- Alexander Yanai Vol 3 #124
- Reel 9, Track 4, Lesson 1
This lesson works to reduce effort in the dominant hand, arm, and shoulder.
- Lie on your back Notice movement of the breath How does your pelvis lie on the floor? Your shoulder girdle?
- Bring your attention to your dominant hand, the hand you do more of your fine work, eg writing, with if there is a lot of pain in your dominant hand, then use the other hand a little achiness in the dominant hand, go ahead a use it get a sense of the size and shape of your dominant hand what part of your hand is on the floor? Is your hand more open or curled? What is your palm like? Back of hand? fingers?
- Stand your feet, bend the elbow of the arm that includes the dominant hand. Make your forearm vertical. The back of your hand is continuous with the back of your forearm. Now, let your fingers go; let your hand curl or assume another natural shape. Begin to let the wrist soften, relax, and bend. The fingers and hand drop down very slowly. Without actively moving your hand, let it sink. Then, stand the hand up again. Then let your hand slowly come down towards your belly again. times. Rest.
- Bend the same elbow, stand the hand above the wrist. Stand the feet. Bend at the wrist 3 times, but do this 2 times more slowly than you did it before.
- Rest. Notice any difference in the size of the hand you have been using. Is there a difference in the shape of the hand as it rests?
- Stand elbow, bring the forearm upright. Let hand soften passively. Soften in the wrist. Only let your wrist go as far as it can comfortably. Is there any movement in the fingers? Let the wrist soften 5 times and each time observe a different finger.
- Rest. Compare sides of face, chest.
- Stand feet. Same position of arm. Let wrist go. Start with thumb and make tiny movements with thumb, keeping other fingers still. Make tiny movements with thumb while hand hangs down. Then do the same with index, middle, ring, pinky. Use the smallest possible effort. Rest.
- Stand feet. Slide both legs long, then bring them up. Repeat, pushing into the heels. Do one at a time if you can’t comfortably do both. Rest.
- Stand feet. Bend at same elbow. Stand hand above wrist, then let hand rest and come down. Now turn hand toward face. Did you lift your hand? How do you know your fingers are closer to your face? Is there a change in sensation in your face? Rest with feet standing.
- Turn hand comfortably, softly away from face, with fingers and hand hanging down. Move like a breeze is moving your hand. Rest.
- Stand feet, bend same elbow, stand hand. Soften the wrist, letting fingers hang. Turn your hand toward your face. In that position erect your hand, then let the wrist soften. Pause and bring our arm down.
- Bend at the elbow, soften the wrist. Turn hand away from your head. Erect your hand, then soften a few times. Rest.
- Stand feet. Slide both legs long, then bring them up. Repeat, pushing into the heels. Do one at a time if you can’t comfortably do both. Rest.
- Stand feet. Bend elbow, making forearm vertical. Soften wrist. Turn hand so it is more toward our face. Erect and soften hand and wrist. Turn your arm 10-15 degrees, and erect and soften in this orientation. Repeat until hand is pointing as far away from your face as it can comfortably. Continue, going back to your face. Rest.
- Bring feet to stand. Bend elbow, forearm vertical, relax wrist in position most comfortable. Now lift elbow a little bit and return to floor. Slowly, float arm up again, a little more. Keep going a little more each time. Use any part of the body to raise the arm up. Keep wrist relaxed, back of wrist oriented toward the ceiling. Don’t lock the elbow but get it near straight. Rest.
- Stand feet. Bend elbow. Stand hand and soften wrist. Float arm up toward ceiling. With arm up, turn whole arm, as though in a cylinder. Keep wrist soft. Rest.
- Stand feet, arm, hand. Soften wrist. Float arm to vertical.
- Make a circle with the hand. Back of hand to ceiling. Feel a smaller cirle in the shoulder blade?
- Same position, but draw circle in the other direction. Is wrist bent? Fingers hanging down? Is your chest available to allow this to happen? Rest.
- Same position, with arm lengthened. Tap shoulder blade on the floor. Rest.
- Same position with arm extended and then swing your arm toward feet, then toward head, keeping wrist soft, fingers down. Small swing. Feel contact with shoulder blade move. Pause. Swing arm side to side.
- Rest. What is happening on the side of your neck? What about the eye on that side?
