Wednesday, October 29, 2008

ideas for discovering movement

sukha dance

take a position
any position

feel, sense, know yourself

see what you might do
in movement for
three different reasons:

1. to notice parts, places and connections
that feel grumpy or unknown
or wanting more love
and see
what might move there

2. think you are a baby/ kid
and wanted to move
to a toy
or food,
how would be transition
into action

3. think you are in combat:
and wanted to get out of trouble

and wanted to attack

what would you do


Saturday, October 25, 2008

maximum instability, and what it means to be human

three roses

someone on Feldyforum asked
about how to create maximum instability

here's my thinking
if we aim at maximum instability that's useful
and even poised, for maximum mobility

take the human body
raise the center of gravity as high as possible
and lessen the base:

thinking like an engineer here we go:
on toes
on toes with arms raised
on toes of one foot with arms raised

and with props:
on toes of one foot with arms raised, holding rocks, a long pole, another person
all the above and on a ball, a slippery surface (ice, watery), a tight rope

going about to the human max:
on toes of one foot on a ball on ice holding another person above one

going beyond the bounds of the human, I think:
on toes of one foot on a ball on a tight rope holding another person above

and Moshe has lots to say about this:
from Body and Mature Behavior, page 96-97 newest edition:

"In the unstable balance the center of gravity is as high as possible,
and the potential energy is maximum.
No supply of energy from any other source
is necessary to change the position.
The displacement feeds itself on the stored potential energy.

When its center of gravity is maintained at the highest position,
the human body is fit to move
in any direction
with practically no expenditure of energy,
and even this minimum is drawn from its
potential energy.
The potential energy is restored
so that all movement starts from this configuration
of maximum potential energy.

The standing body is thus ever ready for
translation (non rotation motion, in footnote)
movement at short notice. In that respect
it is more perfect than the body of
any other animal,
which may be faster in one particular direction,
but has not the all-round freedom of movement of

Thursday, October 23, 2008

weird ideas about "stability"

viri one with rocks

I've just had, recently this amazing
realization about all this "stability"

First, an experiment:
extend your arm, you pick,
lengthen arm out at hand,
and at same time
bring shoulder blade backwards

you have a "stabilized" shoulder

now, try this:
bring c7 backward
and thrust your jaw forward:
you have a "stabilized" neck

which is to say,

sooner or later I'll post on
the non-tragic (via work of Byron Katie)
separation from a wonderful sweet partner,
who is a yogi
and among my faults. her faults, her mother, my mother,
her this, my that, the usual imperfection not wanting
to see imperfection
doesn't like to hear these
ideas about "core stability"
which is the same nonsense:

immobilize a person,
turn them into a post,
and call that "stability"

minor problem:
humans are designed for maximum instability
= mobility

much more on this as we go.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

what's great about yoga, what's limiting

people move
people realize they have a body
people pay attention to their five lines
people have some challenges in balance and new "shapes"
people might be pointed toward spiritual evolution
people get out of houses, cars, (though usually drive to class, ah, well)
people see they aren't the only one who could learn and improve
people move from posture to posture

this is the most important part
of a yoga class:
people move from posture to posture

and maybe:
people are pointed to something higher in life

alignment, balance, and shape fitting are implicitly posited
as the core to real change in life


life is not posture, alignment, shape

life is movement

how can we combine the two?

stay tuned for cml #2

Monday, October 20, 2008

Chris Movement Lesson #1. arching and chairs and fun

chair kneeling and back arching

In the fabulous
amazing and
life transforming
Anat Baniel Method,
our training group this last days did a number of lessons
kneeling over a table

I was curious what using a chair would be like
and discovered,
quickly, that the head is not supported
the way it is when we kneel at the low
tables especially deigned for the Feldenkrais Method

chair kneeling and back arching

this segment, as they are called
(nine days, from on Saturday to the following Sunday,
of various intense learning and upgrading of our nervous system,
awareness, skill level, and more),
we also did a ton of work on the head pelvis connection
vis a vis the "power center"
of the strong muscles connected to the pelvis
especially-2, the muscles of the lower back,
lifting both arms, head and thighs
in achieving upright "posture"

