Wednesday, July 31, 2013

we have lift off

Friday I discovered that I can make a little bounce after I land my dropback. It is amazing what you can discover when you are too tired to mentally resist what your body seems to want to do. Mostly, this works best if my teacher is right there to catch me and bring me the rest of the way up. Apparently, the hardest part of standing up again is supposed to be getting the hands off the floor. Wish I could say how it is done, but it is still a bit murky. Seems to depend on -strong legs going down to the floor making for a softer landing and keeping my pelvis as far forward as I can on the way down. The other thing that I think helped me get to this point of being able to shift my weight forward was a crazy -undulation- atm lesson that we did in the training. It was about flow and by focusing on the flow of the small movements (pressing different body parts into the ground in sequence) rather than perfectly making each movement, I was able to better synchronize movements with my arms and legs. This is what led to my first (scary!) experience last week, of shifting weight into my legs so that my hands could unweight themselves in a backbend.

The feldenkrais training was exhausting last week. I passed my teaching test, which was no great surprise, since they pretty much pass everyone. I ended up teaching a 45-50 min lesson to a class of 15-20, by myself, after my group imploded..i.e. the incredibly passive aggressive and angry woman I had inherited as a partner blew up at the head of the program. I am too old to work with people who don't contribute and that are just too difficult to work with. Teaching by myself was really valuable, but it made me soooo stressed out before. I still have not had a full night's sleep, and I taught on Sunday. Hoping to get it together to do some volunteer teaching for the parks department here this fall - they offer free fitness classes - and feldenkrais counts for that. Would like to find some other teaching opportunities as well.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cloud Watching

I have started getting ready in earnest for my teaching authorization in my Feldenkrais program. That means trying to figure out what language works best when I teach my test lesson, both for giving directions on the actual movements and for the other process related stuff, like reminding people to move slowly, rest often, and breathe. I need to come up with some commentary on my lesson. It is a foot lesson, but really about orientation in space. The movements in the lesson are not difficult when you are in a typical orientation - with the foot standing on the floor. When the floor is taken away, however, the formerly simple movements become more challenging. We are so used to having the floor to tell us where "neutral" is for our feet. What about when it is not there? Why does it often feel like it is somewhere else..and if that is what you do when you have no floor as probably carry that extra effort in your leg and foot muscles into your daily life..standing, walking, running, etc.

In the primary series, think about where your hands seem to be in space the next time you are in prasarita C, if they don't reach the floor. The first time my hands touched the floor (with an assist), I was completely discombobulated. My first reaction was that I was touching the ceiling. No joke. Our awareness of what our limbs are doing in space behind us is not as developed as when they are in front of us.

The few times I have practiced teaching the lesson, it has been really fascinating to watch the people on the floor move. Granted, my "class" has been only one or two people at time, but I can see that this will be really interesting to do.

Post practice cloud watching in Central Park last Sunday. When I stepped onto the grass near Strawberry Fields, I could feel the steam rising from the ground. Luckily it wasn't so bad in the shade.

Monday, July 8, 2013


yeah, the summer heat makes me cranky.

Finally survived (barely) all my work deadlines. Enough at least to want to hibernate most of the holiday weekend, which was easier to do than usual, because of the rest day plus a rather late ladies holiday. I did get to practice teach my atm lesson to friends in my training program, and that was very very enlightening. The major challenge of the teaching test isn't figuring out the atm lesson (although my lesson is a foot lesson..and not easy for me to do), but working with the other members of my teaching group --which has been nothing short of utter is injured and probably won't participate and the other is on the "difficult" side..though she doesn't mean to be that way, and I have been working so much last month that I had hardly any time for dealing with this. Somehow I also became the organizer of the group. bleah!

Practice has been tough, but it is what has been holding me together, so to speak. I am having a new round of emotional reactions to practice. Crankiness, crossness and general irritability afterwards (dropback induced I bet) or just plain ole sadness. Sunday, I really needed to have a good cry right after, but the shala wasn't empty and I didn't have enough time before sanskrit class. Other days I find myself starting to panic in savasana - I can feel myself not breathing (enough). Very very disconcerting. Still, I feel better and more grounded on the whole the days I practice than the days I do not.

And there are the dropbacks. It is getting a bit easier. I am now fairly convinced I can land on the ground..still pretty much stuck once I land. I can walk in a bit, but I think I am scared of getting myself in the correct configuration to come back up (if we just stop and imagine that I have the strength to come back up..which I dont think i have yet..but stranger things have happened.) Thus far, the best day was sometime last week, when my teacher made a point of doing less to bring me back up from the ground. Whoa.

Glad I only have 2 more weeks (today included) til I am off for a week, for my 10 day training. Hopefully in August, I will finally get out of town for a bit.