Lifting the head to activate flexors – Amherst Year 1

 

Source

Synopsis

Lying on your back, gain ease in lifting your head.

Lesson Outline

To start all movements in this ATM, lie on your back, bend your knees, stand your feet, interlace your finger, and place your hands behind your head. The key movements are:

  • Lift and lower your head.
  • Raise the small of your back high enough to let a mouse through. Keep it lifted as you raise and lower your head. Then let the lower back return to its normal position and lift and lower you head.
  • Repeat the movement about but this time raising the lower back high enough for a rat to pass through.
  • Rest and feel the change in contact with the floor.
  • Alternate between having the fingers interlaced in the habitual and non-habitual way while lifting your head.
  • Close your eyes. Look down to your feet as you lift your head.
  • Place your fingers on your ribs or sternum. Find a way to press downward that helps in lifting the head. What happens to your chin? Find a second, third, and fourth way to press with your hands.

 

Focus of Moshe’s teaching

  • As the ATM proceeds, Moshe directs the student’s attention to the affect of the position of their elbows, the contact of their back on the floor, the use of their breath, and the iInterlacing their fingers in the non-habitual way.
  • Moshe discusses how to do the movements slowly and without hurry (e.g. “You know that donkeys wouldn’t move unless you push a nail underneath the thing you sit on…Some people have that nail ever since they were at school. And therefore, they go faster whether you want it or need it or not”.)
  • Moshe discusses how to not let the goal of lifting your head “destroy your way of lifting the head.”
  • Moshe returns a number of times to the question “what is learning?” He ends the ATM with a talk entitled “Real Learning is Having Choices.”

Related ATMs

Also see Theme Flexion Lesson:

 

Resources

Share Your Insights

Key Ideas, Principles, and Strategies

  • Because of reciprical inhibition, the repeated engagement of the flexors in this ATM results in the release of the extensors. When the extensors lengthen, they become more powerful. – yedwab Sep 5, 2010
  • The necessity of a minor flexing action to prepare the extensors for action as in fight or flight. – JeffHaller Sep 13, 2010

Typical results

  • After this ATM, it is common to lie flatter and stand taller. Often the eye gaze on the horizon has been lifted. – yedwab Sep 6, 2010

Advice for Teaching or Turning into an FI

  • When Moshe taught this ATM, he described the knee as moving “downward.” By convention, downward means away from your pelvis and toward your toes. However, since the leg is lifted, it common for students to interpret “downward” as toward the floor. My advise is to not use the term “downward”, but rather explicitly say that the movement of the knee is away from the pelvis and toward your toes.– yedwab Jun 4, 2011

 

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