On Your Feet: Notes for an Introduction to Feldenkrais Movement Re-education & the Biomechanics of Human Gait

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On Your Feet: Notes for an Introduction to Feldenkrais Movement Re-education & the Biomechanics of Human Gait

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On Your Feet Notes for an introduction to Feldenkrais® movement re-education & the biomechanics of human gait

by Lawrence Wm. Goldfarb, CFT, Ph.D.

Nederlands Paramedisch Institut 17—19 October 2002

© Copyright, 1992 Mind In Motion All Rights Reserved

Table of Contents Introduction ...................................................................................................................2 Moving Beyond Habits ................................................................................................2 The Text ..........................................................................................................................3 No Pain, More Gain ......................................................................................................3 Check-In Check List......................................................................................................5 Standing as Balancing...................................................................................................7 The Tripod......................................................................................................................11 Differentiating the Foot ................................................................................................15 Side to Side.....................................................................................................................17 Walking on the Wall .....................................................................................................24 Twist and Sit ..................................................................................................................29 Bibliography ..................................................................................................................34

For further information about this course and others, contact:

P.O. Box 2778 Santa Cruz, CA USA 95063-2778 [1] (831) 459-8173



[1] (831) 459-8174

[email protected] www.mindinmotion-online.com

The terms Feldenkrais® and Feldenkrais Method® are registered marks of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America.

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Introduction On Your Feet is designed to teach you, and your clients, about the design of the foot for support, propulsion and balance. What is more important, On Your Feet teaches how to put that design into action. This handbook presents a series of movement lessons based on the Feldenkrais Method. The Feldenkrais Method, developed by physicist and martial artist Moshe Feldenkrais (1904--1984), provides a comprehensive understanding of the human design for comfortable, graceful motion and offers a profoundly effective approach for learning how to make use of this potential. The On Your Feet lessons focus on several themes: q Developing adaptive and "intelligent" feet. q Refining the relationship of the leg and pelvis to the action of the foot. q Improving the whole body patterns that underlie gait. These lessons are equally applicable for those who want to recover from injury, illness or accident, improve athletic or artistic performance, prevent injury, and improve the quality of everyday movements. As with all movement based programs, each person interested in using the program, especially those with pain or movement limitations, should use these notes only under the guidance of movement or rehabilitation professional.

Moving Beyond Habits Each of the lessons consists of a series of movements that fit together to form a meaningful sequence. These lessons are not exercises in the normal use of the word. Instead, Feldenkrais lessons are guided formats carefully constructed to bring the student to a new sensory appreciation and conceptual understanding of her or his movement abilities. The main obstacles to easy, efficient action are the habitual, unconscious aspects of our movements. As these lessons guide you to a new awareness of selflimiting habits, you learn to move beyond these limitations. A central theme to each sequence, even those that emphasize the small motions of the foot, is how the whole person, all of you, can be involved in each movement. Other themes include learning about your capacity for easy and pain-free movement, changing through awareness rather than effort, learning to learn, and tapping into the possibilities, inherent in each of us, for further improvement. ON YOUR FEET page – 2 –

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The Text The purpose of this text is to guide the student or students through the movements so that each person can find his or her way of doing the movement. The text is a script that presents the lesson exactly as a Feldenkrais practitioner might give the lesson to a group of students. A teacher or therapist can read the text aloud, or, if you are using this text on your own, you can read it into a tape recorder and played back. One important aspect to remember when doing these lessons is to allow enough time for the student or students to do each movement many times and ample time for each rest period. When done in an easy, unhurried fashion, each lesson should take a total of 45--50 (forty-five to fifty) minutes.

No Pain, More Gain How you approach these movements is of utmost importance. If you were to perform these sequences as some sort of exercise, repeating each movement a certain number of times, straining, moving against resistance, and not paying attention to how you move, you would receive little, if any, benefit. Unlike strengthening or flexibility exercises, these lessons do not require struggling, making great effort, and forcing. These lessons are for learning how to improve the way you move. Do every movement in this text slowly and gently, without forcing, pushing, or stretching. Direct your attention to the quality, rather than quantity, of your movement. In each action, use the minimal amount of effort possible and strive for a smooth, continuous movement. That is to say, perform a movement without any little stops and starts, without unevenness in effort or motion. If, at any time, you notice discomfort, further decrease the range and effort of your movement until it is comfortable. If you cannot make a specific movement without discomfort or strain, do that movement only in your imagination. Do all the movements at your own rate. Move at comfortable pace, as long as you move slowly. As Feldenkrais was fond of reminding his students, "Move slowly to learn quickly." You will notice that there are many rests in each lesson. The design of each of these lessons allows you the opportunity to reflect upon the effect of the ON YOUR FEET page – 3 –

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movements just completed. The rests also serve to break the rhythm of moving and to give you a chance to notice if the contact with the floor, or whatever the supporting surface you are on, has changed. You encouraged to rest at any other time you like. This gentle way of moving is necessary for learning to move differently: more easily, more efficiently, more comfortably. Though you will notice that the lessons lead to everyday standing and walking becoming easier, these lessons are not meant to suggest that you perform everyday movements at this slow speed. You are, however, invited to explore decreasing the effort in everyday movements to find out if you can make those actions easier.

