Look Up! - ATM #4

ATM #4 - Looking up with ease! A great lesson for better range of up and down in your neck.


Sit towards the front of your chair, feet flat on the floor a comfortable distance apart and hands resting on your thighs.

Then look up the wall towards the ceiling and when you come to the end of your range stay there.

Draw an imaginary line from the tip of your nose to the place on the wall where your nose is pointing. This is your reference point. Make sure that you remember exactly where this is because we’ll come back to it at the end of the lesson. Now bring your head and eyes back to their starting place before you begin the lesson.

1. Slide your R foot forward and back slowly, as if you were trying to feel the surface of the floor through the sole of your shoe. Each time slide your foot only as far as it will go easily and comfortably and look at your foot as it slides back and forth.
 
2. Bring your foot back to its starting place and take a short rest.

3. Continue to look at your R foot as you slide it back and forth and notice what happens in your back. Does your back remain stationary or does it somehow respond to the movement of the foot?
 
4. Pause for a short rest.

5. Now, as your foot slides away from you, round your back and as it comes back towards you arch your back. Do this rounding and arching a few times. Remember to look at your foot as it moves. Round your back as your foot slides away from you and you arch your back as it comes back towards you.
 
6. Pause for a moment before continuing. This time as you look at your foot, arch your back as your foot slides away and round your back on the return. Continue this a few times arching your back as your foot slides away from you and rounding your back as it comes back towards you.

7. Take a short rest before continuing.

8. Now switch to the L foot. Before you do the movement, however, you’re going to review it first in your kinesthetic imagination. Include as many details as you can remember from the other side. When you have imagined the movement as fully as you can, actually do it once or twice just to see if it feels the way you imagined that it would.
 
9.Begin by imagining that you are watching your L foot as it slides back and forth. Remember the sensation of sliding your foot along the floor. Now do it to see if your imagining matched the real experience.

10. Now, imagine that are looking at your foot and as you slide it away from you you’re your back rounds and as your foot comes back towards you your back arches. You may notice as you imagine the movements that there’s an urge in your nervous system to do the movement. That is your kinesthetic imagination at work. Your motor neurons are firing even though you aren’t actually executing the movement. Do the movement once or twice before we continue.
 
11. Finally, imagine that as you still look at your foot you’re arching your back as it moves away from you and rounding your back as it comes back towards you. Do the movement and see how it feels.
 
Look toward the ceiling again and stop when you are at the end of your range.
Draw another line from your nose to the place on the wall where it is pointing.

Is this the same reference point that you had at the beginning of the lesson? Did you go farther? Are you including more of yourself when you look up than you did at the beginning?
 

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Thousands of people have benefited from Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® lessons; however, we cannot anticipate the needs and/or limitations of individuals. The material contained in these lessons is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. Consult your doctor or physiotherapist if you have any concerns. Responsibility for the lessons is strictly that of the user.

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