- Alexander Yanai Vol. 2 Part 2 No. 99
- Reel 8, Track 1, Lesson 3
- This lesson is done entirely prone, lifting the elbows, head, and forearms. The “loose hand” refers to a soft wrist, with the fingers loosely drooping downward toward the floor.
- On stomach, one knee drawn up, hands palm down and arms on the floor, lifting the elbows and head from the floor, with orientation of the knee and head consistent with the rotation of the spine and, also, in counter-rotation. Lesson develops to include lifting using a press-up-like position, with hands standing and elbows high.
Focus of Moshe’s Teaching
- The focus is on a significant developmental moment, where we as infants were developing the organization to lift the head, empower the back muscles, and begin the process of creeping and crawling. As adults, this lesson is valuable to intervene in dysfunctional organization of the upper spine and carriage of the head. The methods explored are inclusion of breathing awareness; the power involved in pressing against the floor, proximally, to lift; to lengthen the spine; and to unpack holding in the upper vertebrae and shoulder girdle.
- Theme Extensor Lesson
- Theme Shoulders
- Tag One-leg-bent-up-towards-stomach-prone
- Tag Fast-movements
- Tag Hands-in-push-up-position-prone
- Tag Lifting-straight-legs-prone
Lifting the elbow before the hand from the floor:
Lifting straight leg and contralateral arm, prone:
- Amherst 1 – Week 4 – 07/03/80 Diagonal pressing and lifting
- Amherst 1 – Week 6 – 07/16/80 AM1 Integrating arms – crossing the arms
- AY105 On the stomach; basic lifting of body parts
- AY516 Arms and legs spread
- Rotterdam 1976 – Tape 2 – #2 – Extensor Lesson
Lifting straight leg and homolateral arm, prone:
Share Your Insights (ideas, principles, strategies, experiences, …)
- There are some inconsistencies in Moshe’s use of orientation language (up, down, front, higher). It would have been clearer if he had stuck with front toward the floor, back toward the ceiling, up headward, down footward. From time to time I had to interpret.
- Moshe offered four tips interspersed in the lesson. I found it helpful to deploy those tips from the very beginning and throughout the lesson. One: Coordinate the movement with the breath; this helps slow down. Two: Help the shoulders to lift from the floor by pressing proximally, with the chest and lower ribs. Three: Lengthen the spine while lifting. Four: Focus on extending, arching, the upper thoracic vertebrae.
- In Step 1, the direction is to “[P]ut the two hands in front of the head, on the floor so the fingers touch each other.” I wrongly interpreted this to mean that the arms should make a diamond shape, palms down on the mat with fingers touching, about 6” or so above the head. Angle at armpits was around 120º and angle at elbows maybe 100º. Ellen Soloway corrected me on this. The arms should be like what we as babies knew naturally: In a prone position, to begin to push with the hands and arms to lift the head, the arms should be placed so that there is a 90º angle at the armpits and a 45º angle at the elbows. The hands on either side of the head. The fingers could touch, if necessary, by putting the palms under the forehead. Or maybe Moshe meant that the fingers are not spread, but held touching each other. In any case, my diamond-shaped interpretation was not functional. I felt that the position was pretty useless, actually. I felt no power in it.
- In AY overall, Moshe might say things in these lessons that, if we take them literally, will lead us stray. “Astray” meaning into a nonfunctional organization, as above. So the question is, how to stick with what we think he means — or to find the intellectual vivacity or courage to interpret what he says, to explore, to make another choice? It seems to me that the process might involve three steps: One, start with the presumption that what Moshe says is exactly what he means. Two, ask: Is the organization I think he’s asking for functional? If not, then there may be something wrong with my interpretation. Three, if in doubt, ask our more-experienced colleagues for their perspective.
- In Step 2(g), I believe there is a mistake. The transcript says: “So, as long as you DO NOT go slowly, there isn’t any point in forcing.” Too many negatives. I interpret him to mean: “So, as long as you DO go slowly, there isn’t any point in forcing.”
- Step 3 may involve two interpretations. One is to lessen the weight on the hands, so the shoulder blades move toward the spine. The other is to make an arc with the elbows, headward and footward. I explored and enjoyed both.
- In Step 5, Moshe doesn’t specify which knee is up. I assumed it was the left knee, because that was knee that had been up in Step 4.
- In Step 7, Moshe doesn’t specify what to do with the hands. I assumed it was palms down, with hands on either side of the head. (See above, my comments re Step One.)
- In Step 10(a), Moshe says “Do not press. Do not push.” I interpreted him to mean don’t push with the extremities but, rather, DO press more proximally, with the chest and lower ribs.
- –Anita Schnee, – yayfay Nov 8, 2017
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