- Esalen Workshop ATM Notes, 1972
- In the Spanish translation, the title is “Exploring the extensors of the back while face down”
This lesson focuses in on working with the impulse from the toes turned under to lift the knees/pelvis and advance the chest/abdomen forwards/upwards on the floor, in various combinations of arms in push-up position, or extended overhead, or down alongside. This is developed to a “hammocking” movement [at least in the Spanish translation that’s what it’s called] and connected to classic extensor lesson moves.
- Face down, with arms resting on floor overhead: flex feet and ankles to plant your toes, and then extend them.
- Turn face L, and do this with the L foot. Other side. Head centre & do both.
- Face down, elbows over hands planted as for a push-up (“this fixes the head in a very specific relationship to the shoulders”): plant the feet, and push so that your knees come off the floor and you move your body up (along the floor).
- Spends some time refining the spread of the legs so they are more symmetrical: face down in the middle, move one leg L & R and the other, and both.
- Then return to previous movement, sense where the pressure moves on the abdomen and chest; speed it up to rocking.
- Same thing with head lifted; with face turn L and using R leg; vice versa; then with L arm long overhead (R elbow still standing over hand), use the impulse from the opposite foot to lengthen the arm; try this with the face looking each way, and see which direction of the head helps you lengthen the arm farther, so the armpit touches the floor. Stay in the most lengthened position, and turn the head. You are trying to equalize the movement with one or the other ear on the floor. Do the same thing with L hand palm up: much harder. Compare.
- Do the same thing on the other side. You are gradually differentiating the movement of the core from the rotation of the arm (palm up/down).
- Face down with both arms extended overhead, plant toes: push up to lengthen passively both arms, and slide your body on the floor. You start lifting knees, then gradually you can lift our pelvis. Then simple and fast.Then do it just with L leg (R foot lies extended) and vice versa.
- With both feet standing and knees in the air, alternate pushing with one foot and the other, so your tailbone waves in the air–chest and shoulders quiet.
- Stand hands over elbows, and continue pushing the body forward, changing the direction of the head from one side to another.
- Look R, L arm down alongside and palm up, R arm overhead [?], and use impulse from feet. Do all combinations of head turn, one foot or the other or both, arms switched over….
- Face down, hands planted for pushup: look up and down along floor, up wall, along ceiling–like following a rat [is that just the Spanish translation?]. With just one eye, and the other.
- Then arms alongside and toes planted: lift knees and pelvis as far as possible, with head on each side.
- Then elbows standing over hands as for a push up, toes under, impulse to lift knees and pelvis–“hammock” back and forth.
- Face up: do a few flexor movements for balance before you sit and stand up.
Focus of Moshe’s Teaching
Freedom: developing flexibility (of the mind) and differentiation, so that the impulse from either or both feet can support any combination of head, arms, shoulders.
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