2018 Fall - Sit with Ease

Class 7 - Lying to Standing

Class Lying to Standing, using a "twist"

"From the Impossible to the Possible, from the Possible to the Easy,
and from the Easy, to the Elegant".

 Continuing from last week when we finished sitting on the heels, we started with a bit more exploration, this time discovering that, while on hands and knees, practicing flexing the foot (e.g. to standing and long) made sitting on the heels more comfortable.

Then, we returned on the back and explored yet another way to come to sitting, this time starting on the side, lifting one leg in the air...

A little different from the sequence (top, at right), we used a special bending of the legs when coming to sit, which allowed a special kneeling, and from there, a special twist of the pelvis took us to standing.

This was a whole lot of fun! 

Thinking about the sequence, above... we went from the impossible to the possible.... But was it easy for you? We will continue to explore how to find ease.

 Baby developmental steps... Note the rolling to crawling.

 

 

Application

Recording.

Can be found in the regular Dropbox folder.

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Class 4 - Rolling to Sit

Class 4: Roll to Sit

"From the Impossible to the Possible, from the Possible to the Easy,
and from the Easy, to the Elegant".

Last week we introduced a new kind of rhythmic breathing: that with contracting the upper abdomen when exhaling... repeatedly.

The animated image at the top of the column to the right shows a kind of exaggeration of pulling in the abdomen (and clearly the man has to exhale).


This week's lesson continues the exploration of this breathing, and adding in a new concept: 

  • Allow the skeleton to follow

This concept seems simple and logical but the implication is profound. Many of our actions presuppose a style of moving, a pattern that is overlaid on top of the actual skeleton, and is less efficient than the skeletal path. We will see this repeatedly in the lesson, particularly in how the legs respond to the movements of the upper body.

 

The function of contracting the upper abdomen while breathing:

 

Application

Apply the abdominal contraction/exhalation to other aspects of your daily life. Examples:

      • having difficulty with a shoulder check? Try this first then exhale & contract - notice the increased ease.
      • Is your neck stiff? try exhale & contract. Or better yet, support the head and neck with the hands/arms, then exhale & contract .
      • Difficulty bending over? exhale & contract
      • Difficulty looking up? exhale & contract.

In all of these, how many times do you need to do the "exhale & contract"? Try 5 or 10 times. Or experiment with more or fewer times.

Recording.

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Class 6 - Taking the behind behind

Class 6: Taking the behind behind

"From the Impossible to the Possible, from the Possible to the Easy,
and from the Easy, to the Elegant".

 Few of us move our pelvis easily; as a consequence, it gets fixed in place, unlikely in a neutral place (for example, at right). Instead, most have their pelvis tilted either a bit forward or back, sometimes to one side, or even a kind of twist. As a consequence is a stiffness in the low back, or cramps in the legs, or more debilitating pain such as sciatica. Digestive functions are compromised, sleep is interrupted, and the list goes on...

In this lesson we look at the pelvis and the movement of taking the tailbone backward and returning. English is confusion about the verb to use -- would you call it "tipping" or something else?

Since we "fix" the pelvis in place, we also restrict all movements above it (the lower back, the upper spine, to the shoulder blades and the head) and below: the hamstrings, kneecaps, calves, feet.

We unwind this "fixing" or "holding" by listening to associated aspects of the breath (pushing down with exhale), inviting the spine to move, even moving the head. In order to listen to the spine we need to limit the movement of the shoulders, hence being on hands and knees.

To sense the possibilities of movement downward, we invoked folding the pelvis toward the heels.

At the end students could sit more comfortably on their heels and then, in standing, felt more energetic, and free, with better balance.

 

 

(we had the toes long, rather than bent)

Following is an early picture of Dr. Feldenkrais crouching.

Application

  • This is a great lesson for people who have difficulty sitting on their heels
  • Clarifying taking the pelvis backward (leading to better balance)

Recording.

Can be found in the regular Dropbox folder.

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Class 5- come to Sit

Class 5: Rise to Siting a different way

"From the Impossible to the Possible, from the Possible to the Easy,
and from the Easy, to the Elegant".

I began the lesson with a brief discussion of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, those powerful muscles at the side of the neck. Most of us overwork these muscles, holding them far more contracted than needed for balancing the head on the spine. As a consequence, lifting the head is difficult, sometimes exhausting.

There is a lot of head lifting in this lesson, and I advise you to take frequent breaks... do fewer variations than I recorded...


The previous week, we looked at a very gentle method of coming to sit, that being rolling to the side and gently rising from that side.

However, there are more ways to come to sit; each one requires a degree of preparation in order for the whole movement to be done with comfort, and minimal extra holding.

 

 

Application

 When I first tried the lesson, I discovered I was really holding my jaw, so I explored the lesson with different possibilities with the jaw, even allowing it to drop open.  That significantly changed the ease in lifting the head.

Recording.

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