Friday, June 16, 2017

Better Sex, Better Breathing, Anti-Aging... Moving your pelvis with awareness, learning and delight

Week One, Day Two: Lust
Lust as Moving the Pelvis with Awareness
And Moving yourself with awareness and vacation 
And being in the moment, in the body, in movement
And… remembering happy kids: movement is a food of delight

When I was fifty-four I walked into a weekend workshop expecting to go from being in “pretty good” shape for my age to coming out of the weekend feeling like I was twelve years old again. 
I was 54, right? This “meant” (didn’t it?) putting up with a certain amount of neck, back and shoulder “creakiness”. From the weekend workshop, I expected a SLIGHT shift in all this, since I’d already had great experience with this amazing work called the Feldenkrais Method®..
What I didn’t expect was what happened: I came out of the weekend feeling like I was 12 years old again.
And with a whole new aim in my life: to learn this miracle “method” and help others to have these shifts in their body.
This weekend was a sneak preview of a four year training ( 8 thirty hour weeks a year) that changed my body and rekindled my ability to “learn how to learn” and gave me wonderful skills with anyone getting creaky, or musicians wanting to go to the next level, or special needs children, or anyone with a back, neck or shoulder “issue.” 
( see, in which I got certified after the four years of training,  or it’s even more advanced friend, which I went on to study for another five years and get certified in as well.)
Back then, I didn’t know that the way this works paves the way for great shifts in the mind and your life, too, but I found out.
Boy did I find you.

This was in the fall, late fall of 1999. 
This was a weekend workshop in the “Feldenkrais Method®
It had been discovered over fifty years earlier by Moshe Feldenkrais, who has been called “the movement genius of the 20th Century,” by Normal Doidge, MD, author of the book, The Brain that Changes Itself.
Moshe had been the first non Asian teacher of judo in Europe. 
And had a PhD in science/ physics and engineering from the Sorbonne in Paris.
And had walked out of his Polish ghetto in 1918, at fourteen years old, and walked, first alone, and then with a ragtag group of inspired Jews, mainly other “children,” to Palestine, to create a life for himself.
His knees got wrecked, and a prospective surgeon told him he had a fifty-fifty chance of being crippled if they operated.
Moshe scoffed, “I’m a scientist. I can flip a coin for fifty-fifty.”
So he needed to invent his own cure.
He did, and it was revolutionary. It was based on learning, not on the usual “do it this way” or “get stronger here” or “do these twenty exercises” mode of all other physical modalities. The was learning at it’s most organic and non-verbal, the kind of learning that shifts a child’s whole life when they go from not-crawling to crawling.
Moshe was able to recover, walk well again, and eventually do judo with great skill into his seventies.

The method is based around good movement.
Which doesn’t come from “doing it right.”
But from discovery, awareness, and variation.
The brain gets rewired.
Like a baby.

Think about babies.
No verbal concepts.
No internal wiring of how to roll over, sit up, crawl, talk, walk.
They learn by “trying this and that”. And Learning.

What is learning?
Noticing a difference that makes a difference.

This is what you are going to do today: move with awareness.
And learning.
You rewrite your circuitry, which is real learning, which is noticing differences.
How do you notice differences?

How to notice differences = learn ….
Go slowly, 
use less effort, 
pay attention, 
have interesting movement to pay attention to by doing things many ways.
call that variation if you wish, or
non-habitual movement, or
Search for a find the pleasure in every moment. And every movement.
Search for something slightly new and interesting in each movement.

Enough of the preview, let’s get the pelvis engaged.
It’s fairly obvious that a more aware and facile and happy pelvis will lead to more aware and facile and happy sex, right?
Less obvious is the enlightenment upgrade. And when we get our awareness out of our heads, and those endless words, and into the body below the neck, we are starting towards enlightenment. And awareness below the navel, down to the feet, and definitely including the pelvis: this too, is a way of coming into the Nature of being a real human.

This movement is slow.
Great sex will often be slow.
This movement helps us feel our pelvis as what it is: integral to a whole long and wonderful spine, and connected to our ribs and our head and our breathing.
This is fun, this is you, this is more of you, in more awareness with more ease and delight.
Let’s go….

Lust Game #1: Sit at the forward edge of a chair, and reach for the floor.
No straining.
No “trying.”
This is to test your ability and mobility before the learning takes place.

Lust Game #2:  Round Your Back
Sit in a firm chair, near the front.
Both feet on the floor.
Back more or less upright. Don’t try for “good posture,” or any such hooey, but do resist the urge to turn the chair into a semi-bed by leaning against the back of it. (I know, I know, we love to do this. AND more than half the adults in this country have back pain at some time in their life. This is related. Later on how and why.)
Put one hand on your sternum.
Put the other hand on your belly.