- Stand feet, arm, hand. Relax wrist. Bring the pads of pinky and thumb towards each other. If you can bring them to touch, rub them together. Rest.
- Bend knees, feet stand, bend elbow. Bring pads of pinky and thumb towads each other. Can you stand hand and other 3 fingers? Let that go and rest.
- Stand feet. Slide both legs long, then bring them up. Repeat, pushing into the heels. Rest.
- Stand feet, arm, hand. Let wrist go. Turn arm toward head and away. Let elbow rise up, keeping wrist relaxed, and keep turning arm. Come down and then back up. Keep hand hanging down. Rest.
- Stand feet, arm; let wrist go. Let arm float up and make a circle. Let hand down. Reverse direction. Rest.
- Feet stand. Place back of hand on breast bone, finger toward public bone. Press gently. Wrist is bent, elbow comes in a little.
- Rest. Sense the hand you’ve been using. Feel all that side.
- Come to standing. Is one hand lower? One shoulder? Is one eye more open?
This lesson is done lying on the back, legs long, and works only with the dominant hand. The key movements are:
- Stand elbow, exploring erecting the hand and letting it slowly fall forward, and explore turning the hand
- Detailed attention to how fingers participate.
- Find resting point of shoulder on ground:
- Straighten elbow, lengthen spine.
- Straighten arm, explore pendulum, including with hand facing different directions.
- Lift shoulder off floor, exploring tapping to find resting point, and repeat early movements with this clarity
- With elbow on ground, take thumb towards little finger and vice versa, and then place thumb on fingernail of little finger, and hang hand. Bend and straighten the three remaining fingers.
- Return to standing long arm on tapping point.
- Draw cone around resting point.
- Back of hand on sternum, elbow circles, pendulums
- Compare sides: arm length, lifting arm forward, turning
|#||Preparation||Action to be repeated and explored||Hints & Comments||Approximations to look out for|
|1||Lie on back. Stand dominant hand on elbow.||Hang the hand and lift it to vertical.||Slow: throughout you’re giving the sense of letting the hand fall in a slow, controlled way.||People taking the hand backwards, not just to the vertical. You can have everyone do this to clarify.|
|2||Pay attention to fingers: does each move separately?|
|Close eyes.||Move only thumb, and each finger in order.||Which fingers move with the one you’re moving?
Hinting that this will affect the whole side.
|3||Hang the hand and lift to vertical.||When you lift the hand, do the fingers bend or straighten?|
|Hang hand.||Turn hand towards the face and away from the face.||As if the wind is turning the hand.
What limits the hand moving in each direction?
|Turn hand outwards and stay.||Erect and lower hand.||Start to hint about the strain in the dominant hand, and this interferes with breathing, length of spine.|
|Turn hand inwards, towards face.||Erect and lower hand.||As if it hangs down and straightens by itself.|
|4||With hand turns towards face.||As though the wind lifts from the elbow, begin to lift the arm towards straightening it (loosely), a half-centimetre at a time.||Lengthen spine, floating, imagine someone pulling from head and you don’t resist.|
|Stay with arm extended.||Make a pendulum up and down. (Towards head and leg.)|
|Turn fingers outwards.||Same pendulum.|
|Neutral rotation of arm.||Same pendulum.|
|Same.||Tap shoulder blade.||Tiny lifting–just the shoulder blade.|
|Same.||Oscillations (pendulum) left and right with arm.|
|Stand elbow on floor.||Erect and lower hand.||How each finger moves away from the others.|
|5||Same, hand to ceiling.||Move thumb towards little finger.|
|Same.||Move little finger towards thumb. Touching on the nail.
|What else moves.|
|Touch tip of thumb with tip of little finger. Hang hand.||Do fingers straighten and bend?
Stay hanging, and straighten and bend the three fingers.
|Switch thumb and little finger.||Do the same.|
|6||Hand standing on elbow.||Run through raising and lowering hand, turning hand, lifting elbow to more-or-less straight arm. Tap shoulder blade until clear.|
|Pendulum in a circle around the point the shoulder blade is standing on. Other direction.||As though it’s happening by itself.|
|7||Bend at elbow and place back of hand on sternum.||Tap shoulder blade.|
|Take the elbow in pendulum direction, head and legs.
Pendulum right and left.
