Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Organizing Shoulders

Here's a sweet little tidbit from life on "Feldie Forum,"
a gathering of over 1000 Feldenkrais and related folk

Like this it went:

"Felicia Truillio wrote:


you there? Any tips on moves that organize shoulders? felicidades, 


Ellen Soloway's reply:

Dear Felicia,

I read your posting and immediately switched into a grumpy or cranky emotional state. I assume you are asking about references for lessons that improve the ability of the shoulders and arms so they are capable of responding to the organizational needs required for doing various tasks easily. However, I found the wording of your question extremely irritating, especially since it came from a long-term practitioner. I am completely uninterested in "moves" and, if I was, I would suggest you read a classic textbook on Kinesolgy.My interests are in lessons that raise the existing level of a person's thinking or coordination and, as a result, I do not know how to answer your question about "moves".

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Soloway"

So, what do we have here:

We have a question about organizing the shoulder by "moves"

We have someone not liking that way of stating the question and going
into grumpiness.

Now, life is big and amazing, and watched in the moment,
we can discover that our emotional responses to things
are at least as habitual as our
movement patterns.

And the "getting grumpy" thing is often a pattern our parents
and teachers used to push us around when they didn't like the
direction we were headed,
didn't like us being out of control,
didn't like.....,
and so the grumpy cranky angry thing was the tool to "shape up"
the offending soul.

Who knows if that's what's happening here, but could be.

And now for shoulders.

Ah, shoulders are so much fun, and what "are" shoulders.

The thing at the top of our arms?

The shoulder blade, plus top of the arm?

The upper arm, shoulder blade, clavicle, and all that sweet known or not known interaction with the ribs?

Some muscles that move all that, and float around when we move the "shoulder?"

Who knows. What's the shoulder for you.

And now: some organizing ideas.

Now in Feldie Forum I've seen people go to all sorts of lengths and hijinks to get very fancy and avoid the fundamental of how our work works, which is reorganizing the brain, by making function more clear, or giving options in function, or creating awareness in function.

Is function a "move?'

Is function a "movement?"

Who cares.

You want to reach forward. Great function. Shoulders necessary.

You want to wash the hair at the back of your head. Great function. Shoulders necessary.

You want to walk the sweet arm swing walk of left hand forward as right foot swings ahead. Great function. Shoulders necessary.

So, how could we improve just these three functions: in standing? In sitting? Lying on the side? Lying on the back? Lying on the belly?

That would be kind of useful and fun, eh?

But, hey: how's this for a move to organize the shoulders: rest your hands, one on top of the other, against a wall. Rest your forehead on the top hand. Feel your shoulders and your shoulder blades. Rotate your hips right and left and feel what happens in the shoulder blades and the ribs.

What if you slowly turned your head, you know the way, slow and gentle and with awareness and learning, both in the same direction your hips were "moving" and the opposite direction.

Couldn't that be a nice way of increasing shoulder "organization."

Pop quiz. You are a human with no nursing breast.
What is the most functionally important move in your life?

La, la.

See you again next Wednesday.


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