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Check-In Check List Lie on your back with your knees bent. Rest your arms alongside yourself. Your hands can be on the floor or on your belly, whichever is most comfortable for you. Notice how your right foot is touching the floor. Where is your foot making contact with the floor? On the inside or the outside? Is there more weight at heel or at the ball? How is your left foot touching the floor? Compare your right and left foot. Is one foot making better contact with the floor? Where are your toes pointing? Which heel is closer to your buttocks? Can you answer these questions by feeling where your feet are, without looking at them? Where is your left knee pointing? Directly towards the ceiling? In towards, your right knee, or out, towards the left? How about your right knee? How does the position of your knees relate to the position of your feet? Are your knees closer together than your feet? Or vise versa? Or are you knees directly over your feet? How is your pelvis resting on the floor? Is there your right buttock making more contact than your left? How does the very bottom of your spine rest on the floor? Is your tailbone touching the floor? Is your sacrum, the flat bone above your tailbone and between your hips, touching the floor? How much room is there underneath your lower back?

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How does the rest of your back make contact with the floor? What parts of your mid-back rest on the floor? Does the back of ribcage touch the floor? Where? Does your spine between your shoulders contact the floor? How do your shoulders make contact with the floor? Does one shoulder rest more fully than the other? Does one shoulder feel heavier or flatter? Which elbow is closer to your body? How much room is there under each of your wrists? Are your hands palm up, palm down or resting on the little finger side? Is one hand more open, more relaxed than the other? How much space is there underneath the back of your neck? Is there more space there than underneath the small of your back? Is your right shoulder closer to your right ear than your left shoulder is to your left ear? Vise versa? Or is your head exactly between your shoulders? What part of the back of your head is touching the floor? Are you rolled a little to the right of center? A little to the left? Take a moment to notice all the places that are resting on the floor. Can you take a snapshot of the contact you are making? What sort of impression would leave if you were resting in the sand? Where would the highest hills be? The lowest valleys? How does your breath move your back along the floor? When you inhale, where do you press into the floor? Where do you lift a little? When you exhale, how does your contact with the floor change?

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ON YOUR FEET page – 7 –

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Standing as Balancing Check-in, standing. Notice how you are standing. How is your right foot making contact with the floor? Where is the most contact? On the heel? The ball of the foot? Where is the least contact? Is there more contact on the outside of your right foot? Or the inside? How is your left foot making contact with the floor? Where is the most contact? Where is the least contact? Is there more contact on the outside of your left foot? Or the inside? Is your weight evenly distributed over both feet? If not, on which foot do you have more weight? How do you know? Can you sense any differences between your right and left legs, buttocks, or back? Cross your right leg in front of your left leg and place it on the floor to the left of your left foot. Shift your weight from your left leg to your right. How does your right leg accept the weight? From where did you initiate this motion? How did you accomplish it? Shift your weight to your left foot. Are your thighs pressing against each other or are your knees locked together? Repeat the movement of shifting your weight from your left foot to your right and back, many times. Can you breathe while shifting your weight? Make this movement slow and easy. Stop, bring your legs back to parallel, and rest, standing. Once again, cross your right leg in front of your left leg and place it on the floor to the left of your left foot. Shift your weight from your left leg to your right. Slowly, shift your weight to the front of your right foot and then shift back your whole foot. Repeat this movement many times, making it smooth and continuous. What happens with your right foot when your weight shifts forward? Does your whole body move forward as one piece or do you move just your pelvis? ON YOUR FEET page – 8 –

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Can you try it both ways? Pause for a few moments.

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Return to the position with your right leg crossed in front of, and to the left of, your left leg. Shift your weight onto your right foot. Slowly, shift your weight to the back of your right foot and then return to supporting your weight over your whole right foot. Repeat this movement several times, gently and smoothly. Does your whole body move forward or just your pelvis? Can you try it both ways? Now shift your weight forward and back on your right foot. Do you notice how the rest of yourself is moving? Stop, uncross your legs, and notice how your weight is distributed on your feet. Rest, standing or sitting. Again, cross your right leg in front of your left leg and place it on the floor to the left of your left foot. Slowly shift your weight from your left leg to your right and back. Notice how you do this movement: Are your knees pressing together or are your legs moving separately from one another? Repeat the movement many times, keeping your thighs pressed together. How does this effect the motion of ankles, hips, and back? Pause. Return to the previous position and motion. Continue the movement of shifting your weight between your right and left feet, but now without pressing your thighs together. How does your movement change? Is your body moving as a solid piece? Or are you moving in a differentiated fashion? Does your head move right and left? Forward and back? Can you find a way to do this movement so that your head in one place and your body moves underneath? Think of a juggler balancing a spinning plate on top of stick: the plate stays more or less in one place in space and the juggler moves the stick underneath to keep the plate balanced. Think of your head as the plate and your pelvis as the base of the stick, so that your pelvis is doing the majority of the movement and your head is remaining relatively still. Stop, lie down and rest.

