Here we get into more detail with the shoulders, but still in a manner that relates everything to everything. I’m not quite sure why the class found that idea so funny. 😉
One of those miracle lessons. What do these actions have to do with one another? How can something so restricted get so easy by doing something else entirely?
The last two classes (On the side, the sternum becoming flexible and On the Side, Bending and twisting the chest and spine) had everyone in class talking about our lack of clarity in side-bending. First, what it is when simply standing or lying flat on the floor, to maintain the face in the same plane in sidebending. Then, second, what it means in the twisted configurations of those lessons. This lesson was a chance to explore a detail that was fascinating to the group.
Oddly enough, this lesson takes place largely lying on the back. So “on the side” doesn’t refer to the position of the lesson. This lesson follows on the lesson On the side, the sternum becoming flexible, which “really is” on the side. That lesson achieves some amazing differentiation of the abdominal muscles in light of deep reflexes; this one continues around the torso, rebalancing the work of the abdominals and the back extensors. Between working on these two lessons this month, I got more for myself around Moshe’s idea of the chest hanging off the spine than I ever have from ATM before (it’s usually a post-FI feeling from a great practitioner, one that is tantalizingly transformational, but that I can’t find again after a few weeks). We embarked on a month of the spine, and I ended the month feeling I knew the function and freedom of the abdominal muscles beyond anything I’ve done before.
The spine will only be as flexible as the ribs attached and the sternum allow it to be–and those will only move if they can see themselves moving relative to the pelvis. This lesson addresses that whole relationship.
We had a lively discussion of this lesson on the Feldenkrais practitioners mailing list one day, and so I post my analysis too: Analysis of AY 217, On the side, the sternum becoming flexible. It offers a window into some of the underlying neurological themes that take a Feldenkrais lesson beyond being a matter of just playing with variations.