- ATM Book Lesson 10
- This is *the* deadbird ATM.
- “Now you will learn how eye movements coordinate the body movements, and how they are linked to the movement of the neck muscles. Testing these connections of eye and neck muscles separately increases control of body movements and makes them easier. The movement of the eyes in an opposite direction to that of the head—and movement of the head in an opposite direction to that of the body—add a dimension of movement of which many are not aware. These exercises broaden the spectrum of activity and help to eliminate faulty habits of movement. You will also be able to distinguish between the muscles that control the movement of the eyeballs and the muscles that control vision more specifically.” – Moshe Feldenkrais, Awareness through Movement
Many of the movements in this ATM, start by side-sitting to the left (left leg backwards to the left), the right hand is on the floor for support, and the left hand is in front of your face at eye level with the elbow bent. As a short hand, this starting position is referred to as “start left”.
The key movements are:
- Standing: swing your body and arms to the right and left. Do it with the eyes closed and open. Is the movement as smooth with eyes open as closed?
- Start left: Turn to the right and back with your left hand leading and your eyes watching your left hand. Repeat on the other side.
- Start left, but with the right hand a little further back that on the first round: turn and stay to the right. Move your head and eyes to the right (leaving the hand and rest of the body still) and then back to looking at the left hand. Don’t drop off the horizon line. You can also ease the movement by lifting your left ischium. Check initial movement: farther?
- Start right, placing left hand as far left as comfortably possible: Turn and stay to the left. Move your head and eyes further to the left (leaving the hand and rest of the body still), and then look with your eyes back to the right hand and to the left. Do the movement first with the left eye shut, then with the right eye shut, and then with both eyes open. Check how far you turn. Repeat on the other side.
- Start left: Turn and stay to the right. Move your head and eyes to the left (leaving the hand and rest of the body still) and then back to seeing the left hand. Then do the movement with one eye shut and then the other. Repeat on the other side.
- Start left: Turn and stay to the right. Place both hands on the floor. Turn your shoulders to the right and left. First move your head in the opposite direction of the shoulders. Then move the head with the shoulders. Change directions without interfering with swinging.
- Start left: Put your left hand on top of your head. Move your right ear toward your right shoulder and then your left ear toward your left shoulder. Repeat on the other side. Help with movement of spine opposite.
- Sit on the floor with both feet to the right. Swing your body and arms to the right and left. Alternate having the head and eyes go with the trunk and in the opposite direction of the trunk.
- Standing: swing your body and arms to the right and left. Lift your heels as you swing. Alternate having the head and eyes go with the trunk and in the opposite direction of the trunk.
Focus of Moshe’s Teaching
- Eyes not interfering with movement; smoothness. In the beginning, comparing eyes open and closed; at the end, comparing eyes/head going with and against the movement of the rest of the body.
- Every organ has more than one function: ear for hearing/balance; eyes for seeing/coordinating movement
- Greater effort does not mean better movement.
Share Your Insights (ideas, principles, strategies, experiences, …)
- Find the connection between pelvic movements and head movements, and in between the side bending of rib-cage
- As Moshe says in this ATM, “Improved differentiation of the movements of the various parts of the body and of the relation between them leads to a lessing of the tonus (the degree of contraction caused by the involuntary centers) and a real increase in conscious control.”– yedwab Sep 5, 2010
- As LeReid observes in Turning while sitting, “The hand hanging in front of the face is a constraint that keeps the twisting from happening in the neck and upper spine, usually the parts we recruit exclusively for twisting the head.”– yedwab Sep 11, 2010
- See discussion–I don’t really think that any more! – LynetteReid Sep 8, 2011
- Notes Gail Thompson took on a talk by Larry Goldfarb:Larry-Goldfarb-talk-on-ATM-book-lesson-10
- More ease in turning– yedwab Sep 5, 2010
- More conscious of shoulders and how to relax/undo strain
- Improve action by enabling the heads and eyes to be free and independent of the movement.– yedwab Sep 5, 2010
- Freedom in/oiling of hips and spine (swinging your arms in side-sitting is a really a distinguishing feature of this particular dead bird lesson) – LynetteReid Sep 8, 2011
- You’re leaning on your hand to rest/shut off the back extensors (see Dead Bird in SF Training). At the same time, you don’t want to see people collapsing their spines and shortening their necks. So he admonishes people not to use effort in the back to sit upright, but to think of being lifted from the hair so that the back of the neck doesn’t shorten. This makes a big difference. – LynetteReid Sep 8, 2011
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