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Return to standing. Notice how your contact is distributed over your feet now. Cross your left leg in front of your right leg and place it on the floor to the right of your right foot. Shift your weight from the back of your right foot to your whole foot, and back, many times. Pause for a moment. Shift your weight from the front of your right foot to your whole foot, and back, many times. Increase the range of your movement, shifting your weight from the back of your right foot to the front of your right foot and then back many times, gently and slowly. Notice how the rest of yourself is participating in the action. Continue by moving your body a whole piece and notice how your head moves. Now continue the movement minimizing the movement of your head and finding a way to allow your pelvis and spine move freely. Stop and rest. Again, cross your left leg in front of your right leg and place it on the floor to the right of your right foot. Shift your weight onto your left leg. Keeping your weight over your left leg, gently shift it from the back of your left foot to your whole foot, and back, many times. Pause. Shift your weight from the front of your left foot to your whole foot, and back, many times. Increase the range of your movement, slowly shifting your weight from the back of your left foot to the front of your left foot and back many times. Can you this by moving your body a whole piece? Continue shifting your weight, but minimize the movement of your head by allowing your pelvis and spine to move freely. Stop and rest. Cross your left leg in front of your right leg, placing it to the right of and in front of your right foot. Shift your weight from your right foot and leg to your left foot and leg, and back. ON YOUR FEET page – 11 –

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Find a way to do this so that your head stays relatively still and your pelvis moves. Repeat the movement many times, allowing your breathing to continue without interruption. Pause for a moment. Cross your left leg in front of your right leg, placing your left foot to the right, and in front, of your right foot. Shift your weight from the front of your left foot to the back of your left foot, then to the back of your right foot, and then to the front of your right foot. Continue, moving your weight around the bottom of your feet in this clockwise circular pattern. Pause. Return to this movement, changing the direction of your movement so as to shift your weight in a counter-clockwise fashion. Stop. Uncross your legs and notice how you are standing now. How is your right foot making contact with the floor? Where is the most contact? On the heel? The ball of the foot? Where is the least contact? Is there more contact on the outside of your right foot? Or the inside? How is your left foot making contact with the floor? Where is the most contact? Where is the least contact? Is there more contact on the outside of your left foot? Or the inside? Is your weight evenly distributed over both feet? If not, on which foot do you have more weight? How do you know? Can you sense any differences between your right and left legs, buttocks, or back? Shift your weight right and left, noticing how you do this movement now.

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The Tripod Check-in. Add a walking section where you notice the support and swing phases. Lying supine, bend both your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Notice the parts of the tripod: the heel, the ball of the foot under the big toe and the ball of the foot under the little toe. How is the tripod of your left foot contacting the floor? Compare with the tripod of your right foot. Slowly lift your left big toe and inner ball from the floor. Do you notice what happens with your left lower leg? Do you notice what happens with your left knee? Repeat the movement many times, very gently. Pause. Slowly, lift your left little toe and outer ball from the floor. What happens with your lower leg? What happens with your left knee? Repeat the movement many times, very gently. Rest, allowing your legs to stretch on the floor if you'd like. Return your knees to the bent position. Slowly, lift your left heel from the floor many times. How does the lifting of your heel change the contact the front of your left foot makes with the floor? Pause. Now lift your left heel and the inside of your foot many times. How does this movement change the contact the front of your left foot makes with the floor? Pause. Lift your left heel and the outside of your foot. How does this movement change the contact the front of your left foot makes with the floor? Pause. Lift your left big toe and inner ball from the floor. Is this movement easier now? Can you repeat this movement without dropping your knee? ON YOUR FEET page – 14 –

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Lift your left little toe and outer ball from the floor. Compare this movement with before. Let your left knee drop slowly in towards your right knee. Keep your left foot flat on the floor & keep your pelvis relatively still. How far can you move without straining? Repeat this movement, within the range of comfort, many times. Rest. Let your left knee drop slowly out, to your left. Keep your left foot flat on the floor & keep your pelvis relatively still. What happens with your lower leg? Pause for a moment. Let your left knee move right and left, still keeping your foot and pelvis flat. Where is this movement occurring? Rest. Let your left knee move the left as far as is easy for you and stop there. Keeping knee to the left, lift and lower the outside of your left foot. Return to your leg and foot to the neutral position. Let the outside of your foot lift and then let your knee move to the left. Reverse this movement (move your knee and then your foot) to return. Repeat this movement leading with your knee. Rest. Let your left knee move to the right as far as easy and stop there. Keeping your knee to the right, lift and lower the inside of your left foot many times. Return to neutral. Let your knee move to the right and then let the inside of your foot lift. Reverse this movement (move your foot then your knee) to return to the beginning position. Explore these variations with your right foot: Pressing each part of the tripod. Move your right knee in and out, without any foot or pelvic motion. ON YOUR FEET page – 15 –

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Move your right knee with your foot, both with your foot leading and with your knee leading the action. Remember to pause between each variation. Rest. Now explore the various combinations: Move your right knee to the right and then move your left knee to the right, while keeping both of your feet flat. Return to the neutral place. Repeat this movement many times, both with your feet following and with your feet leading the motion. Gently roll your right foot onto the inner side and your left foot onto the outer side keeping your knees neutral. Repeat this motion with your knees following and your knees leading. Pause between variations. Repeat these movements and combinations, rolling your feet in the opposite direction. Rest. Coordinate the motion of your feet and legs with pelvic rolling: Repeat the movements of your feet and legs, going right and left while keeping your pelvis still. Then return to this movement with your feet leading, your knees following, and then your pelvis following. Continue this movement with your pelvis now leading the sequence. Rest. Lie supine with your arms at right angles to your torso. Trace a half circle with your right arm over your head, keeping your hand on the floor throughout the motion. Coordinate lifting your right shoulder with movement of reaching to the left. Coordinate turning your head to the left with reaching to left. Rest. Repeat with the overhead half circle with your left arm.