Draw circle with elbow.
|REST||Which arm longer?|
|8||Stand||Lift arm you didn’t work with. Arm you did work with.|
|Turn whole body to side you didn’t work. Side you did work.|
Focus of Moshe’s Teaching
Focus on moving slowly, with delicate movements, like the wind is pushing you.
- “The active [dominant] hand of everyone is too strained–everyone, without exception. With everyone, it interferes with the breathing. With everyone it shortens the spine.” p. 823
- “The more you will cease to strain the hand and free the brain from worries, the more it will be possible to free oneself and notice what is done with the fingers. Later you will see what this does to you.”
- Dominant Hand, Homunculus and Motor Cortex:
- Other ATMs use the idea of tapping the shoulder blade–finding this particular point that taps.
- The following ATM is working with the extensors of the hand (face down and face up, differentiating fingers in lifting the hand backwards or pressing the fingernails on the floor to lift the palm).
- The bell hand ATMs similarly address the overall state of agitation/calm of the nervous system via the hands.
- See also Theme Shoulders
Share Your Insights (ideas, principles, strategies, experiences, …)
- The focus of this ATM is on reducing parasitic movement.
- This lesson is one-sided, uses a clock, starts distal and gradually involves more proximal movement, and uses timing changes to focus awareness.
- Typical results: Profound relaxation of one side of the body, including the eyes, face, and neck. One arm feels longer, body lies flatter on that side, side of face feels softer and lower. Participants often get sleepy.
- I’ve used this lesson in workshops for comfortable computing, and knitting, and it would be good for anywhere a person needs to relax effort. It is good for demonstrating how powerful a relaxation-effect Feldenkrais can have, and could also be useful when teaching techniques to allow the body to relax enough to sleep. – IPasternack Sep 15, 2010
- It can be modified to be done at a desk. – IPasternack Sep 15, 2010
- The back of the hand on the sternum and building elbow circles is a nice add-on in any ATM or FI when you’re trying to get more thoracic movement. – IPasternack Sep 15, 2010
- This one is easy to turn into an FI. A soft slightly-underinflated 3-4″ ball can be used to increase feedback in the hand. – IPasternack Sep 15, 2010
- I love this one because I do a lot of computer work, and if my wrist or shoulder starts getting sore at work, I can stand my elbow on my desk, and repeat a few of the movements from the lesson, and my whole right side quickly relaxes. – IPasternack Sep 15, 2010
- I read the instructions about which hand to use a little differently: that he says to use the dominant hand OR to use the hand where that hand or that side of the neck has more pain. This is an unusual instruction, but I read him to be saying that the point is to lower the unnecessary tension or work in the hand in which we focus too much effort, and that would certainly be case for the dominant hand, but could also be the hand in which there is discomfort. – LynetteReid Mar 19, 2012
- He is addressing and differentiating the flexors of the forearm. Holding the thumb with the little finger while extending the other fingers (especially the ring finger) is extremely “difficult” in the sense that the flexors of the fingers have to differentiate, and the ring and small fingers are particularly poorly differentiated. – LynetteReid Mar 19, 2012
- You could see the whole step of making the pendulum cone around the point in the shoulder blade with the long arm as preparation for making the cone with the back of the hand on the chest. In that case, with the back of the hand resting on the chest, you are in effect going through the action of the wrist (while it’s in flexion) in a passive manner. He actually emphasizes the action of the clavicle and shoulder blade in doing this last instruction, so what I suggest is not what he actually directs attention to. – LynetteReid Mar 19, 2012
- I’ve often wondered about the tapping the shoulder blade, and in this lesson it really comes across to me as being about establishing the point of the cone around which the minimal pendulum movement happens–so the pendulum is actually a very differentiated movement of the humerus in the glenoid fossa.
- I wonder about the order — he starts the up-down and left-right pendulum of the arm extended to the ceiling, and then he moves to the action of opposition and the three inner fingers moving independently of the thumb and little finger, and then returns to the full circular pendulum. Why?
- In my experience of the lesson, the movement of opposition creates a fine tuning of the ligaments and muscles in the palm itself – the “flat” area of the hand – Moshe doesn’t address this area explicitly, he only mentions the fingers and the wrist during the lesson, but I think the role of the opposition movements here is to integrate this “middle” area of the palm into the movement, so that the palm is able to softly react to the wind image and to be a part of the hand and arm’s ability to create micro-movements that help it to balance itself in the following pendulum section (LiatBG)
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