Sitting, lift foot lying on hands towards head in circle; face up, same movement with foot, and lifting head; open leg/foot to side and roll; and so on to sit. Second half done in imagination, hence the connection to perfecting the self-image.

Lesson Outline

  • In sitting, soles touching, tilt right heel up and slide right hand under so heel rests in palm, with thumb aligned to hand.
    • Insert thumb of left hand between the big and second toe of the right foot and then grasp the four little toes.
    • Use hands to lift & lower the foot in a circle, first up and away from the body, then towards the body before descending.
    • Repeat many times, exhaling as you raise the foot, and allowing the head to drop forward towards the top of the arc.
    • Look for ease & elegance, allowing shoulders, torso, pelvis, etc. to become involved (stop ‘trying’ – see below).
  • From lying, stand feet and allow knees to drop out, so soles are touching again, raise right foot and grasp as before, with both arms between the knees, and repeat the the previous movement in this plane, allowing head to rise and looking for ease.
  • Repeat, but allowing the pelvis and head to move to the right (side-bending); if easy allow the body to come to side-sitting.
  • Repeat, but allow the left foot to help bring the body to side-sitting
  • Repeat, paying attention to how the arc of the head, close to the floor and moving towards the knee, can assist.
  • From sitting, check the reference movement (1st move) and then, with right foot still in air, simultaneously move left leg behind, lower right foot in front (side-sitting) and allow head and torso to come forward to a comfortable position (over knee or leg).
  • From there rock the trunk from right to left, first in the smallest comfortable movements, gradually increasing the range, until you roll to the right and then on to your back (reverse of previous movement), or if comfortable, even further towards the left side, then use the left leg to push off and roll back up towards sitting, but keeping head low and trunk moving. Repeat many times.
  • Imagine the movement, elegantly executed, first in lying and then in sitting. Check the reference movement.
  • Stand, walk, and observe the difference between the two sides, in the body, face, eyes, and in turning.
  • Lying, knees up, imagine the movement on the left side several times, then come to sitting and try to place the foot on the head.

Focus of Moshe’s Teaching

  • Moshe says to “…stop ‘trying’. ‘Trying’ prevents the movement from becoming easier and wider.”
  • He discusses imagining at length, saying that “thinking the movement in words” is easy, but potentially misses the most important component of change — imagining the feeling of the movement (in the limbs — how the body feels moving with ease).
  • In classes of 40-50 students, Moshe says 90% can touch foot to forehead and the majority can get the foot on top of the head. Lack of awareness of opposition by the antagonists is the common impediment; attention is the remedy.

Related ATMs

Foot to head:



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Share Your Insights (ideas, principles, strategies, experiences, …)

Key Ideas, Principles, and Strategies

  • Rest after each movement to observe the aftereffects (physical movements as well as abstract ones like thinking)
  • Thinking in words is not connected to reality. Thinking the movements is, and here we will run in the same obstacles like with the physical movement.
  • Paying attention to what we do leads to improvement. E.g. we can read a paragraph in a book, even aloud, and will not get the meaning as long as we do not pay attention to that (and what) we are reading.

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