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Rolling variations: Start with your feet and roll sequentially onto your left side, allowing your knees, pelvis, back and head to follow the movement of your feet. Reverse the movement to come onto your back then repeat it your right. Repeat this movement of rolling from side to side many times, keeping the motion sequential and smooth. Pause. Then return to the motion, but start with your head and let the movement progress sequentially to your feet. Rest, comparing contact with check-in. Come to standing and walk. Notice your tripod in the support phase. Notice your tripod in the heel strike. Notice your tripod in the push off. How does contact travel across the bottom of your foot?

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ON YOUR FEET page – 18 –

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Differentiating the Foot Check-in. Focus on right/left differences. Sit up with your right leg crossed in front of your left leg. Gently pull and twist on each toe of your right foot. Rest, on your back. Lying supine, cross your right leg over your left leg. Your right leg rests on your left thigh, above your left knee. Repeat the pulling and twisting motion with your right toes. Rest, again. Sit up again, with your right leg crossed in front of your left leg. With your left hand, flex each of your right toes individually toward the ball of your foot. Your right hand holds the heel of your right foot. Repeat the movement, moving the metatarsal joint of each toe dorsally, to increase the flexion of each toe. Perform this movement gently, with no insistence. Rest on your back again. Lying supine, cross your right leg over your left. With your left hand, gently bring each right toe towards the sole. Repeat the movement with each toe several times. Repeat these movements, pressing at the base of each toe. Rest. Lying on your back, bring your right hand alongside your pelvis. Rest your right hand palm down. Coordinate pressing each finger with pressing each toe, separately. Repeat the pressing with each toe several times. Bend both your knees and cross your right leg over your left again. Touch each of your right fingers to its corresponding toe. Touch the palmar surface of each finger to dorsal surface of each toe. Rest. ON YOUR FEET page – 19 –

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Sit up with right leg comfortably crossed in front of left foot. Touch the pad of each right finger to pad of the corresponding toe. Repeat the movement so that your fingers sense your toes and so that your toes sense each of your fingers. Rest, on your back. While lying on your back, bend both of your knees. Rest your right foot on the right heel, so that the front of your foot is lifted. Gently flex all of the toes of your right foot together. Coordinate this motion with making a fist with your right hand. Rest. Sit-up. Gently separate your right big toe from the second toe. Be very delicate. Repeat this movement several times, without forcing. Repeat this movement with each set of adjacent toes. Explore this action with your toes dorsi-flexed & plantar-flexed. Rest on your back. Lie with your knees bent and your right leg crossed over your left leg. Place the palm of your right hand over back of your right foot. Have each finger plantar flex its respective toe. Repeat each movement several times. Have the fingers of your right hand flex and release all the toes of your foot together. Repeat this movement with your ankle flexed and then with your ankle extended. Hold your toes flexed and then slowly flex & extend your ankle. Lie with both feet flat on the floor and with both of your knees bent. Lift each toe of your right foot from the floor individually. Rest and compare sides.

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Side to Side Check-in.

Lie on your back. Straighten your left leg. Bend your right leg so foot is flat on the floor and your knee is pointing toward the ceiling. Slowly curl (plantar-flex) the toes of your left foot. This movement is as if making a fist with your toes. Go only as far as is easy, using minimal effort. Does your foot move at your ankle when your toes curl? Slowly return the toes of your left foot to the starting position. Repeat this movement many times, curling and straightening the toes of your left foot. Do not move your ankle when you move your toes. Pause. Slowly arch (dorsi-flex) the toes of your left foot. Perform this movement without forcing. Slowly return your toes to the starting position. Repeat this movement many times. Can you make the movement a little smoother, a little more continuous each time? Do all your toes move? Do they each move as much? Do they each move with equal ease? Can you differentiate movement of your toes from movement of your ankle? Repeat movement of your toes without moving your ankle. Rest. Now move your left ankle so that the bottom of your foot moves towards the floor. (This is called plantar flexion of the ankle.) Slowly return to starting position. Repeat movement many times, very slowly. ON YOUR FEET page – 21 –

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When doing this movement, some people curl their toes while others arch their toes. Therefore, neither is necessary for this movement. Can you move ankle without engaging your toes? Pause. Now move your left ankle so that the top of your foot moves towards shin. (This is called dorsi-flexion of the ankle.) Slowly return to starting position. Move as slowly as you can stand, repeating this movement many times. This may be a very small movement, which is fine. Can you move your ankle without engaging your toes? Can you make this movement smooth and continuous? Rest. Now for movements that coordinate your toes your left foot with your left ankle. First, curl your toes and then move your ankle toward the floor. Without straightening your toes, return your ankle to the starting position and then uncurl your toes. Repeat this movement--curling your toes and then straightening your ankle, pause, return your ankle to the starting position and then uncurl your toes--many times. Can you differentiate movement of your toes from movement of your ankle? Can you do this motion smoothly? Pause. Now arch your toes of your left foot and then move your left ankle towards shin. Return your ankle to the starting position and then return your toes to the starting position. Repeat this movement--arching your toes and then dorsi-flexing your ankle, pause, return your ankle to the starting position and then straighten your toes--many times. In this combination, can you differentiate the movement of your toes from the movement of your ankle? Are you breathing while you're moving? Let your right leg straighten out and rest a moment.

