• Sitting cross-legged, you rest one arm in the crook of the other and slide it in and out (“sawing” or “bowing” a violin), eventually ending by joining hands of the crossed arms behind the neck. In this version, you explore how the rotation of the arm facilitates the movement. In the second half of the lesson, you place one elbow in the crook of the other, and travel with both hands around the head and shoulder, in Changes in sitting cross-legged bring out that the mobility of the pelvis is involved.

Lesson Outline

  1. Sit cross-legged. Extend your R arm in front and bend at the elbow at a 90 degree angle so the fingers point to the ceiling (during the lesson, he says it’s as though your fingers hang from the ceiling by a string). Place the L arm extended, palm up, in the crook of the R arm. Lift the L arm and touch the L shoulder, head, R shoulder. (There is some talk of turning the hand over as you travel around the head, some talk of touching the L shoulder then extending the arm then touching the R shoulder.) (The L elbow stays in the crook of the R arm and the R arm remains in place.) Then leave the L arm in the crook and rotate clockwise and counterclockwise.
  2. Sit with leg-crossing reversed. Do the same with arms. Then touch the R shoulder, head, neck, L shoulder with the R hand. (Touch all over the head, face with arms; feel where it goes easily & where not.)
  3. Sit cross-legged. L arm in crook of R arm, which is bent at 90 degrees in the elbow, fingers to ceiling. Turn CW and CCW and slide your L arm in and out at the same time (R elbow stays still in space–slide L arm forwards, pull backwards, hand turns CW as you pull back and CCW as you slide it forwards).
  4. Sit with leg-crossing reversed. Do the same with arms, but with the direction of turning reversed.
  5. Sit cross-legged. Place the L arm in the crook of the R arm. Lift the L arm and touch the L shoulder, head, R shoulder.
  6. Stand. Lift both arms in the air, and see if the L arm is more like you would expect a R arm to be.
  7. Sit, cross-legged. Do the same on the other side–starting with 1.
  8. Sit, with leg-crossing reversed, and do 2 on the second side.
  9. Sit, with leg-crossing reversed. With the R arm in the crook of the L, slide it in and withdraw it, turning the arm CW going forwards and CCW as you go back. (3 on the second side; the direction of rotation is also reversed.)
  10. Sit cross-legged, and do the same movement but reversing the direction of turning (as in 4 above).
  11. Sit cross-legged, same arm configuration. Lift the R arm and touch the shoulders, crossing over the head. Then with R arm passive in the crook, touch with the L hand. Then turn the R arm CCW, leave it so turned, and continue to do the same with the L hand.
  12. Sit cross-legged. Do 11 on the other side: L arm passive and in crook, R hand travels everywhere.
  13. Same, but with L arm turned CW (radial).
  14. Sit cross-legged (change from time to time), R elbow resting in the crook of the L elbow. Gradually the hands join behind the neck. Stay and turn the hands so the backs rather than the palms touch, and like this touch everywhere. Then alternate palms and backs.
  15. Sit, with leg-crossing reversed, and L arm inside R crook. Same.
  16. Sit. Extend R arm, palm to ceiling. Hold R pinkie with L hand. Pass R elbow through L crook. Bend arms to face and touch everywhere. (R pinkie bent back.) Then take the ring finger to do the same. Then the thumb. Then all the fingers: you do this by interlacing the fingers, back of R hand to palm of L hand.
  17. Other side. (He goes through all the fingers on this side, not just pinkie, ring and thumb.) Then extend both arms in front, back of L hand in palm of R; interlace fingers and pass L elbow through crook of R elbow: then touch the L and the R side of the face.
  18. Repeat 1.
  19. Stand and lift arms in air.

Focus of Moshe’s Teaching

  • Throughout, you are slowly organizing chest, shoulders, neck, breathing so you can touch everywhere easily.
  • Indicate focus or key principles that are made explicit in the teaching

Related ATMs

  • San Francisco Year 3, first lessons: here he says that the action is equivalent to the internal rotation of the hip joint (which they are practicing in FI).
  • Theme Shoulders


Sawing forearms:


Share Your Insights (ideas, principles, strategies, experiences, …)

  • Add your thoughts about the lesson here.
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  • Differing viewpoints are welcome and desired!
  • In preparing for teaching, I would recommend that you follow his hint to think of rotating the arms “radial” and in the opposite (ulnar) directions. Keeping clockwise and counterclockwise clear while the students have their left hands on the right sides of their bodies is really very challenging.

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