Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tuesday, August 29: Feldie Fun, #1

Here’s a fun Feldenkrais lesson, and my wish is for you to have it be a learning experience that calms and deepens and smartens and loosens and happifies you. To do this, please go about this lesson in the following manner:

• Take your time. Do each section slowly. Do the movements slowly so that you can notice your breathing and a sense of pleasure and curiosity as you move.

• Allow your attention to expand, so you are aware of not just the part of yourself that you are moving, but notice as well the effects this movement is having on other parts of you.

• Go for the moment. Notice the now, and forsake, as much as possible, any image of “how it’s supposed to be.”

• Go for less than full range. Stick with 80% or so and keep things really tuned to comfort and awareness rather than achievement.

• Go for less than full effort. Feldenkrais can be combined with strength building work later, and will make that work far more efficient and totally free of injury, and for now: the softer the effort, the better.

• This is about flexibility and learning in your brain.

Okay: here we go. Probably your best bet is to read one section at a time. Close your eyes and imagine doing it. Read the section again, and see if you got it right. If you didn’t, imagine doing it again, and when you’ve got it clear, do the movements in reality. Do each movement a “number of times,” which could mean anything from 6 times to 30 if you are really enjoying this and want to explore.

1. Sit at the forward edge of your chair, in a relaxed and upright position. Gently turn your head from side to side and notice how this feels in your neck, how it feels in the rest of you and how far you are turning. Do not, do not, do not “try” to turn far. Just make it natural and comfortable.

2. Take a rest between each section. Close your eyes and let your brain and self sink in and learn and relax and integrate.

3. Sitting in the same starting position: turn your head from facing forward to turning to the left and then back. Do this a number of times. Then go to half of what your comfortable range is. At this place, move your eyes right and left a number of times. Make sure your are releasing extra tension and following your breathing.

4. Rest.

5. Turn half way to the left. Notice where you are looking. Go slow with this, it isn’t so easy. Move your nose a little to the right (i.e. your head turns a little to the right, toward the front) and your eyes a little to the left. Less is fine. Slow is fine. Breathing is important. And go back the other way, nose a little to the left of this starting place and eyes a little to the right. Go slow. Go small. Breathe.

6. Rest.

7. Try turning to the left now with your eyes go the same way as your head and notice if there is a difference.

8. Rest.

9. Now turn again halfway to the left and put your hands each hugging the opposite ribs or armpit. So your right hand is across your chest holding your left ribs or armpit and your left hand is holding your right ribs or armpit. Turn the ribs and shoulders right and left, while keeping your head looking in this halfway to the left position.

10. Rest.

11. Go again, half left, and put the hands again to your opposite armpit. This time do what’s called “differentiation” again. Move your head to the right toward the front) and your shoulders to the left and then your head to the left and your shoulders to the right (toward the front.)

12. Rest.

13. Go halfway left again. And this time, move your knees right and left while keeping head and torso in this halfway direction.

14. Rest.

15. Now, go halfway, and differentiate one more time: your knees to the right (toward the front) and your head to the left, and your knees to the left and your head and torso to the right.

16. Rest.

17. Go again to halfway, and do the eye and head differentiation one more time. Head to the right, eyes to the left; Head to the left, eyes to the right.

18. Rest.

19. Rest some more and imagine all the parts you have done. And notice if you have been noticing your whole self, your ribs, your pelvis, your breathing, your spine and so on, as you do the movements. If not, okay, you can do it again, many times, slower.

20. Simply turn to the right and left with your head and your self. See if one way is easier than the other. See if you have improved ease and awareness and understanding of your neck, or your whole self and of learning itself.

This looks like a lot, but a lot of the numbers are rests. Resting is a chance for the brain and Self to integrate. It is crucial to all real learning.

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