Your study guide for ATM lessons



In a variety of basic configurations (sitting cross-legged, lying face up, face down, and on the side), and using a finger on the temple held still in space, you refine taking your head in a circle (touching that finger around its circumference), with your face/nose forwards the whole time

Lesson Outline

  1. Do a scan focused on neck and spine.
  2. Sit cross legged, or on edge of chair, so you are comfortable. Imagine pencil at top of head.
    • Draw a small circle with the pencil on a board.
    • Listen so you know where the head and the pencil tip are.
    • Make sure you draw a circle, with an upright pencil using the vertebrae of the neck, not the atlas of your spine.
  3. Change the direction of the circle.
    • Make sure that you are doing this with your spine, with the pencil as extension of your spine.
    • Check that that you know where this movement is easy and where it is sticky.
  4. Place your right index finger on your left temple.
    • Move your head so that circumference touches the ideally stationary finger. If the hand moves be aware of that and start again.
  5. The nose remains vertical, facing forward. It is the head that moves.
    • The movement is in the top two vertebrae of the neck.M/li>
    • REST in sitting
  6. Place your left index finger on the right temple and do the same movement. It has possibly occurred to you that if you don’t have your elbow higher than your hand you get in your own way. Be kind and curious, not demanding about this. You are not an owl…
    • Lie on your back and REST
  7. Keep you legs long and imagine the pencil at the top of your head.
    • Lift your head and and turn it to draw a circle on the wall above (not the ceiling!)
    • Pay attention to how the neck is now moving.
    • REST
  8. Do the same movement in the opposite direction.
    • REST
  9. Turn to your stomach and put your right index finger on left temple. Move the head around the finger. Your right elbow will be in the air. Again the face is still forward, not turning from left to right.
  10. With finger in same place, change the direction of the circle.
    • You are drawing a circlet of ribbon around your head, with the head. The finger is stationary. It is hard to resist the desire to complete the circle and that’s when the elbow moves.
    • REST
  11. Put left finger on right temple, and move the head. What’s different?
    • Change direction.
    • REST
  12. What has changed? There are different ways to move your head. It depends on whether the lower vertebrae of the neck, or those under the atlas move. The two can be combined, and some people do it in the same movement. It is how asymmetry occurs.
    • As much as you exercise one side will be different than the other, but this lesson can help break some habits. That is why it is sometimes difficult.
  13. Stay on your back, but sit up enough to lean on your elbows, forearms and palms . Think about where the top of your head has the pencil and draw a circle a few times.
    • Notice what your shoulders do, each will freeze in some place. Continue moving your head and find out if you can gradually move so that you do the movement with the shoulders together. This will help you differentiate your spine from your shoulders, which many of us don’t do. This encourages movement in C7 at the base of the neck and is much more effective than massage.
    • You might find the circle is much smaller, but clear.
    • REST
  14. Return to leaning on forearms. Think about the finger on temple and move so that the head touches the finger as you turn the head.
    • Imagining this touch at all points can be difficult but can inform you.
  15. Now lean on your left elbow and take your right hand to the left temple by reaching over your head, and move the head around the finger. Ensure the right elbow stays stationary…watch it!
    • The point is to find where the difficulty lies.
    • Work gently to find ways to make it easier.
    • REST
  16. Come back to leaning on your forearms in, and lift your left hand. Again take your head around the finger, doing the opposite direction you did before. You are looking to move your head (NOT the finger or hand!)
    • 360 degrees, touching the finger. Your face is forward, looking neither left nor right.
    • This is not likely to be instinctual. It is learned, so your mind needs to be ope, and allow yourself to correct where habit takes over. Slowly will identify the areas that occurs. Each of us will have different areas where we lose connection, and we can identify the lack of connection in back and shoulders.
    • REST Notice sensations in head, face, mouth and eyes as well as in the back.
  17. Comeback into sitting. Put hands on your hips, draw a circle with the pencil at the top of your head in one direction and then the other. How does it feel in comparison with the beginning of the lesson.
    • Change to thinking about moving the head around an object hanging from ceiling. Pay attention to when your face turns away from the center. It is interesting to find the way the vertebrae change with different places
    • In your thoughts still, change the direction of the circle, seeing where it changes against the imaginary pendulum
    • Use your finger and actually feel the circle twice and then again imagine the movement, and notice the difference between thought and action.
    • Change hands and do the movement for a couple of turns and then used imagination in each direction.
    • REST
  18. Lie on your right side and lift your head a little from the floor. Again repeat the first movement with the pencil and see the challenges this poses.
    • Still lying on your side, not leaning on your elbow. Now do the same movement with help from your left hand, marking the circle.
    • REST
  19. Turn to your left side and draw with a pencil above your head. Again repeat the first movement with the pencil and see the challenges this poses.
    • Still lying on your side, not leaning on your elbow. Now do the same movement with help from your right hand, marking the circle.
  20. Sit again as at the beginning of the class.
    • Imagine the pencil and do the first movement of the class, just draw a circle on the ceiling.
    • Directly from the transcript “Continue making the movement thinking the movement is a continuation of the spine. At the same time begin thinking of of the movement at your circumference. Try to do these two things simultaneously.
    • Listen to the top of your head and to the object that goes around your the circumference of your head.
    • Discover those sections where you can only think about one movement. At certain points other parts you will only be able to think of the other. Which ones are the difficult area?
    • It is difficult. You can see when someone doesn’t realize he he is not making a circle and believes he is effective. That is why it is important to touch your hand to your head. That helps you feel what you are doing.
  21. Change the direction and be aware of the circumference and touch your index to temple, As you do the movement, think less about the circumference and focus on what the top of your head is doing. As you do this drop your hand and feel the top of your head and the circumference at the same time.
    • Lower your hand, from your head.
    • Pay attention to each of the movements separately and then simultaneously.
    • How does your thinking change the movement? They are two different movements.
    • REST
  22. Lie on your back and see if there are differences there
  23. Roll to your side and come into standing. What feels different there?

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