Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sitting and folding, for fun and...

“Anti-aging” and happiness #2, Leaning forward:
Sit in a chair. Sit up more or less straight. Feel your pelvis at the chair or bench or rock or log below you.

Breathe and feel what that’s like and how that involves or doesn’t involve your ribs.

Lean over and move toward touching the floor. Easy, go a few times, breathe, explore.

Sit up again and rest.

Now, put your left forearm on your left knee, and prop yourself a bit, and from this position take your right hand down your left calf, caressing this and letting your head and eyes look to the left and right , while your neck hangs freely. So you’re “bending” forward, but just with your right hand, and it is taking the easy path of caressing your left calf. If it gets to the shoe or sock or foot, fine, it can keep going. But don’t effort, and come up to a “neutral” position each time: leaning on your left elbow on the left knee and leaning your right hand on your right thigh. Pause and integrate a bit each time before lowering yourself again.

Go up and down, and then after twelve or so times, come upright and rest.

Imagine doing this on the other side.

Now do this on the other side.

Now: take your left knee in your left hand and put your right hand behind your head. Do three things here: 1. Gently, gently bring your knee up toward your head. 2. Gently, gently bring your elbow toward your knee. 3. Gently, gently bring your elbow and knee toward each other.

This is not gym class, not “ab” strengthening, though it will. This is learning to love and use your spine and self and brain.

Do this slowly a number of times. Sometime take the hand from behind your head and press on your sternum so it goes down and you lean forward and lower your head and bring your knee up.

Rest. Imagine doing this on the other side.

Then do this on the other side.

Now go back to the first position. Left forearm on your left thigh. Lean down to the left, caressing as before your left calf with your right hand. Do you go farther and easier?

Go up and down several times, and then when you get to the down and left position, easily circle your right hand. On the floor. On your left foot. In the air. Doesn’t matter. Feel the circle releasing you a bit, and let your head hang easily the whole time. Circle both directions.

Come up and rest.

Then do this on the other side.

And rest again.

Put both hands on both thighs and alternate pushing your belly out and arching your back a bit, and pulling your belly in and letting your sternum go down, and rounding your back as if the look between your legs. Easily. Slowly. Gently. Many times.

Each time feel and enjoy something new about you.


For extra credit, if you are in the mood, do the previous arching and rounding movement with these variations: your chin is tucked toward your chest; your head is vertical while your stomach and chest and pelvis go through the movement in their many shapes.


Now, just feel yourself on the chair.

And…. tada: Reach down as in the beginning and see and feel the difference. Please enjoy sensing your spine all day long.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

short and easy and standing, understanding standing, and now

Standing and awaring gravity and feet:

Stand comfortably, in your bare feet or just socks. Close your eyes. Feel the weight of yourself into your feet. Shift, ever so slightly, your weight from your right foot to your left, and then back again, many times. Noticing with ease, pleasure and non-judgment: your breathing and your body and your feet and the world of gravity and awareness.


Now, move the length of yourself, only at your ankles, like a stick, forward and back, so you sway a bit, and feel the weight going to your toes and then your heels.

Small is better than big.

Slow is better than fast.

Aware is better than “just doing it.”

Pleasure is better than “trying,” “straining,” or efforting.


Now, lift up on your toes and fall easily onto your heels five or six times. Rest. Feel how you feel now. Do this again, maybe even twenty times. Or thirty. Slowly, slowly, pleasurably, pleasurably. Rest.

Take a little walk around the room or wherever you are. Feel your feet and your skeleton and your awaring in the world of up and down.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Another turning in a chair lesson. Good

John the artist/ real one in Sonoma

Sit on a firm chair or rock or log. Turn to the right and then again to the left. Several times and notice the differences.

Now, turn to the right several times in the normal “try to do more” way, where you sort of crank on your neck and pull yourself farther to the right. Do this several times, see how far you go and what the quality of your turning is, and then rest.

Now, sit at the front edge of your chair and look to the left a few times, with as little effort as possible, only going about 80% of your “limit.” Go one time to the left, even less than this 80% and stay facing that way. Now rock back and forth from one side of your pelvis to the other, feeling our weight shift from your right “sit bone” to the left and back and forth. Go slowly and enjoy this. If you can let your head tilt the opposite way of which “sit bone” you have your weight on, even better. Lots of times with ease.

Then rest. Turn a bit to the left again, rock to your left side and stabilize yourself with your left hand on the chair beside and behind you. With your right hand, hold your right hip and let the right hip and right knee come forward and back to neutral a number of times, letting this move your head a bit to the left as it goes.

Feel and enjoy this in yourself. Notice ribs, spine, pelvis, foot, knee, as much as possible. Many times, each time learning.

Then rest, back in the middle. Feel how you are sitting in the chair. See if you feel different. Even if you can’t tell differences, just breathe and let your brain integrate any learning that has taken place.

Now come to the front of the chair again. Put your right hand on your right thigh and look to the left with your head and your pelvis, with the right hand pushing that knee a bit forward as you rotate to the left. Do this a few times, and then stop to the left but well back from your “limit.” Here, simply turn your head right and left, feeling how your weight is to the left and your head is pivoting on top of your torso. Make this nice and easy.

Come back to the center and rest.

Now come to the front edge of your chair, put your right hand again on your right thigh, and take your left hand across yourself and hold the right side of your ribs. Turn to the left with pelvis and head, and stay something less than your limit. Now gently pull your ribs to the left, so your torso is rotating to the left easily and then back. Many times gently.


Do all the last movement, but now get fancier, as your ribs pull to the left, let your head go to the right, and as your ribs come back, turn your head to the left. Very gentle and slow on this. Do each time as if an experiment inside, you are your own research project. Feel what you feel. Try to learn something each time. Notice if the pelvis wants to go with the head, or the ribs, or changes around, or doesn’t want to move. Just notice. Then sometimes bring the pelvis and the ribs to the left and right at the same time as the head goes opposite.


Extra credit homework: Go through the above movement with pelvis one way, ribs the other, and head opposite the ribs, so it is going the same way as the pelvis.

After your rest, put right hand again on your right thigh, and left hand at right ribs (you can try different locations up and down your ribs). Turn to the left with your pelvis and ribs and head, and stay there. From here, gently turn your eyes right and left, while everything else stays fixed. Then, keep your eyes fixed on a spot just in front of your face, and slowly, slowly, slowly, turn your nose right and left.

Come back to the center and rest.

One final wonderful movement before simply checking the new difference between right and left rotation. Here, sit at the front of your chair, and put the palm of your left hand on your belly and the back of your right hand behind your lower back. If you can’t reach there, go as close as you very comfortably can. In this position, rotate to the left, and stay there. And facing this new way, arch and round your back. In rounding your head comes down and forward, and your left hand pulls your belly in and you sort of “slump” and rock back on your pelvis a bit. In arching, you raise your head to vertical (not more), and puff out your chest a little, and push your belly forward with the back of your right hand pressing against your back. As you arch, you shift your weight to the forward edge of your pelvis.

Back and forth, rounding and arching, easy and enjoyably.

Then rest in the center. Feel how you feel. If you feel taller, lighter, younger.

Then turn easily to the right, and easily to the left and compare the two.


Get up and walk around and see if you feel taller and lighter and younger, and if one foot and side seems more “organized” and “alive” and “how you really want to be.”