Where Are You Headed?

If you've come to some Feldenkrais classes with me this summer, you probably know that I have been doing agility training with my dog. (This is mostly to train me, not the dog. She is smart. Me, not so much.)

Agility is an international sport where you run a course with the dog and provide verbal and movement cues for the dog to go through, up, and around various obstacles. The course layout and obstacles change every time so your sequencing has to be re-learned every time.

I discovered that the height of my hand mattered when I gestured. It mattered whether I was pointing with one finger, all fingers, or no fingers. It mattered where my toes were pointing. My toes! It mattered if my toso was pointing one way and my head another. The dog, of course, picked up on all of this. I was much slower. (Neither of these dogs is mine, they are just demonstrating.)

The moral is that we go where we are directed to go. From a small, seemingly subtle shift in the orientation of my toes, the dog went in a different direction than the one I intended. That was a huge lesson.

To shift gears into Feldenkrais, where do you want your movement to take you?

Ultimately it's not the act of moving that we want to improve, it's what we want from it: More ease, more efficiency, more power, less pain, better relationships, fewer walls, less shame about who we are, more acceptance, more smiles, less inner contraction, more breath, better posture.

Consider ways you can open through movement, like opening a door to another part of yourself. Think of where you feel open and where you feel closed.

Ceasing the activity that blocks us allows for movement to flow through the joints....unimpeded, efficient, and powerful. This becomes our life. Annie Dillard says how we spend our days is how we spend our lives.

The mobility is there, in us, we are just closed to it, unaware of it. Usually we are actively doing something to stop it, like pointing our toes in one direction and the rest of us in another. As you let go of tension, strain, and patterns of holding, you might be surprised to discover a new kind of clarity, support, mobility, and flexibility in your skeleton and, consequently, in your entire self.