Saturday, September 5, 2015

back to the shala, hand numbness, relief, teaching

we'll just skip the part about my re-entry to my life in new york city, mysore. that's for another post. it's been one hell of a ride...back to work, finishing my feldenkrais training (though still making up missed days this fall and winter), and looking at my life in general here.

things are a bit calmer for me, momentarily..and i am trying once again to get back to the shala on an (almost) daily basis. Of course, i picked the hottest week of the year to who hates the heat. it wasnt as scary practicing in the heat this time (somehow i have calmed down about that post india), but still quite tiring. I was pretty spaced out friday afternoon..chai and then a latte did not revive me at all.

It's been interesting having help again on those postures i cannot fully do on my own...supta K, pasasana and then the extra backbending of assisted. so needless to say..i was pretty damn sore by friday. mostly in my back..which luckily wasn't affecting practice too much. i would just take it more gently closer to the end..less jumping back and sometimes stepping through rather than jumping (sore ego way way better than a really sore back..i already had the really ouchy not easy to move back thing last month..while practicing on my own..not fun at all). The one thing that was getting worse while i went back to the shala, was soreness in my left shoulder..and numbness/tingling in some of the fingers in my left hand (and I'm a lefty). It got so bad that by this morning, holding anything small, like kitchen utensils..or my phone, caused immediate tingling/numbness. I have been trying to figure out if there is an asana cause for this (supta k? since it has been months since i got the assist on a daily basis) or it's just from carrying heavier bags because i am schlepping yoga gear with me to and from work.

Then I remembered the Feldenkrais lesson David Zemach-Bersin taught a few years ago..which he said was great for neck pain. What i have since that often stuff like tingling in the really an issue originating in the the neck! So i thought..might as well try this lesson..what I remembered of it, and see what happens. Well. no more tingling. I probably spent about 10 min doing an abridged version of the lesson..but it did the trick. I cooked dinner tingling when holding the knife to chop..and i carried some groceries home on my left side too..And i can lie on my left side with no shoulder pain.

the lesson--take 15-20 min with each side initially.
on your hands and knees. (it's ok to make hands into fists if too painful to have palms on floor..or to do this lesson sitting in a chair--palms on wall at shoulder height-elbows bent))
--all movements should be really small.,,so that the cheek is still on the floor..don't roll onto your forhead, chin, ear or nose..
-- do not do anything that causes discomfort. smaller and less movements is key. rest between each movement if necessary. and try imagining the movment.
--rest every few movements....the more resting the better. it's the attention to yourself and not the number of movements..or the size..that matters.
--do all movements SLOWLY..

1. put your right cheek on the floor (if this is painful..start with other side..or do at the wall).
a. roll head/cheek as if drawing a vertical from the center of the cheek..downward.
b.roll head/cheek as if drawing a vertical from the center of the cheek..upward.
c. roll head/cheek upward and downward..full vertical line
rest (in child's pose, sitting on knees..or on back)
2. on hands/knees as before. Right cheek on floor.
a. roll head/cheek as if drawing a horizontal from the center of the cheek towards your nose .
b. roll head/cheek as if drawing a horizontal from the center of the cheek towards your ear. c..roll head/cheek as if drawing a horizontal from the center of the cheek towards your ear and then back towards your nose.
rest on back
3. on hands/knees as before. R cheek on floor
a. make a circle on the floor...rolling around center point of R cheek...again. small small circle, make it smooth.
b change direction of the circle.
rest on back.
4. do other side. L cheek on floor.

I am definitely doing a quick version of this again tonight.

this is why i love feldenkrais..the lessons can have such instantaneous effects..and you have learned a new way of they stick with you.
if you made it this far..yes, i (suzanne) will be teaching feldenkrais this fall in my a cute little movement studio 2 sundays a month.


  1. Oh my goodness Suzanne, thank you for sharing this. I wake up at night because my arms are tingling. My left hand also starts to shake sometimes while closing in Padmasana. I am so going to try this. P.S. I finally put two and two together when I saw your class offering here! I did not know you and SM from facebook were the same person, LOL. Back to the hand tingling, my one and only visit to chiropractor yielded the comment "your neck is pretty messed up" :/

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