New website, new blog and new classes beginning this week!
This is the first blog post from my new website. You’ll be able to leave comments or start a discussion if you wish. You are receiving this if you were on my Awareness Through Movement or my Bang Bang Salsa list. I will be sending out all my posts whether on Feldenkrais, Salsa or music from this list now. It's easy to unsubscribe if you'd like to opt out. Just go to the bottom of the post. However, I hope you stay!
Have a look at the new site. As you’ll see, it’s greatly simplified. It was designed by my brilliant first-born (please excuse parental pride!) – LA Hall. Contact them if you need help for a site of your own.
I have digitised my CDs and they can be downloaded from there. I’ll be adding more as time goes on. There are three free downloads now. So try it out!
Our next series of Feldenkrais classes will begin tomorrow night at 6.30pm and on Thursday morning at 9.30am. We’ll be exploring the connection of our hands and feet through the centre of our body. Reply or call me on 0404 625 326 if you'd like more information.
We'll be looking for effortless action in this series. Have a look at the way this man uses his blowgun then to the way he smiles. The focus and co-ordination of both actions are lovely. His ability to exhale powerfully without distorting the finesse of his aim and the ease and extent of his smile are wonderful.
We were lucky enough to have a week at the snow during the holidays and it was a beautiful experience. I’m a novice skier but was still able to experience occasional bursts of effortless action. It’s all about the journey rather than the destination. You don't have to be good. It's the steps that make the difference.
I learnt to turn just as easily in both directions on the fourth day and it enabled me to do intermediate runs without fear. Such a nice feeling to move with ease in a place that was previously unthinkable. It has an effect on general mood and gives a sense of purpose and I feel, place, in the social situations of that community.
It’s a good thing about exercise generally. You co-opt many of the muscles involved in reacting to your insecurities and it gives you a bit of a rest from unease. It’s easy to communicate after a good workout.
Subtle exploration of how the fingers and toes relate to the rest of the body has a similar effect. The limbs are organised in such a way that the possibilities for differentiated movement increase at the extremities. You can move the upper arm in a circle but force is distributed along the shaft of the humerus bone in two directions. The forearm has two bones so it can also rotate. That’s four directions. Once you get to the wrist and the 26 bones of the hand, the number of possible directions of force dramatically increases.
Now the interesting thing is that the organisation of our hands and feet are far from what they could be. They reflect our grasp and sense of our world. If we’re feeling anxious we’re often unconsciously holding ourselves in a protective way. It’s like we’re unconsciously frozen into a potential action .. waiting for something to happen. I’m sure you probably never get anxious or stressed but just in case you do one day, check out what is happening within your hands and feet. Ask yourself what you're organised for? What sort of movement are you ready to do?
As you relax your hands and feet, notice what happens through the rest of your body.
The other thing is that until your hands and feet are fully involved, it isn’t really a whole body action. Have a look at this Osprey!
If we move our fingers and toes in time with our breath we can become absorbed in that whole body action. Those unconscious tensions that relate to our fears slip away as the action becomes easier.
There is a sense of wellbeing and freedom of movement that follows that. The beauty of the involvement of our centre and extremities - It’s the experience of the ecstatic!
Of course the ecstatic is one thing and, seductive as it is, it’s not the real story. The real work involved in developing a whole-hearted smile like the man in the GIF above is meaningful action. It’s action that allows you to contribute to others that gives a sense of place. It’s the sense of place, whether in the Cosmos or your local community that gives you that hum of wellbeing.
So we’ll be exploring these ideas in a variety of ways this term. All of them will leave you feeling more centred and relaxed. On Tuesday we’ll explore the relationship between the organisation of the hand and arm and the mouth and jaw. On Thursday we’ll explore the hands and feet relative to the shoulder and hip.
I look forward to sharing this term with you. I look forward to having conversations with you via the blog too.
See you on Tuesday or Thursday or to those of you coming to the Commodore's Ball, see you on Saturday!