There are
and we did
lots of ways to stand on hands and knees,
or knees and forearms,
or sit in a chair
and use the lower back muscles to arch one's back
and lift either head or arms or legs or all three:

below shows
but not all
of the possibilities of a chair
to encourage
discover this
"power center"
in our lower back

please note:
the slower
and less Donkey-like
we do these

and the more we use the minimum
of effort
and maximum
of attention

the more we will

rolling the head easily
side to side
as one does these
is a nice way to make
sure extra effort is
not being used in
our necks and jaws

noticing and softening
the breathing while to these,
is another

chair kneeling and back arching

chair kneeling and back arching

chair kneeling and back arching

chair kneeling and back arching

chair kneeling and back arching

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gurdjieff, Moshe, living and sensing and waking


Picture this: Into a group of goody, goody, vegetarian,
sugar avoiding, meditating till their knees dropped, make up avoiding,
purple and die dye wearing, oh so pure souls
storms a
chain smoking,
over weight,
wildly naughtily and profoundly profanely humorous,
sugar and meat eating,
Television watching,
attention as It promoting

Moshe at Amherst?
I don't know. Wasn't there.

But this certainly was my Gurdjieff teacher breezing into Berkeley to save a bunch
of us from SAT (Seeker After Truth), a goody, goody group,
as deep as possible into the "spiritual materialism" that Chewing Gum
Trungpa talked/wrote about .

Said SAT, was Claudio Naranjo's baby, and since Claudio
was greedy/ open to everything,
we were greedy/ open to everything, Tibetan Buddhism, Gestalt
therapy, Scientology (just the methods, a few, not the cult,
sorry if anyone is offened), the Gurdjieff legacy (Claudio's gal friend
had been a small child around the infamous G.), the Sufi stories of
Idries Shah (highly recommended, today, tomorrow and forever, including
the humor branch in the stories of Nasrudin),
and lots and lots from Claudio's year in the desert with Oscar Ochazo,
later of Arica fame.
With The Arica-ish influence came the endless route of torturing ourselves
and others with the Eneegram, and that's another, very long story.

But, we were very good
and Kathy and Claudio were crashing and SAT was crashing,
and in breezed above mentioned overweight swearing
chain smoking New York Jew.

He had a group in New York, which included writers for New Yorker,
and founder of National Lampoon. They, east coast branch, had bought
a farm in upstate New York and spend the weekends doing the
Gurdjieff version of meditation:

sense both arms, fingers to shoulders
sense both legs, toes to hips,
be awake and aware to sounds coming in the ears,
be awake and aware to reflected light coming
in the eyes

go about your entire day doing this,
and doing real things:
making gardens,
build barns,
dig pounds,
move rocks,
create pathways.

Stay up late working,
sanding floors, painting walls with one inch
wide paint brushes,
sometimes stay up all night,
sometimes two nights in a row.

This group didn't do the G movements,
and another group, the group of this fellow's
teacher, did, sort of.

But even with this other group
(which ended up also, like the first guy's East coast
group) migrating to warmer, tree and space and fun Berkeley,
was more interested in working as meditation,
and they had a theater group, Theater of the Blue Rose.
A play a month, ten months of the year, Rose Tatoo, Cabaret, Glass Menagerie,
and so on, not light stuff, two weeks rehearsal, two weekends on, bam it's
off and on to the next play.

So, anyway:
This was a great experience,
that also feel apart with the leaders not quite
able to be as awake at all times
as they wanted us to be,
but at least:
real work,
meditation as something that isn't on a pillow
but in real life.

