This blog is primary addressing the most recent lesson I had with George (aka Maggie’ Dad).
We, me, George and our AT thinking skills, got him walking smoothly, with some speed, and then and a few instructions about pivoting, he was able to change directions with out losing his balance. This was huge.
George and I have been working on his head, neck, back, feet relationship for almost six years. Before digging into working on walking I took him through the AT principles and indirectly worked on his gait. When he declared he was ready to work on his walking skills I agreed. Of course we had been working on them all along by attending to his entire self.
I was raised an athlete. My sophomore year of college both of my roommates were on the track team with me. Marcy was javelin thrower, Amy a mid distance sprinter and long jumper. I remember the day Amy was explaining her revelation about running being all about PUSHING with the back leg, rather than just lifting with the front. It was a push, not a pull. Yes yes, I understand. We pushed off the ground all over campus while walking so we could get used to doing this same thing while running. We both got a bit faster.
Even more important than improving my running times was that this was the beginning of me thinking about movement, ALL MOVEMENT from a biomechanics perspective. Moving was still an art, and now this art was forming an inner curriculum, forming an overarching way of thinking about and using my human body for self expression. The act of running was an art in and of itself, and now inside the running I had a new perspective… yes I was naturally talented, and also hard working, but now I could be more introspective with my figuring out the physics of whatever sport, action, task I was doing or thinking about doing.
Back to present day with George.
Inhibition is not just inhibiting a muscle, or a muscle pattern, it is about overviewing the entire process. This statement suddenly enabled me unlimited ability to share my movement knowledge with George. I coached him into his groove and then at the correct moments orally called at movements, actions and thoughts for him to think and do. He moved like a dream. He was thinking in activity. Paradigm shifts are wonderful experiences to share.
Compilation of AT lessons the week of Monday August 12th 2019
The Thinking IS the Exercise
What was reported from previous lessons:
Being more aware of internal environment
Thinking loops for ups that become spirals
Feeling a bit different, but not knowing yet how to bring about the thinking outside of a lesson
Position AS RELATIONSHIP of parts to parts and parts to whole
THE FAB FIVE
Recently quantified senses
Thermoception (heat & cold)
Proprioception (body awareness)
And introducing THE ACTION SENSES
during AT lesson I only introduced legs and arms
Legs & feet – locomotion
Arms & hands – dexterity
Rectum – excretion
Mouth – speech
Thinking in terms of arms & legs as ACTION senses allows me to think of the reasons I walk to something, the reason I pick up something.
This helps me see the ENTRANCE senses for their reasons too. This reminds me to watch my senses for what they are sending me. Are they sending me information through a clear lense??? Who is in charge of ME?
To be able to inhibit/ to delay/ to check the validity of our initial /habitual impulses.
“To Alexander, inhibition had a definite, operational meaning. It meant delaying the instantaneous response (learned or instinctive) to a stimulus until the could be carried out in the way that was best suited to the well-being of the organism as a whole.” FPJ Body Awareness in Action pg. 25
The act of creation: the mind.body/sense/self imagining/thinking/conjuring something/ creating something… whether this something is a musical note, a next step in a 200 meter dash, a puppet, a lesson plan, or a vacation…..
The act of creative thinking CAN include your SELF IN IT. IT IS you so might as well include yourself in it.
Best creative practice is to establish a manner of directing the use of self for
the creation of a work of art. The field of attention has a set of kinesthetic coordinates that supply a framework for thinking. If my thoughts (creative or otherwise) are pulled off track into a state of non-inclusivity of the framework that is producing and allowing these thoughts…. The thoughts probably no longer include the activity of thinking about MY SELF… and so these thoughts (again, creative or otherwise) separate my SELF from my process.
Instead of setting up 2 fields or 3 of awareness SELF/ACTIVITY/ENVIRONMENT Attention can be expanded to establish a single integrated field and self,activity, and environment can be viewed simultaneously. This ability to create and expand into one big field of awareness will at first come only in moments, maybe minutes…. But the experience will be glorious.
LOOPS: OPPOSITIONS TO LOOPS: INSIDE A LOOP
Each loop has an an oppositional force supplied by thinking of central axis.
The “up” of the front of chest is tethered by the opposition true up of central axis
The central axis thinking therefore softens the chest’s up because the up of the chest remembers it is upping not for its own sake, but rather for the integrity it can experience with the whole self.
Let the neck be free
Thing about your neck and check if you can perhaps tighten less
To allow the head to go forward and up
And while you at this also at the same time
Allow the back to go forward and up
Allow the knees to go forward and up
To join the thinking of head, back and legs engaging in directions expands awareness of self to include more of you.
Perhaps we do start with the head and then in an imperceptible flash the back and legs are included
Of course there is UP along the spine!
The forward and up lives in relation to the UP.
Images can be deceiving, like those before and after advertisements for makeup or weight loss programs.before and after images are usually worthless: drink this special diet drink, buy this acne remover, use this best ever makeup, buy a product and get laid……etc.
I can not recall why I brought up this mathematician during a lesson. I do like talking about zero being infinity’s twin…..
John Cleese is one of my comedic heroes, and he takes AT lessons. He studied with Walter Carrignton in London. Walter Carrington studied with Mr. FM Alexander, so just think , wow very big and awesome deal this Walter Carrington must be.I had heard through the AT grapevine that John Cleese came up with the idea for The Ministry of Silly Walks while walking home from an AT lesson he had just had with Walter Carrington.
While I was in London getting ready for my AT certification test in (1995), I took several lessons with Walter Carrington. After a few lessons I got up the never to ask him about the John Cleese Silly Walk, and if Cleese ever told Carrington that he credited his AT lessons with the spark for Silly Walk. Walter said oh yes yes that is definitely the truth. And went into a bit of the story of Cleese walking out of a lesson, feeling light as a feather and well grounded and suddenly saw the people on the street as Silly Walkers. He could see passerby’s manners of USE. He could see their idiosyncratic habits of walking. Silly Walk was born. silly walk full sketch