The final class of the summer is a whole lot of rolling, using arching, rounding, lengthening, shortening, and the leverage of our hips. Have fun!
This is sourced from many places, and is an amalgam of other lessons. More to come, another time.
Audio here: patreon.com/heatherdanso
Tonight's lesson is a standing lesson mainly. When Feldenkrais was teaching ATM (Awareness through Movement lessons) to people who had returned from WWII, he would start with standing lessons. For people dealing with anxiety or trauma, they are often a little more accessible, because lying on the floor with eyes closed might not feel so possible.
For us, they are opportunities to work with the way gravity moves through us actively. We often lie down, which is really standing, without all the work. Here, we will have all the moving parts of the dynamic relationships as we move in gravity. We'll move slowly like sloths. This will help us reorganize our hip joints, our feet, our legs, our spines, and ultimately improve our standing postures.
1. Have a chair nearby, especially if you have any issue with balance. You may not need it, but it's nice to have. Most of us used a wall at least once or twice.
2. Take of your socks, so you don't slip! Or, work on a sticky mat for padding, particularly if the hard floor is a bit hard on your bones.
3. Remember to organize with your normal breath, not a larger breath. Long and deep breaths may make you feel lightheaded. If you do feel this way, please sit down and take a nice long break.
4. One of the primary intentions of these classes is to downregulate the habitual places we keep tension, so keep your attention both specific and general - partly on the movement we are doing, and partly on where else you feel movement, where you can soften: your belly, your jaw, your hands, your shoulders.
5. Pay attention to your heel being aligned underneath the hip socket as best you can, particularly at the end of the lesson when you are making circles.
Learning is more important than doing it right.
On one level, we are making friends with our whole leg, lower leg, foot and ankle. On another level, we are softening the chest, lengthening the back--lowering the static along the back body including back of the leg. This is a good moment to consider "reciprocal inhibition" - the principle that when the muscle on one side is working, the muscles on the other (ideally) soften. So, when we are lifting the head, we are engaging (gently) the front of us, which encourages the back of us to soften. And when we stand, things are recalibrated. What does that feel like? Perhaps greater stability with less work. You might feel like putting your socks on has suddenly become much more graceful, with your balance improved. Your hip joints may feel alive and softly present. Or, perhaps you feel how soft your lower ribs are, and how easy breathing is. Maybe something different?
Here's a photo reminder of some of the possible shapes you may make (imagine me setting the timer on my phone and rushing to the floor! You'll probably be more relaxed. . .). Just so you know, these are after I have done this lesson--you may start with your legs much more bent than this.
We finished with some variations of rolling and twisting for integration, and a wee chat among ourselves, which is not included in the recording.