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What other combinations of toe and ankle movements can you think of? Bend your right leg again. Arch your toes and then move your foot toward the floor, straightening your ankle. Keeping your toes arched, return your ankle to the starting position and then return your toes to the starting position. Repeat this movement many times. Pause. Curl your toes and then dorsi-flex your ankle, moving your foot toward your shin. Keeping your toes rounded, return your ankle to the starting position and then return your toes to the starting position. Repeat this movement many times, slowly. Rest, straightening out your right leg. Can you compare the feeling of your right foot and leg with that of your left foot and leg? What differences can you notice? (Optional: you can get up and walk around, comparing how each foot and ankle feel as you stand and walk.) Bend your left leg and repeat the foot and ankle movements with your right leg. Curl the toes of your right foot and then return to starting position. Repeat many times without forcing. Pause. Arch the toes of your right foot and then return to initial position. Make movement a little smoother each time. Pause. Straighten your right ankle, moving your foot toward the floor, many times. Pause. Increase the bend of your right ankle, moving the top of your foot toward your shin, many times. Rest. Now perform the combination movements with your right foot and ankle. Curl your toes and straighten your ankle, pause, return your ankle to the starting position, and then straighten your toes. Repeat many times. ON YOUR FEET page – 23 –

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Pause. Arch your toes and bend your foot towards your shin (dorsi-flexing your ankle), pause, return your ankle to the starting position, and then return your toes to the starting position. Repeat many times. Pause. Arch your toes and straighten your ankle, pause, return your ankle to the starting position, and then straighten your toes. Repeat many times and then pause. Curl your toes and bend your foot towards shin (dorsi-flexing your ankle), pause, return your ankle to the starting position, and then return your toes to the starting position. Straighten your left leg and rest.

Lengthen your right leg, sliding your right foot along the floor. Do you point or bend your foot? Do your curl or arch your toes? Return your foot to the starting position. Repeat the movement of sliding your right heel along the floor, away from your torso, and then returning to initial position. Keep ankle in neutral position throughout this movement. What happens with your pelvis? Do you feel movement in your torso? Pause. Now perform the opposite movement with your right leg and foot. Slide your right foot up, towards your torso, without bending your right knee. Return your foot to starting position. Repeat many times, drawing your heel toward you, while keeping your knee straight, and then return to the initial position. Do you feel your hip sliding up towards your shoulder? Pause. Slide your right heel down, away from you, and up, toward you. Repeat this movement many times. ON YOUR FEET page – 24 –

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Remember to keep your knee straight. Breathe as you move. Can you feel your hip and back participate in this movement? Rest. Bring your right palm and fingers to touch on the outside of your right thigh. Slide your right hand down your thigh, toward knee. Allow your shoulder to follow movement of your hand, without straining. Return to the starting position and repeat many times. What movement do you feel in your torso? In your neck? Pause, letting your right hand and arm rest comfortably on the floor. Roll your head toward your right shoulder. Move very slowly. Go only as far as you can go easily, without forcing and without discomfort. Return head to starting position. Repeat movement many times. Side bend your neck, bringing your right ear toward your right shoulder. Can you do this movement without turning your head? Keep your face parallel to the ceiling. Return your head to starting position. Repeat movement many times. It may help lift your head ever so slightly, just enough to decrease friction on back of your head but not enough to lift back of your head completely from floor. Bring your right palm and fingers to touch on the outside of your right thigh, again. Slide your right hand down your thigh, toward your knee. Allow your head to follow movement of your hand, without straining. Return to the starting position and repeat many times. Is it easier to roll your head to right or to bend your neck, bringing your ear to your shoulder? Try the movement each way and compare. Stop and rest.

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Bring your left palm and fingers to touch on the outside of your left thigh. Slide your left hand down your thigh, toward your knee. Allow your upper body to follow movement of your hand, without straining. Return to the starting position and repeat many times. How does the movement on this side compare with the other side? Repeat the movement, rolling your head to the left. Repeat movement with your arm, side bending your head to the left. Return your left hand and arm to the resting position. Rest. Return to the movement of lengthening and shortening your right leg, gently sliding your right heel along the floor. Has this movement become easier or increased in range? Can you feel what happens with your pelvis? What happens with your left leg? Pause. Repeat sliding movement of your heel with your left leg. Slide your left heel away and return to the starting position, with your ankle maintaining a constant angle, many times. Pause. Slide your left heel toward your torso and return, keeping your knee straight, many times. Slide your left heel away and closer, many times. What happens with your right heel? With your pelvis? Rest.

Place your right hand on the outside of your right thigh and your left hand on the outside of your left thigh. Slide your right hand toward your right knee. What happens to your left hand when you do this movement? Does your left hand slide down toward your knee or up toward your hip? Repeat many times. Pause. Switch, sliding your left hand towards your left knee. How do your right hand and arm move?

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Pause. Please place your hands on your thighs again. Slide your right heel and leg away from you. Coordinate this movement with sliding your left foot towards you. Repeat many times. How do your arms and upper body participate in this action? Pause. Repeat the same movement with your feet while sliding your left hand down your left thigh. Does this make the movement easier or more difficult? Pause. Now repeat the same movement with your feet but let your right hand slide down your right thigh and let your head side bend to the right. Pause. Place your hands on your thighs again. Slide your left heel and leg away from you while sliding your left foot up towards you. Coordinate this motion with sliding your left hand down your left thigh. Repeat many times. Pause. Now alternate these movements: first, slide your left heel down, your right heel up, your left hand down and your head to the left and then switch to sliding your right heel down, your left heel up, your right hand down and your head to the right. Continue bending from side to side, allowing your whole self to participate in the movement. Stop and rest. Notice how you are contacting the floor. When you're ready, roll to one side, sit up and then stand up. Notice how your feet contact the floor and how your weight is distributed over them. Slowly, walk around.

