Part 2 of this turning lesson will teach you different ways to use your eyes in relation to your head and over all body movements. It is imperative that you take proper care of your eyes during this lesson and rest often. You will not benefit from the lesson if you over work your eyes or if they feel tired at any time.
The next workshop I am teaching, with Acupuncturist, Jo Ellen Wisnosky, will expand upon this topic. Relaxed eyes see clearly! I am excited for you to experience the added benefits that acupuncture can offer you
along with the Feldenkrais eye lessons, to reach this state.
The small classes at my studio are continuing. Click here to find out the details about the new class series beginning in April.
I made a new video so you can explore ways to improve turning. Stay tuned for part 2 of this lesson next month! Allow yourself much more time than the length of the video, to do this lesson. Pause the video often, to find the pace that is best for your learning. Move gently and rest your eyes often. Refer to the video as a guide and only when you need to figure out a movement. Have fun!
I am sorry that this post is late.
I have been enjoying the unplanned days off due to the snowy weather.
May this lesson help fill your snowy days (or foggy days) with curiosity!
Tuesdays @ 5:15 pm at Improving Through Movement (pre-registration required) Wednesdays @ 10:30 am at West End Yoga (on-going class) Wednesdays @ 6:30 pm at Improving Through Movement (pre-registration required)
To register for classes call Donna at 717.285.0399. Space is limited for the classes at Improving Through Movement.
I have included this wonderful picture of a snake beside a skeleton’s spine, to help you imagine using your entire vertebral column to move your head and pelvis. In today’s society people tend to only utilize the seven vertebrae of the neck to move the skull, which is the heaviest part of the body. Our bodies are designed to use all 24 vertebrae when moving. Functioning in this way will place less pressure on the joints of the back resulting in fewer injuries.
I like to think of the discs between each vertebrae as shock absorbers. To use more shock absorbers when you walk, simply think that your entire spine can move like a snake, from your tailbone to your head. And when you lift or lower your head imagine your neck beginning at your tailbone. Pretend that your head is as heavy as a bowling ball, inviting each vertebrae to round, when looking downwards. When looking upwards imagine the same image in reverse! Have fun and let me know what you experience from this change of thought.
Understanding the difference between doing something hurried compared to doing it faster can change your life! Take a moment to picture a person in a hurry, walking down the street compared to a person walking at a fast pace. Which person would you try to avoid? Now imagine someone washing your brand new dishes while rushing. Would you want them to continue? And lastly imagine watching a hurried dancer compared to a dancer that has increased their velocity of movement. Which dancer would grab your attention?
As you can see by these examples a hurried person is not very graceful because they are not fully present in the activity they are engaged in. The hurried walker is probably thinking about where they are going or what they are going to do when they get there. Whereas the fast walker is thinking about walking. Because of this the hurried walker may bump into you; the hurried dish washer will most likely break a dish; while the hurried dancer would probably not interest you enough to watch her performance.
During this holiday season you may find yourself rushing around more often than not. There are a few simple things you can do to take care of yourself and to prevent accidents or injuries from occurring. To start, take a moment to first recognize that you are hurrying. Then acknowledge whatever ordinary activity you are engaged in, such as, doing the dishes or driving your car. By doing this you will create a chance to sense if you are breathing or not and if you are holding the dish or steering wheel tighter than necessary. By stopping needless work like this you can save your energy to enjoy festive activities with the people you love instead of collapsing when the moment arrives.
Enjoy the season and take care of yourselves!
P.S. As many of you know the studio where I currently am teaching my classes, Core Wellness Yoga, is closing on Dec. 21, 2013. I will teach my last two classes there on Dec. 17th & 18th. Starting on Jan. 8th I will begin teaching an on-going class on Wednesdays @ 10:30 a.m., at West End Yoga. I will teach on Tuesdays @ 11 a.m. and Wednesdays @ 6:30 p.m., at my studio, Improving Through Movement, beginning on Jan. 7th for 6 week pre-registered classes. For more information click here.
I created a chair lesson for you to explore at your computer. When you find skeletal support in sitting your muscles can remain soft and supple. As a result, at the end of your work day you will be ready to engage in your private life with vigor and energy.
Sitting in this way takes practice and this video will give you wonderful tools to use throughout your days. Listen to my voice and only refer to the video when you need to figure out an instruction. Modify movements when necessary and move gently throughout the lesson. Enjoy!
Is Military Posture Hurting You?
I find that many people are very confused about how to attain a healthy posture. A common assumption in our culture is that a good posture is achieved by holding the shoulders back and tucking the belly in, much like a military soldier standing at attention. When I inform people that holding the muscles in this way can lead to back pain and stiffness, they become scared and skeptical by my words. Luckily their skepticism goes away when they experience how much better they feel and move after letting go of a military posture.
This video explains very clearly that when people achieve “bone deep strength” they can move powerfully and easily at any age. Watching this video will help you understand better what good posture looks like.
If you want to learn how to attain skeletal support like this, I am available for private sessions. To reach me click here.
