This extensor lesson, mostly with legs long and face turned one side or the other, cheek on back of hand, includes sliding the head/supporting arm from side to side in the air; lifting opposite and same-side leg with knee bent and foot to ceiling as you lift the head; pushing low belly into ground; variations with hands standing (turning head from cheek to cheek; turning to look over each shoulder); and placing backs of hands on low back, sliding down to lift shoulders and lift head. There are interludes of flexion (self-guided: knees to elbows in all the combinations) to balance.

Lesson Outline

  • Reference movement: face down, legs long, forehead on hands: look up towards ceiling: how far?
  • Face down, look R with L cheek on back of R hand (and L hand underneath, also palm down). Lift head using R hand; then R hand and elbow.
  • Lift and slide together L & R.
  • Reference movement. Reference movement and stay: take eyes (closed) to look further up to ceiling. Repeat reference.
  • Same position as above, but bend L leg and align L foot to neutral. Lift L knee: elbow lighter? Lift knee and head/arm. Then head/arm alone. Other side (i.e. R leg).
  • Reference, with eye variation again.
  • Rest face up and do some flexor movements.
  • Second side, lift head and arm and slide L & R. Switch hands, and continue to take head L & R. Switch both head and hands (so you’re doing the one remaining variation that you haven’t used to take the head L & R), and slide/translate.
  • Then, while lifting, press the abdomen between the belly button and pubic bone to the ground. Turn head and do the same.
  • Reference.
  • Lift head with both hands–legs react?
  • Reference, and then rest face up and do flexor variations (lift legs, and head with interlaced hands and do variations of elbows to knees).
  • Now face down with hands and elbows as for push-up: turn head from side to side (then reference); bend knees so feet are to ceiling and look over one shoulder and the other towards the heel on that side (then alternate).
  • Reference, with and without lifting the legs at the same time.
  • Face down, back of hands in small of back–slide hands up and down, and then, as you slide your hands down towards and over your buttocks, lift head and look up (shoulders lifting head).
  • Reference; then lift head with both hands–legs engage now?
  • Walk around: heavier than normal? Go back to the floor and do the flexors.

Focus of Moshe’s Teaching

He comments and demonstrates at the end that if you only do the extensors and don’t do the balancing flexor movements, you will end up walking very heavily and straining your back in walking.

Related ATMs

Theme Extensor Lesson


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Key Ideas, Principles, and Strategies

  • With this extensor lesson, the interpersing of flexors movements is explained for the relief it gives to overwork of the extensors and the result that subsequent rests lying face up will (atypically) result in the arch behind the back being larger, not smaller. There is a sense of developing the awareness and responsibility of the student to recognize and counteract this.

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