Do this movement at least six times:

Begin to drop your head toward your seat.
Allow your back to “slump.”
Feel your sternum come down and even help a little with your hand.
Let your belly come in. Help a little bit with the hand on the belly.
Help a little more by breathing out as you pull your belly in.
Feel your back rounding, as if your head might want to come down  to your lap.
You may feel your weight shifting on your pelvis.
Let your eyes lower.
Relax your neck, as if your chin might “slump” to your chest.
Feel as if you are “letting go” of all the cares of the world.
Feel as if you are “letting go” of all those words in your head.
Feel yourself as a body, rounding in your back.

Then come back to “upright” / neutral.

And round down, with all the above steps.

Again, and again.
At least six times.

How to do this six or more times?
Recall from above, and we’ll print it again, because these shifts will change EVERYTHING YOU DO!!!

How to notice differences = learn ….
Go slowly, 
use less effort, 
pay attention, 
have interesting movement to pay attention to by doing things many ways.
call that variation if you wish, or
non-habitual movement, or
Search for a find the pleasure in every moment. And every movement.
Search for something slightly new and interesting in each movement.

Rest often, and with awareness:
What has changed, so far.
It doesn’t need to be verbal awareness. But a physical sense at least: what has shifted and gotten easier, softer, more alive, more at ease.
Look easily.
You’ll find something.
Smile as you look.
Smile as you find.

Lust Game #3 : Arch Your Back

Move the belly hand to the small of your back.
Leave one hand on your sternum.
Start more or less upright at the front of your chair and enjoy/ learn from/ delight in this movement at least six times:

Push your belly forward as the start of this arching.
Breathe in as if filling your belly
Push your lower back forward with the hand that is behind your lower spine.

Allow and encourage your head and sternum to lift.
Feel and even help the sternum lift with the hand that is on it.

Feel a shape in your spine where the middle is going forward a bit and the top and the bottom seem to be going “back” a little.
Imagine looking at yourself from the left side: your spine would be something like a crescent C shape.
Feel if you can, how your weight shifts in how your pelvis contacts your chair.
Raise your sternum, with your hands a bit, to accentuate this arch.
Lift your nose a little toward the heights, but not too far. This isn’t a “stretch.” It wants to feel like a comfortable lengthening of your spine.
Smile even a little, if you wish.

Feel the breathing in and belly forward and arching and weight shift on your pelvis and sternum lifting as all one whole.
Feel how good this feels.

Come back to neutral and repeat at least six times.
With enjoyment.
And curiosity.
Awareness and learning is the game.
Let yourself feel good.
Enjoy being in your body.

This is your spine.
This is your breathing.
This is your pelvis.
This is your body.

This is you.


Lust Game #4: Arching and rounding together.

For at least six times, combine these two movements:

Belly in
Hand on belly in
Breathing out

Sternum down
Hand on sternum down
Head down
Neck “slumping”
Eyes toward your belly or seat

Feel, if you can, a shifting of weight in your pelvis

Belly out
Hand on the lower back pushes forward
Air in

Sternum up
Hand on sternum up
Eyes up a bit, (not too much, keep the neck “soft”)

Do all movements:
With as little effort at possible
With as much pleasure as possible
With learning/ noticing something new each movement
Without verbal learning
Notice the differences:

In spine shape
In pelvis position
In belly position
In sternum position
In breathing
In your neck


Feel the combination of 
Back Shape 
Pelvis weight shifting as the start and origin of this

Do this over and over for
Connection to Down there

This is a great game to play anytime in any day.
Even right now, reading this book.
And if you haven’t done the two games yet: why not?

We have a habit of only “doing” our bodies in gyms or running or yoga.
But all day, every day, we are in our body.
And all day, and every day, this pelvis that was the key to the judo that Moshe Feldenkrais knew so well. And it’s the key to almost all full movement you will make.
It merges the bottom of legs, with the top of spine/ ribs/ arms and head.
It is the seat of sitting.
It’s the hot spot of one kind of great sex.
It’s the power point to powerful punching or throwing or jumping or dancing or…. you name it. Skiing, tennis, baseball.
It’s the biggest bone in the body, to which attach the biggest muscles.
When we watch a dancer of great charm and ease and grace, this almost always comes from their pelvis.

This pelvis is there with us.
Right now.

Children love to move.
So do you.
Discover this. At least twice a day. Once when you get out of bed.
Once right before you go to bed.

Lust Game #5: Lean to the floor and notice how this is different.

You didn’t try.
You woke up to now.
You “learned” in a real way.
You have new circuits in your brain.

Summary of Week One, Day Two:
Concept #3: The pelvis is the seat of good breath, learning, anti-aging and great sex
Concept #4: Learning is noticing a difference that makes a difference
Lust Game #1: Reach for the floor
Lust Game #2: Round your spine
Lust Game #3: Arch your spine
Lust Game #4: Arch and Round your spine, noticing your pelvis

Lust Game #5: Notice the now…. Reach for the floor, again

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