Monday, July 31, 2006

Monday, July 31: An easier, softer and smarter neck


This is a sample Feldenkrais® lesson. Named after Moshe Feldenkrais, who lived 1904-1984, who was a judo master, a scientist and an inventor, this system improves function and thinking and awareness.

Come to the front edge of your chair. Turn your head easily right and left. Do this with your eyes open and with your eyes closed. See what this is like and notice if you can sense a difference side to side. See if you can go a little slower and a little more mindfully and see what is to enjoy in this simple movement.


Bring your left hand to your nose. Turn slowly and easily to the left and then back to the center. Do this a number of times, each time with more ease and awareness of your whole self, ribs, spine, pelvis, feet, shoulder blades, breathing, tongue, really your whole self.


Bring your left hand back to your nose. Turn half way to the left and stop. Now do an interesting thing: move your nose back to pointing straight ahead and move your hand to the left at the same time. Then bring your nose to the left and your hand until it is forward from your chest, in the direction you are sitting. So your head is going from straight ahead and to the left and back, and so is your hand, but they are going in a cross pattern with each other. Do this slowly and enough times so ii becomes easy and interesting.


Hand to nose again. Come half way again to the left. Now keep the hand right here and move your head to the left and then past your hand until you are pointed with your nose straight ahead. And dig this: keep your eyes on your hand, which isn’t moving, as your head goes right and left past it. Go slow. Sense. Breathe. Don’t demand you learn instantly. Go slow enough and small enough and with less effort, so learning can take place.

Rest. So learning can integrate.

Hand to nose. Halfway to start. Hand left as nose goes right and vice versa, and the eyes keep following your hand. This is difficult, and so learn about how you react to difficult learning challenges. And then go small, go slow, go with breath, come to learning and ease.


Now turn your head, sans hand, right and left. Notice the differences.


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