Collection from Olena Nitefor (feldyforum from 14 OCT 2013)
Here is a list of ATMs which I teach in relation to accessing and reawakening the upper thoracic region and base of the neck, so that the head can be ever more fully independent. Pecking lessons are one approach to excavating these regions from their habituated fixations and from our inability to sense ourselves accurately.
I don’t know if this speaks to the original query. The question of freedom at the base of the neck and of upper thoracics comes into play when one studies AY #274 and #275 Introduction to walking, both standing lessons in which we are asked to keep the head in the middle, while shifting weight underneath. Starting an ATM workshop with this ATM and then supplying experiences through which the capacity to shift left and right while keeping the base of the skull still (in standing), is an exciting ride to assemble.
The capacity to shift the base of the neck (C7) over one leg or the other (or forward and back) while maintaining the head in space is difficult to image let alone actually sense. It’s amazing to watch “us practitioners” flub around while working at this. The best quote that comes to mind is Moshe saying in AY #374,“The majority will do what they do not want to do and think they are doing what they want to.” The effects on balance and lightness of the legs, when the head can float in this way, are sublime!
Here are some of my favorite AY lessons leading to these discoveries and abilities. They include pecking, but certainly are not restricted to them. This is a list of ATMs, not an order in which I have, or might, sequence them.
AY #391 Tying the upper arms. A wonderful doozy for the base of the neck. Once on the belly, be attentive that people let the head hang forward and not turn it to one side or another. Also, bringing the arm underneath the chest (lying on stomach) it is easy to “lose” the learning opportunity if folks bring only the humerus forward and do not think of bringing the shoulder forward underneath the chin. (This will make sense when you study the lesson) And, when rolling the pelvis, watch how people will roll it to the “easy side” which does not really effect the base of the neck.
AY #436 Head and shoulders. Extraordinary means to awaken the upper and mid thoracic in the global capacity of C7 shifting over each side of the pelvis. Mid lesson, when the hand is on the floor and you are asked to push the ribs, be attentive that it is really the widest part of the rib cage that is being pushed, not the pelvis. If you let the “ribcage shift” move the pelvis, rather than having the push push the pelvis… ooh la la, the difference of how this affects the top of the thoracics is amazing. Also… when taking the shoulders up and down in relation to movements of the head, really read Moshe’s words when he asks how this effects the spine. How is the shoulder being taken downward… towards the spine, or not? The deepest effects are in these details.
AY # 455 On chair differentiated turning, is a great follow up for #60 On the stomach. Both of these, when approached clearly and delicately, can really begin to awaken the capacity to shift the base of neck.
AY #220 Hands behind. This is the ATM that Peggi Honig mentioned where, at the end, the chin comes forward as if pulled by a beard.
AY #68 Rolling fists and two Chanukia lessons, AY #257 and AY #18 are great for awakening the base of neck, breastbone and clavicles. Especially, if in rolling fists, when one fist rolls up and the other down, you can find a way to actually have the breastbone “roll towards” rather than “shift away from” the lengthening arm.
AY #129 Pecking has been mentioned and
AY #264 Hands behind the legs is a vigorous version. The legs are active in all kinds of directions as one pecks with the arms behind the back.
AY #368 Lifting the head by extending the arms is elegant and multi directional… connecting the angle of the lengthening arms to catching the base of the neck. This works beautifully if you can verbally direct the angles at which people lengthen the arms, so that the base of the neck is actually “pulled” and engaged by the vectors of pull.
The sitting lessons that someone (I think Peggi) mentioned are in the high 400’s.
#478 Chin movement on a chair
#481 12:00 with the chin/12:00 with the head
And… I have a particular fondness for one of the “simpler” lessons as a means of becoming articulate at the base of the neck in relation to the whole skeleton/self. It is:
AY #341 Simpler on the stomach and back
Of all these ATMs I have two recorded and available for free on OpenATM.org. Here is the link. http://openatm.org/olena.html
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