We’re finishing up this series—this is the fourth last class perhaps for the next year—with some classic lessons. Whatever a “classic” lesson means! It’s surprising how much of a voyage of discovery a familiar lesson can be. Side-sitting, your explore how combining different coordinations of your eyes, shoulders, head—and everything that supports all that, down to your toes—expands your possibilities for action.
The “dead bird” is a classic lesson. The image refers to the way you hang the arm in front of the face, at eye level or a little lower–with the wrist limp, like a dead bird’s wing. I was listening to Moshe teaching it at Amherst. He says, maybe it’s an intelligent bird’s wing. Not a bird mindlessly using energy or effort to hold the wrist stiff…
Kicking off our first fall 2011 series with a lesson differentiating the eyes.
WARNING: I was playing with a non-standard interpretation of the arm/hand position. Don’t bother–it creates strain and doesn’t contribute to learning. Use the “normal” dead bird position (arm lifted forward and bent in the elbow, hand hanging loose in front of the face, so you look at or just over the back of the hand).
If you’re a seasoned Feldenkrais person, I’m curious what you think about the arm position as I teach it here. Looking back at the lesson in the ATM book, it’s ambiguous between starting with the arm long and bending as you turn, and starting with it bent. I’m curious what you think about trying it this way. Discussion at Feldy Notebook: http://feldynotebook.wikispaces.com/Movement+of+the+Eyes+Organizes+the+Movement+of+the+Body
You’ll also notice that I actually mess up the instructions for eye-head differentiation. Mea culpa. See above outline at Feldy Notebook (or the ATM book itself) for the right variations.
This “classic” lesson (we call the theme the “dead bird” lesson) works in sitting, and shows the surprising power of the eyes to organize movement–or, perhaps better, your willingness and availability to move.