I often think, that if Moshe had copied this
aspect of G,
and had his "followers" out in the country,
doing their five lines
and awareness through movement while doing
"real things"
the whole indoors, martial arts, aspect of the work
might have been expanded to rather amazing
levels.(For example, Anat, who adores Moshe,
might not have a dungeon of darkness as her learning space)

But, what an experience:
the West coast branch,
since we already more or less lived in country
beauty by living in Berkeley,
didn't buy a farm to practice work/ meditation:
we rented a big factory space and
restored an old car,
eating cookies and drinking coffee after work
'till twelve or so each night,
a nice, amazing shift for many of us,
and certainly a switch from habitual patterns.

And the sacred dance:
second teacher, teacher of first,
and everything first was
except overweight,

(and the war they got into
another, long story)

did teach, via one of his ex girlfriends the
"movements" for awhile, on the stage of above mentioned
Theater of the Blue Rose
(when people in that group were between jobs
and needed to save money, they'd sleep on the stage at
night..... and the jobs: what can you do and cultivate
consciousness: lots of cab drivers, carpenters, garden makers...
last two I found big fun, frustration, huge learning in,
and need, occasionally, long before I came to FM as career,
the need for ATM for aching back).

Oh,yeah: Movements on the stage.

Don't remember much:
beautiful music.

Here's the way my mind works:
the main thing I remember is Virginia,
the teacher of the movements, complaining
to David, the G teacher, about people coming
late, and David saying,
"It doesn't take a genius to come on time."

Maybe this is enough,
on what was a long, weird and wonderful
fifteen year,


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

What would Wake Up Yoga be Like?


Ah, la, life is so good.

Wake up Yoga would be about using the
silly/ wonderful/ interesting/ curious/ artificial/ brilliant/ idiotic

of yoga,

to wake up to:

1. Now

2. The miracle of being in a human body

3. The constancies of life on Earth:



4. The constancies and challenges of the Human Form:

Two legs

High center of gravity

Designed as a column with rotation the simplest action

Place of seeing/ hearing/ smelling high up

Place of balance and strength far down from this place

Power in the middle, small delicate muscles at the edges

5. The miracle of the Human Possibility:

Awareness ( the now again, and more: awareness of our habit, and
awareness of other variations)

Slowing Down to Learn

Learning as its own joy

Joy when we quiet the rest of the nonsense down

Learning quicker and more pleasant when we don't "try hard"

6. Making the impossible possible
The possible easy
The easy elegant

Something like that:

And more about going inside and finding who and how
you are

rather than the tired old monkey see
highly skilled monkey do
and monkey try to imitate highly skilled monkey

Like this:

Lie on your back.
Feel the sweetness of the floor.
Raise one leg to standing, i.e. foot flat on floor, knee toward sky.
Press into the foot standing and rotate that hip
Keep the other hip on the floor
Push out your belly.
Come back to flat.
Go back and forth, and LEARN

Try breathing in on the hip rotation/ belly out
Try breathing out on the hip rotation/ belly out
Notice the two changes in your spine:rotation and arching
Notice even more: which vertebrae are doing what
Notice: is your neck free
Notice : is your jaw and breathing free
Notice: are your finger soft and free
Notice: which way would your spine like to side bend along the floor
Notice: the way your foot presses into the floor
Notice: the force of your foot against gravity and that moving through your whole spine
Notice: how much fun, delight and learning it is, to Notice

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Mini Cure for Depression

cotton woods

the depression

we can weave ourselves
down and under,

the Work of Byron Katie
I'm doing at
and 108 Days: Undoing with Love

is one way out
of this trap

is to just get to now

and especially
the now
of being in our bodies
and learning
to be happier
and more at ease
in there:

like this
mini lesson:

notice pelvis

turn head left

pick one

turn half way that way,

move eyes left and right

close eyes
imagine fixed ahead eyes
and turn head right and left from half way L or R,
whatever you picked.

come to middle

go halfway again
close eye,
R and L on pelvis

stop, open eyes and turn head fully
that way:

notice improvement in ease and range

and if you had depression where would it go
while putting attention on
some many real
and tangible parts of our functioning
and learning