Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving Three: the Miracle of Brain/ Body/ Self Learning


I had heard of the Feldenkrais work for a long
since the 70's.

In my twenties I used it to be
more fluid and happy in my body.

In my thirties and forties
I used it to undo aching back and shoulder

For years I told people with "back stuff"
go do some Feldenkrais work.

In my fifties I went to a weekend workshop
where we did three lessons of called
Awareness Through Movement
each day.

I felt like I was ten years old again.

A training was starting.
I decided I'd be the guy I sent people to.

This is one of my great thanks:
to Moshe Feldenkrais for inventing this
amazing brain work
that pretends to be
body work
as it heals and enlivens
brain, body and spirits.

now I'm getting interested in
teaching adults who've had strokes
and children with "learning issues"
to read with what I'll call Whole Body Reading.

Here's a fun Movement Lesson
to make you feel better,
no matter what your level of competence in reading, thinking,
anything is.


1. Sit in a chair. Near the front edge.
Be comfortable. Move slowly.

2. Make a figure eight with your nose.
See how slowly and deliciously you can do this.

3. Now turn the figure eight on its side
and make an infinity sign with your nose.
How slow, big, easy, comfortable can you do this?
How much of yourself can you feel as you do this.
Slow, easy, pleasure.

Rest between the numbers. Close eyes. Breathe. Notice yourself.

4. Now make an infinity sign with your eyes.


5.Now, and go really slowly: this
is a lesson,
not a "do it right away" thing:
have eyes and nose pointed to the middle,
and have the eyes (closed is easier) go up and to the left
as the nose goes down and to the right

From there, figure out how,
and continue to make infinity signs
with the eyes and the nose going opposite of each other.



If you "can't get it," just do the original eyes up left nose down right
part and back to the middle.


6. Sit with your right hand behind your neck
if you can. Other wise on your head.
If your hand goes behind your head, have your fingers
pointing down.
Maybe let your head turn a little to the left.
Put your left hand on the chair to your left, or slightly behind you.
hand behind

a. Bend over like this, elbow toward ground .

Don't tilt, but fold in the middle, belly in,
pelvis rocking back,
shoulders staying roughly over the hips.
hand behind fold

Do this a number of times.

Rest. Let hand undo. Then, before the next movement
come back to this position.

b. Arch up.
Let your elbow come up, your belly forward,
your pelvis forward, your chest forward
so this time your shoulders move forward, too.

hand behind arch
Do this easily.


c. Combine going down, belly in, elbow down
and arching up, belly out, elbow forward and up.


d. Now make, with hand behind your head,
infinity signs,
where on the down side of the infinity signs
you round your back and bring your belly in
and on the up sides of the infinity sign
you arch your back and let your belly go out.


7. Now, go back to just the nose going in
an infinity sigh.
Add knowing about the eyes,
letting your eyes and nose do the shape together.
And maybe let the back get a little involved.
See if it feels smoother and clearer.

This is a shape. Reading is recognizing shapes.

How to best know shapes?
Learn deeply
and pleasurably:
A shape in mind and body.

Ease and learning in the body.

Reading can come from knowing shapes,
and feeling them in the body..

Do this easily and have

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