
trained "teachers" are passing down

we actually sensed ourselves
and discovered
inside what was going on
not what we were told was going on?

what if same
with tai chi,
instead of slavery to the form
and the rules
we explored
each pose,
what does this give us,
how could we do it easier,
how could we connect down to Earth better,
to ourselves
to ease and strength

what if
in chi gung,
when they tell us to tuck of tailbone
a great way to tighten up and restrict
freedom of breathing and movement,
we instead tried this
and tried to opposite
and learned
what was real for us
and how we fit together?

can we be free
to not know
which is to be free
to learn
which is to be
to become more
than what we

and pain

do we crank away
or message away
or "adjust away"
at the pain

and other than gnawing
like an animal chewing off a
trapped paw,

what would a free and independent
way of exploring and
this "pain"

and our attitude
to "pain"
how conditioned
and stuck is that

and our attitude
about going from something
we are good
(or adequate) in
to more fine, more delicate

from good to great

from effort to exploration and ease

these are some

do we see life as
a bunch
of possibilities

that is
when we are there,
isn't it???

happy 4th

get high without drinking
and what fireworks
can be find in inner silence???