I am excited to teach my next workshop because once a person finds more ease of movement in the upper back they feel so much better! I have found that even ballerinas have trouble keeping their upper backs flexible and are grateful when they learn ways to release the tension in that area. Ease into the Wheel Yoga Pose by Improving Upper Back Flexibility will be on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 11:30 a.m.- 1:30. The early bird special ends on Sat., Oct. 12. Click on the workshop to get details about how to register.
I made the following video for the many students that requested it. During this short Feldenkrais, Awareness Through Movement lesson, move at your own pace and within your comfort level. Use the video as a visual to help you understand the lesson better. Pause the video throughout so you can explore each movement longer.
The lesson is designed so that each position will allow your diaphragm to expand in more directions. For example when you do this diaphragm movement while lying on your chest and belly, the constraint of the floor requires your diaphragm to expand more towards your upper and lower back areas. Each position will help the diaphragm find more movement options.
When you finish the lesson, notice if your lungs are able to expand more like balloons without thinking about it.
Forget about this lesson entirely during your day. Notice that with each moment in life, breathing changes. A person breaths differently when meditating vs. when debating. And he / she breaths differently running vs. when lifting heavy boxes. Notice how your breathing changes throughout your day without any thought required on your part. Enjoy!
The workshop Creating Flexible Hips & Legs Without Stretching is coming up on Saturday, September 21 from 11:30- 1:30 p.m. The early bird special ends on September 14th. For more information about how to sign up click here.
I made a short video for you to get a snippet of what the workshop will be like. Some folks have asked, how can one become flexible without stretching. So I decided it would be great for you to experience it yourself.
Feeling the difference speaks much louder than just watching the video. With that said, I suggest to watch the video only as a reference while you do the lesson on the floor. Listen to the instructions and gently move through each movement, pausing the video, so you can find your pace. During this lesson always move in the range that feels good to you. Focus on making the quality of your movements better instead of trying to attain a goal such as, reaching your foot. Strive to become graceful in both directions of movement.
The words of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais are “make the impossible possible, the possible easy and the easy elegant.”
I am confident that when following my suggestions you will become pleasantly surprised by the results! Have fun!
In this short video I am working with a runner. She came to me complaining of feeling heavy and weighted down while running long distances. She also was experiencing neck and jaw pain. This is the beginning of a 45 minute lesson. You will see that I started this session by rotating her heels from left to right. Notice that the rotation only moves to her knees and her hips move very little.
I discover at this moment one of the reasons why she feels heavy when running. If her foot lands on the ground and the movement stops at her knees, her ankles will have to do most of the work to propel her forward. Also the force of energy from her stride will be abosorbed by her knees mostly which can cause injuries later to her leg joints. After working with her legs for a short time, I rotate her heels again. Notice the rotation improved and travels through to her hips and her pelvis. This will help her not to over work and the force of energy will move through more joints when she runs. This will help prevent wear and tear on her ankles, knees and hips.
During the rest of the lesson, I connected her leg movements through her torso to her head. I showed her with my hands, that the 24 vertebrae in her back could also absorb the force of her running stride, helping to protect her back, neck and jaw. Later she reported feeling lighter on her feet when she ran. She attributed it her broader range of movement and a new understanding and awareness of herself.
You can increase your oxygen intake when your diaphragm is able to expand in all directions within your torso, like a balloon filling with air. This lesson will help you learn how to expand your diaphragm movement. Afterwards do not think about breathing. Observe throughout your day, if you take in more air with each breathe, without trying.
I made this video while teaching a student. This is the beginning of her lesson.
I suggest that you lie down on the floor and do the lesson while listening to my instructions, like you would during a class. I also suggest not to watch the video before doing the lesson because without feeling the movements you will probably loose interest. Instead refer to the video if you don’t understand something while doing it.
I dedicate this video to all my students in San Francisco including: Janet, Tina, Darryl, Steve, Kent, Jerry, Peggy, Nancy, Linda, Greg, Jobyna, Karen, Carmen, Sabrina, Maureen, Mike, Amy, Hafsa, Julie, Rob, Phillip, Avi, Craig, Patrick, Ernest, Jarvis, Nora, Naren, Bill, Leslie and Joan. I miss all of you dearly (even if I didn’t mention your name). I am excited to teach all of you from afar! Enjoy!
Take note of a few reminders and please mark some dates in your calender. Improving Through Movement will be closed the week of June 15 -22. There will be no Feldenkrais class at Core Wellness Yoga on Wednesday, June 19th.
I am sharing a wonderful video this month, of a Father, dancing harmoniously with his child. It is beautiful to watch the way he listens to himself, his child, the space around him, and the other dancers with all of his senses. You will notice that without looking he feels where his child is at all moments. One can see that the communication between Father and toddler is happening without words.
You don’t have to be a dancer to learn to listen in this way. You can learn to listen during a Feldenkrais class. There you will learn how to sense, feel, think and move gently on the floor. Each lesson may challenge you mentally, physically or emotionally . In a class with other people you will start to sense the person moving in their space next to you and eventually all the space around you. Later you can take with you, this gentle way of attending into your life and relationships. Dancing with another is taking listening to the next level.
One of many reasons, I teach the Feldenkrais and Child’Space methods is because I learn to sense more completely. This carries into my life. My relationships with family, friends and students continue to grow more harmonious and richer with each year. This I am very grateful for.