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Walking on the Wall Check-in. Standing. Notice distribution of weight over tripod of right foot and over tripod of left foot. Interlace your fingers and put your arms on the wall in front of your forehead. Rest your elbows, forearms and hands on the wall. Rest your forehead in your hands and gentle hold it. Spread feet apart, so that they are as far apart as shoulders are wide. This is the basic position for this lesson. Shift weight onto your left foot. Lift and lower your right hip several times. Rest standing. Return to the basic position and shift weight onto your left foot. Slowly lift your right heel from the floor. Lower heel. Lift and lower your right heel several times. Did your right knee bend when you lifted your heel? Lift and lower your right heel again. Repeat this movement with your right knee bent several times. Repeat this movement with your right knee straight several times. What happens to your right hip when you lift your heel with your knee straight? Rest standing. Stand as before, with your weight shifted onto your left foot and your head in your hands on the wall. Raise the toes of right foot and then lower them. Repeat this movement very slowly, several times. What do you feel under your foot as your toes rise? What do you notice in your knee? Your hip? Your torso?

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Increase the movement to raise your toes and then the front (ball) of your right foot. Lower your foot and then your toes. Repeat this movement several times. Walk around for a few moments. What differences do you notice between your right and left sides? Return to the basic position, with weight to your left, again. Alternate raising your right foot and then your right heel. Go very slowly. Do you bend your knee or not? Do this movement with your knee straight. What happens with your pelvis when your knee is straight? How does the rest of your body respond to this motion? Rest, sitting. Stand as before, with your weight shifted left. Raise front of your right foot, rotate on your heel, turning your foot to the right, and then put your foot down with your toes pointing to the right. Move gently, without forcing. Lift front of your right foot and return to the home position. Repeat many times. What movement do you notice in your right hip joint? Is your pelvis moving as well? How much? Is this pelvic movement necessary? Pause for a moment. With your head and arm on the wall, continue with the movement of the front of your right foot. This time raise the front of right foot, rotate on heel to the left, and place foot down, pointing to left. Go only as far as is easy. Lift front of right foot and return to the home position. Repeat many times. Increase the range of movement so that right foot moves right, touches down for a moment, lifts, moves left, touches down for a moment, and so on. Can you move without interfering with your breathing? What movement do you notice in your right hip joint? ON YOUR FEET page – 30 –

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Rest standing. Stand against the wall as before, with your weight shifted left. Raise the heel of your right foot, rotate on the ball of your foot, moving your heel to the right and then placing your heel down to the right of starting position. Stay within your comfort range. Lift the heel of your right foot and return to the home position. Repeat many times. Now move your heel to the left, touch down and then return to the home position. Repeat many times. Increase the range of the movement so that your heel moves right, touches down for a moment, lifts, moves left, touches down for a moment, and so on. Rest, sitting or lying down. Return to the position of resting your head on your hands against the wall. Stand with your weight on your left foot again. Lift and lower right heel. Did you remember to keep your knee straight? Do you notice any differences, compared to before? Lift and lower the front of your right foot many times. Pause. Alternate raising your right foot and right heel. Is the movement easier now? Smoother? Walk around and compare the movement of the right foot to the left, of the right leg and hip to the left. What differences do you notice? Interlace your fingers and put your arms on the wall in front of your forehead. Rest your elbows, forearms and hands on the wall. Rest your forehead in your hands and gentle hold it. Spread feet apart, so that they are as far apart as shoulders are wide. Shift weight onto your right foot. Repeat same sequence of movements with your left leg, resting when necessary. Raise your left hip and lower it many times. Lift and lower your left toes several times. ON YOUR FEET page – 31 –

© 1992, Mind In Motion All Rights Reserved

Lift and lower your toes and the front of your foot. Raise your left heel and return it to the floor, keeping your knee straight; repeat several times. Alternately raise your left heel and then front of your left foot, rocking back and forth. Rest. Lift your left heel and, turning on the ball of your foot, move it to the left and back to center many times. Move your left heel to the right and back to center, many times. Increase the range so that your left heel is moving right and left, pausing to rest your heel on the floor before moving to the other side. Rest. Repeat these movements with the ball of your left foot: first to the left many times, then to the right and then right-and-left. Rest sitting. Walk around a bit. What differences do you notice now? How are your feet contacting the floor? How are your hip joints moving as you walk? Stand resting your head in your hands and yours arms on the wall. Lift the front of both feet simultaneously. Which foot lifts higher? Can you feel how your weight rolls on your heels? Slowly move the front of both feet up and down. Go only as far up as lower foot goes. What happens with your pelvis? Does it move towards the wall or away from it? Is it possible to lift the front of both your feet without moving your pelvis? Rest. Stand with both arms on the wall and your hand in your hands. Bend both your knees slightly and keep them loose. Raise and lower both your heels simultaneously. Repeat this movement several times. Now, straighten both your knees and repeat the movement. Repeat several times, keeping your knees straight. Keep breathing as you move. Pause. ON YOUR FEET page – 32 –

