The Power of How: A journal about The Alexander Technique and Movement

HOW TO STOP HURTING YOUR ELBOWS: #4 in a series on how to use your kinesthetic intelligence

The last place to include in the kinesthetic map I’m building is your lower arm bone, your ulna. It’s the exact mirror of your tibia (from a previous blog post), in the upper limb instead of the lower. It’s the more powerful bone (meaning it has bigger muscles attached to it) of your two lower arm bones. On some mammals, it sticks out alot more than it does on us. Specifically, I am imagining a spot right in the middle of it’s elbow end. You can feel it if you fold your elbow, it’s the bone that pokes out the most. It’s often mistaken for an the upper arm bone.

You can see the end of the ulna clearly in the picture above. If you fold your elbow, the spot I’m imagining would be right in the center very end of the bone. You can touch this place both when your elbow is folded and when it’s opened! It doesn’t get buried in the elbow joint.

Now your awareness has expanded to include your head, your torso, and each separate limb, with no effort, so the mind dance goes like this:

1) Imagine a spot exactly in the middle of the crown of your head

then

2) Imagine a spot at the tip of your tail bone
and enjoy the distance inside you between the two spots, as well as knowing where those spots are in space, and let them be springy and mobile in relationship to each other;

then, always in relation to the first two points,

3) Imagine a spot right in the middle of the top of your left and right tibia, or lower leg bone.
It’s fun to experience the play between one knee point and the other as you move.

Then, in relation to these first 4 points, add in your last two elbow points, completing the circle of kinesthetic awareness of self:

4) Imagine a spot right in the middle of the elbow end of your left and right ulna, or lower arm bone.

It’s fun to experience the play between one elbow point and the other as you move.

Next, we will play with the difference between combining this mind-dance with unstructured, improvised movement; and after that, we will combine it with a specific movement form.

Thanks for all your comments and feedback! I hope this helps you enjoy your moving all throughout your day, no matter where you are.

June 7th, 2017 • No Comments

SAVE YOUR KNEES BY KNOWING WHERE THEY ARE: #3 in a series on how to use your kinesthetic intelligence

 

I think most of us have limited ideas about what we are capable of. If you are a dancer, you know you’ve had those moments where your body goes somewhere or does something that blows your mind, and you can only “sit back and watch.” Well, I think that’s a pretty good way to work!

I think when you have those mind blowing experiences while moving, your kinesthetic sense is on, it’s alive.

In our mind-dance that uses this sense, we are going to add in two more spots to track: one on each leg. Specifically, a spot exactly in the middle of the top your tibia (the larger of the two lower leg bones in the image above). Notice that the fibula, the smaller bone, does not go up as high as the tibia. The tibia is what supports your femur; the fibula is off to the side.

This process of methodically expanding your awareness of your self has a sequence that is really important. You’ve got to know where your head and your trunk or torso are first, because that’s how you organize any movement – something we’ve experimented with alot in the Alexander teaching community. So start with the previous sequence:

1) Imagine a spot exactly in the middle of the crown of your head

then

2) Imagine a spot at the tip of your tail bone
and enjoy the distance inside you between the two spots, as well as knowing where those spots are in space;

then, ALWAYS IN RELATION TO THE FIRST TWO POINTS,
3) Imagine a spot right in the middle of the top of your left and right tibia, or lower leg bone.

At first, you can just play with being still, and knowing where these 4 spots are in relationship to one another, and observe how/if they move in relationship to each other as you breath and relax.

This is the first step to saving your knees – just knowing where they are. Your lower leg is a really powerful lever and is very important in supporting and generating movement.

Next post, we’ll look at ways to experiment with these 4 points in movement.

June 5th, 2017 • No Comments

EFFORTLESS MIND IN MOVEMENT: #2 in a series on how to use your kinesthetic intelligence

A couple of days ago, I sent you a little mind dance to try. Today, I invite you to take this mind dance into activity:

1) Imagine a spot exactly in the middle of the crown of your head, as if you were looking down from the sky at the top of your own skull, and you dropped a dot right into the center of it.

Aware of where this spot is, take a walk, move around, lie down….do any movement you wish. Just remain aware of where that spot is in you, and in space.

2) Imagine a spot at the tip of your tail bone, exactly on the tip. See the images below if you’re not sure where your tailbone is, as it’s hidden from view and not often touched. 

 

 

Notice the distance between the “top of your head spot” from the tip of your tail spot” in your own body, and enjoy locating them in space wherever you are.

Notice the dance they are doing already. Are they fixed in relationship to each other? If so, let them move, as you rest in stillness or as you move in space. Try repeating one of the movements you did in the first step, just to see if it’s any different when you add the second spot in your awareness.
The relationship between these two parts of you, your head and your spine, is the central thing in your life – ha! get it? I’ll be writing more about why that’s true.

PS: If you tried this experiment and discovered something interesting, I’d love to hear back from you. I’ll be teaching this material in a group class format soon, so stay posted for more info on that!

June 2nd, 2017 • No Comments