ADVANCED CLASS

Using arms with greater ease and better understanding.

Difficulties and pains while using arms, cause distress not only professionally, but in activities of daily life. Symptoms appear in the shoulders, in the neck, down through the back and sometimes down the arms, These often disrupt breathing and generate a general state of unease. Work, sports, leisure activities and even activities of daily life are compromised, and life narrows.
In this advanced we will make a through and specific journey into some of the multiple elements we need to have at our disposal to work with clients and with ourselves. These include understanding and strategizing with:

+ Differentiations
+ Support elements through the thorax and pelvis when sitting and when standing
+ Spatial dynamics which are internal between “body parts”
+ Spatial dynamics which are external, related to space and to the objects being interacted with (musical instrument, hair brush, computer, lifting a head in FI)
+ The person’s “pre-set” of tonus which occurs even before lifting the arms to reach for the object (see paragraph below)

In any action with arms, the unavoidable "pre task" is to lift the weight of the arms as they move into action. The anticipatory attitude one brings to this, as well as the image one has of the action, will organize a specific pattern of muscular mobilization even before the action starts. If that pattern of mobilization is not examined, it will permeate the very action which a person is hoping to reorganize. And, unless this "pre task" activation is brought into awareness, it will be harder to effect the organization of the actual activity which the person wants to improve.

Awareness Through Movement lessons, Functional Integration work and work in sitting after a lesson will be carefully woven together. As always in Olena’s workshops functional anatomy will play a prominent part in constructing a fuller understanding and appreciation.

Two weeks prior to the start of the workshop participants will receive audio recordings of several ATMs and will be asked to “do” these ATMs prior to arriving. These ATMs will be in English with German translation by Hilde Koeppel-Fischer, and were recorded in previous workshops. b

ON the ONE HAND
fundamental differentiations necessary for lighter use of the arms can be organized while lying on the floor. For many of our students even this is a challenge, and we are kept on our toes finding ATM lessons which lead to distinctions in action, provide ongoing opportunities for learning, but minimize the likelihood of strain.

BREATHING, BELLY and USE of ARMS

A free lower belly is indicative of the ease of organization for action, as well as ease and clarity of organization of the support for action. In order to embed differentiation ever more deeply into a state of systemic ease, we will explore distinctly singular breathing ATMs. These develop a deeper experience of the "free belly" and eventually link to surprisingly "large" action. Breathing and acting, without compromising either breathing or the action, will be refined and deepened through these lessons. While some of the breathing ATMs may be familiar to you, the buildup of the lessons in relation to each other and in relation to more skeletal lessons, can result in some truly novel "states" and experiences of oneself.

PROGRESSIVE APPROXIMATIONS

This Awareness Through Movement intensive will progress from working with differentiations while lying, interweaving lying and sitting and finally working with arms, shoulder girdle and head in standing. This will provide stepped opportunities for the brain to establish transitions from one situation to the other, without abandoning differentiations gained in the less demanding orientations. This progression needs to be developmental, in the sense that, for each person, the next step has to literally mature out of the previous ones. And a developmental progression also means looping "back" to basics and the floor throughout the five days.

In Amherst, where Moshé Feldenkrais had the luxury of working for weeks on end, we find extraordinary lesson series which deal with shoulder girdle, arms, C7, neck, head in relation to support from the spine, the lower pelvis, belly and legs. I will weave together ATM lessons from Amherst, Alexander Yanai and some of Moshe's workshops.

EVERYDAY LIFE

This is a staged photo of an "FI" which never took place. It was not taken to illustrate the use of the arms in the context of our work, but I use it to illustrate that, in the end, folks come to us to use their arms in what they need to do, not just see improvement in the reference movements we provide before and after an ATM or an FI.
For some it is work on computers, for others it is a racket sport, bicycle riding, a musical instrument or, if they are dealing with a neurological condition, it can be fundamental basics: grasping, holding, carrying or opening the hand to lean on it, or to release an object.

In any action with arms, the unavoidable "pre task" is to attend to the weight of the arms as they move into action. The anticipatory attitude one brings to this, as well as the image one has of the action, will organize a specific pattern of muscular mobilization even before the action starts. If that pattern of mobilization is not examined, it will permeate the very action which a person is hoping to reorganize. And, unless this "pre task" mobilization is brought into awareness, it will be harder to effect the organization of the actual activity which the person wants to improve.

I will weave this in throughout the workshop so that in your FI work with clients you will look, see, think, and apply yourself differently.

Mapping the space around us . . .

"There is a tribe in Namibia wherein each person is born with a kind of self-space around the body. This self space is like a bubble that extends beyond the body, and being attached to the body, moves as the person moves." ... " here is a culture that explicitly posits the existence of personal space around the body.... what neuroscientists call peripersonal space - and every inch of it is mapped inside your brain!" (chapter 7, pp 109- 110) "The Body has a Mind of Its Own" Sandra and Matthew Blakeslee, science writers for the NY Times.

Through ATMs we construct maps of this peripersonal space, even when we do not refer to it by such a fancy name! But . . . what if we consider the movement of arms not only from the usual perspectives of support and differentiation, but also from the perspective of how that movement is an act of literally mapping the space around us into our brains. The chapter on Peripersonal space in the above referenced book addresses just that!

What is extraordinary and surprising, is that considering and attending to space consciously, smooths out movement and refines both support and differentiation so that arms feel lighter. I will bring this perspective into my guiding of the ATMs.

Arms in expression and mapped space

For some time now I have been exploring various expressive dance options here in Toronto. I have been missing the modern dance days of 40 years ago. Meaning, I have been missing movement in and through large spaces. I found myself most often going to 5 Rhythms events, because there was great music, creative freedom of how and where I could move, and only occasional annoying circles of talk.

What struck me was how seldom people took their arms above shoulder height or behind the trunk, and how seldom the arms were really free. I don't think that all these fairly healthy folk had shoulder problems that kept the arms restricted. So, why is it that the arms were not moving in space when there was not only permission, but invitation to move?

Can it have something to do with unmapped space? Do we not only have habituated patterns of movement, but also habituated maps of the space around us? Which brings us to: how can we make space as interesting and as attention worthy as support, differentiation and attunement to effort?

That gives a whole new spin on exploring the use of the arms! And it gives a whole new dimension to functional thinking. Much to be excited about and inspired by...

Olena Nitefor

Dates

Period:  July 25-29, 2018

Lecturer:  Olena Nitefor

Costs:  490,00

Schedule

Wed. 11 – 18 h
Thu.–Sat. 10 –17 h
Sun. 10 – 15 h

* plus shipping costsshipping