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Repeat the movement of lifting both your heels, alternating having knees bent once and then straight the next time. Can you notice the difference in your hip joints? Rest sitting. Stand in the basic position again, this time with your feet together. Alternate raising the front of your feet with raising your heels. Keep your knees straight the whole time. Can you notice any movement at your hip joints? Don't move your pelvis more than the motion of your feet dictates. How does your head move as your feet rock forward and back? Pause. Lower your chin to your chest and repeat the rocking movement with your feet many times. Walk around a little. Stand in the basic position, with your head against the wall, again. Raise front of both your feet together, many times. How does your pelvis move now? Pause. Lift the front of your right foot and the heel of your left foot, keeping both knees straight. Switch so that you lift heel of your right foot and front of your left foot. Continue alternating, with feet moving in the opposite directions, many times. Stop and rest for a few moments. Stand, with your feet spread shoulder width apart. Do the following movements away from the wall. Lift the front of your right foot and, pivoting on your heel, move it to your right and put it down there. Lift heel of your left foot and, pivoting on the ball of your foot, move it your right and set it down. Your heels are now close together and your feet point away from each other, in a sort of "V" position. Lift your right heel and your left forefoot, pivoting both to the right at the same time, and then put them down. Now you are in the inverse "V" configuration: toes together and heels apart. ON YOUR FEET page – 33 –

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Lift your left heel and front of your right foot, pivoting to the right again. Continue repeating this movement, shuffling to right. Pause. Reverse the direction, moving to the left. Can you think of other variations? Stop and rest sitting. Stand up and walk around. What differences do you notice now?

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Twist and Sit Check-in. Roll to one side and then come onto your hands and knees. Find a comfortable place for your hands and your knees, not too far apart and not too close together. At any time during the lesson, if your wrists or knees begin to feel uncomfortable, stop and rest. Do not wait for me to tell you to rest. Slowly turn to look in the direction of your right foot, over your right shoulder, without straining. Repeat this movement several times, noticing how far you can go easily. Now turn and look towards your left foot several times. Which direction is easier? How far do you go? While on your hands and knees, notice how your feet are resting on the floor. Are your feet resting on tops of each foot or are your toes turned under, as in the position to start a race? Slowly move your right foot from resting on the top, the nail side, to resting on your toes. Repeat this movement slowly, many times. Are your breathing while you are moving? Sit back and rest a moment. Return to your hands and knees. Slowly move your left foot from resting on the top, the nail side, to resting on your toes. Repeat this movement slowly, many times. Can you notice how does this motion effect the rest of yourself? Stop and rest again. Come back onto your hands and knees. Slide your hands forward so that you can put your elbows on the floor where your hands were. Bring your hands together and interlace them, resting the backs of your hands on the floor, and resting your head in your hands. Move your both feet from resting on your toes to resting on the top of each foot and back, slowly, many times. ON YOUR FEET page – 35 –

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How does this motion effect the rest of yourself? Can you sense your weight moving back and forth? Pause, bringing your right foot onto your toes and keeping it there. Now, move your left foot up and down many times. Switch your feet around, keeping your right foot up and moving your left foot. Now alternate, so that when one foot is up, the other is down. After pausing for a moment, return to moving both feet together. Do this movement very quickly, many times.

Stop, roll onto your back and rest again. Return to the hands and knees position. Slowly move your right foot to the right, keeping your right knee on the floor as the pivot. Can you notice the motion in your right hip joint? As you continue this motion, bring your foot to standing when it is to the right and then return it to resting on the top side when it returns to the middle. Pause for a moment. Now return to moving your foot to the right, bringing your foot to rest on the top side to the right and returning to standing on your toes when in the middle. Sit back and rest. Come back to hands and knees. Gently and slowly, turn your head to look in the direction of your right foot. How does the movement feel now? Compare this motion with turning your head to look at your left foot. Can you sense a difference between turning to the right and left? Slowly move your left foot to the left, using your left knee as the pivot. How does the motion in your left hip joint compare to your right hip? As you continue this motion, bring your foot to standing when you move your leg to the left and then return to resting on the top side of your foot when your leg returns to the middle. Pause for a moment. Now return to moving your foot to the left; this time bring your foot to resting on the top side when your leg is to the left and return your foot to standing when in the middle. ON YOUR FEET page – 36 –

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Stop, roll on your back and rest again. Return to your hands and knees. Turn your head to the left to look toward your left foot. How has the motion changed? How is your head moving now? Pause. Slowly bring your left ear to your left shoulder, bending your neck to the side without turning your head. Remember, move gently, without strain or effort. Can you this movement while keeping your face parallel to the floor? Pause for a moment. Now turn your head to the left, without bending it to the side, turning only around the long axis of your spine. Are you breathing as you move? Repeat this movement many times. Now, combine the movements so that you first turn your head, then bend your neck to the side; reversing the motion bring your head back so that you straighten your neck and then turn your face to the floor. Repeat this movement many times. Pause again. Combine the movements the other way so that you first bring your left ear to the left, side bending your neck, and then turn your head; reverse the motion on the return by turning your face to the floor and then bringing your head to the center, straightening your neck. Repeat this movement many times. Stop and rest. Return to your hands and knees. Explore the movement of bending and turning your head to the right, remembering to pause between each variation. First, bring your right ear to your right shoulder and back, many times. Can you do this movement without turning your head? Then, turn your head to the right, without bending your neck, many times. Can you do this without bending your neck, just as a motion of rotation? Explore the combinations of these movements--bend and then turning as well as turning and then bending--reversing the motion when you return to your beginning position.

