Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thursday, Sept 14: Feldie #3, The Core from two sides

FELDIE FUN #3: AN ADVANCED (i.e. difficult) LESSON

Where is the core?

In the center.

Where is the center?

Take a tape measure, or take your mind, and it’s about halfway up from the floor, halfway down from the head, halfway in from the left, halfway in from the right, halfway front and back. And where’s that? Somewhere below the navel, not too far, centered left and right and front and back.

And what else is down there? The big bones of the thighs and the upper legs and the biggest bones of the spine and the biggest muscles of our body.

And what’s that tell us about how we are designed to move: big muscles for big movement, powerful muscles for powerful movement. One of Moshe Feldenkrais’ books is the Potent Self, and he meant it in the sexual sense and the physical sense and the social sense of umpf in our lives, and it’s all about having connection to this powerful region of ourselves.

Okay. Enough of that. Now for the lesson.

1) For starters, lie on your back and sense yourself in contact with the floor, or even better, the Earth, if you can go do this outside. (Write down the steps and schlep them outside?? You figure it out.) Sense what is easy on the Earth/floor and what is not. Sense where you put your attention: the easy places or the uncomfortable places. Sense differences right and left and sense differences in what parts of you are touching the floor, in spine and legs and arms, say, and what parts aren’t. There can be more, if you want to sense more. It never hurts. How are you breathing? How are your five lines?

2) This is a non-core part, that will help make sure when we move from our core, we aren’t adding on, as we usually do, the jaw. This lesson is about coming to sit in two very different ways, and the jaw is not at all required. So figure out which of the three you can do. One, move your jaw easy and sweetly right and left. Two, move your jaw right and left as your eyes move in the opposite direction. Three, move your jaw right and left and your tongue moves in the opposite direction.

3) Okay. Now the core. Come to sitting with your legs extended. Doing one of the three above ( jaw, jaw and eyes, jaw and tongue), begin to fold in the middle so you back comes toward the floor. Go slowly and sense the parts of you that need to push into the floor to do this, and sense the “core” muscles in your stomach that are keeping you from falling back. Do this a number of times, right up to the edge of where you would fall if you went a little farther. If you can go all the way back, find that tipping point from where it is easy to come forward and where it is more as if you are on the way to the floor.

4) As in Feldie Fun #2, go slow, take rests, sense yourself, give up goals, explore, use less force in the areas that don’t need to use force (toes, jaw, fingers, ribs).

5) What are your arms doing? For now, let your arms be forward. Come back to this tipping point and explore this: for a number of times come back up using your abdomen muscles, the famous “abs” people as so obsessed with, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes just because they eat in a way that’s going to give them a fat belly and want to wipe that out and be “sexy” again. Oh, well. Doesn’t matter. Use the abs.

6) Rest.

7) Now come back to the tipping point, and don’t use the abs. Put a hand on your belly to keep it soft. Use your back muscles, arch your back and come back to sitting with your back muscles. Recall the one, two or three with the jaw: do one of them to make sure a jutting jaw isn’t part of this. Even better, roll your head side to side, move your jaw (and eyes and tongue, if you can) and push forward with your belly and come up to sitting that way.

8) Rest. Ready for more core-ism?

9) Let your head hang backward. Come back to the tipping point, keeping jaw in motion and soft, and come forward once with the abs and once with the back muscles and arching, and continue back and forth.

10) Rest. Ready for more core?

11) Do the above, except with your hands behind your head and your head hanging back.

12) Are you wrecking, straining or “no pain/ no gaining” is this. Go back to Start, and do everything with a smile in your heart and on your face. This is learning: how to come forward with the back and how to come forward with the abs. A hint: if you are sitting in a chair reading this, the more your back is holding you up, the better off you are going to be, the lower back, the arching slightly back that this lesson will get you “in touch” with.

13) Happy trails, happy backs, happy sitting. You have permission to lie back on the floor, use the “abs” to come to the tipping point and then play from that point until you are sitting, as you come forward with your head hanging back and jaw having a good time, sometimes with the abs, and sometimes with the power of the lower back.

Enjoy, learn, breathe. Being present and happy all the while.


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