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Stop and rest. Return to your hands and knees. Turn to look over your right shoulder several times. Turn to look over your left shoulder several times. Have these motions changed? Are they easier? Many times, gently turn to look toward your right foot at the same time as you pivot on your right knee and bring your right foot to the right. Pause for a moment. Do the same action to the left many times: turn to look toward your left foot while bringing your left foot to the left. Pause. Now combine the two movements: slowly, turn your head to the left as you pivot your left lower leg to the left, slowly return to the initial position, and then slowly turn your head to the right as you pivot your right lower leg to the right. What happens your back as you do this movement? Pause again for a few moments. Combine the two movements in a different way: turn your head to the left as you pivot your right lower leg to the right, return to the middle, and then turn your head to the right as you pivot your left lower leg to the left. How do your head and neck move now? Stop for a moment and then just turn your head right and left. How has the movement changed? Stop, sit or lie down, and rest. Return to being on your hands and knees. Begin to slide your right knee forward, toward your right hand and back. Can you notice how you shift your weight to make this movement possible? After repeating that movement several times, change the direction of your right knee so that it slides slowly toward your left hand and back. After repeating that several times, slide your right knee smoothly toward the space between your hands and then return to home position. As you continue this motion, work on making it smoother and easier. When your knee is between your hands, can you find a way to slowly lower the right side of your pelvis to the floor? This movement should be smooth and continuous in both directions. Can you gently place your right buttock onto the floor, without dropping or bumping it? ON YOUR FEET page – 38 –

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Can you find a way to lift yourself smoothly off the floor, without struggling? Repeat this action many times, improving the quality each time. Now explore these movements to the left: sliding your left knee many times toward your left hand, toward your right hand, and then between your hands. Experiment with sitting, smoothly and gently, to your left. Pause for a moment, sitting if you'd like. Begin to alternate sliding the right knee forward, sitting to the right, coming back to your hands and knees, sliding your left knee forward, sitting to your left, coming back to your hands and knees, and so on. How can you make this movement faster, easier, lighter? What do you need to change to improve your speed? Experiment with different options, remembering to notice your breath and to find a way of moving that does not interfere with your breathing. What happens if you keep your knees together? How quickly can you move, keeping the feeling of lightness and ease? Stop, roll on your back and rest. Notice how you are contacting the floor now. How is your back resting on the floor? How is your breathing distributed now?

ON YOUR FEET page – 39 –

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Bibliography

The following annotated list of books provides background information for topics presented during the On Your Feet seminar: Alexander, F. Matthias. The Use of the Self. Downey: Centerline Press, 1984 Though written in somewhat dated style, still rich in insight. Written by the developer of the Alexander Technique. Bateson, Gregory. Mind and Nature. New York: Dutton, 1979 Bateson's best writing about the biology of "the pattern that connects." Highly recommended. Bertherat, Therese, and Bernstein, Carol. The Body Has Its Reasons. New York: Pantheon, 1977 Detailed description of awareness exercises developed in France. A good read. Cameron-Bandler, Leslie. Solutions. San Rafael: FuturePace, 1985 The finest introduction to NLP. Geared towards relationships problems, but the best overview around. Ducroquet, Robert, Ducroquet, Jean, and Ducroquet, Pierre. Walking and Limping. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1968 (English translation) Fascinating study of normal and pathological walking. Exquisite visuals and great detail. The original! Feldenkrais, Moshe. Awareness Though Movement. New York: Harper and Row, 1972 Non-technical introductory text, includes scripts for 12 movement lessons. Recommended. Feldenkrais, Moshe. Body and Mature Behavior. New York: International Universities Press, 1950 Discussion of the biological and physical basis of the approach. Fairly technical. Excellent. Feldenkrais, Moshe. The Case of Nora. New York: Harper and Row, 1977 Step-by-step description of a case study. Best exposition of Moshe's thinking. I encourage you to read this book.

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Gorman, David. The Body Moveable. Vol. III: The Lower Limb. Guelph, Ontario: Ampersand Press, 1981 An honest to goodness look at the foot and leg in anatomical detail and in motion. Fantastic. Gracovetsky, Serge. The Spinal Engine. Vienna: Springer-Verlag, 1988. An innovative and intriguing look at the role of vertebral column in human gait. Highly recommended. Heggie, Jack. Running with the Whole Body. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1987 Feldenkrais for the runner. Useful, accessible book; includes other gait oriented Feldenkrais lessons. Maturana, Humberto R., and Varela, Francisco J. The Tree of Knowledge. Boston: New Science Library An introduction to the biological roots of knowledge and cognition. Accessible work by difficult authors. Powers, William T. Behavior: The Control of Perception. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Co., 1973 A great introduction to an important concept: we control what we perceive, not what we do. Sweigard, Lulu E. Human Movement Potential. New York: Harper and Row, 1974 Extends Mabel Todd's thinking. Comprehensive. Todd, Mabel Elsworth. The Thinking Body. Reprinted by: New York: Dance Horizons Press Seeing the body in motion & using visualization to teach movement. Anatomical and detailed. Gratifying. von Foerster, Heinz. Observing Systems. Seaside: Intersystems Press, 1981 Highly recommended collection of articles by one of the field's original thinkers. von Glasersfeld, Ernst. The Construction of Knowledge, Seaside: Intersystems Press, 1987 An educational psychologist integrates cybernetics and learning with Piaget's work. Zeig, Jeffrey K. A Teaching Seminar with Milton H. Erickson. New York: Bruner/Mazel, 1985 Transcript of Erickson's training seminar. Meet the master hypnotherapist by way of his own words. Great. ON YOUR FEET page – 41 –

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