Category Archives: Awareness through Movement

Awareness of walking

These two videos visually support learning points that I support my students to integrate through movement using guided micromovements in a particular way of exploration. I encourage my students now to watch both of these videos to imprint the visual stimulus for growing envisioning techniques with a focus on transitions of the body’s moving parts.

In this barefoot walking video you will observe the rolling of the feet as each foot transitions individually to step forward. If you continue to observe  you will see how the right foot not only rolls forward the from heel to toe,  the big toe comes up from the ground first as the weight rolls outward to the baby toe side.

Why is this important?

Watch this video again, however this time, raise your gaze up towards the hip joints at the top outside of the legs. Notice the weight being dispersed equally side to side with no effort. The movement appears to be dance like in the flow of easy counterbalance motions.

If you continue to observe the video again you may begin to view how lite the legs are with each step. With each separate step the legs response in a similar way as the feet. Using the ability to shift weight this way with through the bone the also shifts forward and back, and side to side. This is why bones have rounded ends into rounded joints.

Remember that the individual leg bones shift weight differently, in any given moment, as a response to the pressure in the foot. For example, the standing leg that bears ones weight is locked at the ankle, knee and hip when the other leg bends at the ankle, knee and hip.

Mentoring micromovement patterns in community learning groups I have observed that one of the biggest culprits to mobility is the loss of this natural counterbalance. In an earlier post I write about the hidden influences in our environment that are silent systems of learning interrupting these natural movements. I believe it started with sitting for long periods of time having a locked focus of attention in one area of function only. I have discovered the outcome to sitting for long periods creates a gap in one’s brain of the natural movement patterns through the bones of ones pelvis, hips, upper and lower legs, knees, angles and feet.

You will see the differences in how these people walk in this second video. In this video they are mostly picking up their feet and not using the ground to push off like the person in the first video.

 

Begin watching this video with a focus on noticing how both people lift their feet up and hold them in a straight blank like way. This takes an extreme amount of muscle effort which becomes more difficult to continue as one ages.

On second viewing begin to notice their hips. Both people do not have any sway that demonstrates counterbalance through their legs, hips and pelvis. Both of them have one side where the hip seems to bounce hard in the socket of a locked pelvis.  Almost as though wearing an artificial leg. As a Feldenkrais® practitioner I observe a stumble like action.

Watch one more time and lift your  gaze upward to observe turned heads. Each person is looking at the other in a state of intent focus on mental processing. There is no evident counter balance through the upper body. What I see is a locked torso that begins at the base of their neck. It is a much different pattern of walking than in the first video.  

I would describe the first video as effortless and the second one as having tremendous effort.

If continued, the style of walking in the first video would promote aging well and the second one would promote a loss of mobility with joint and bone issues.  

In the first video the pattern of movement reflects what each toddler has learned in order to roll over, sit up, stand, walk and run. In the second video the pattern of movement reflects what happens through the silent learning patterns in institutional learning systems – sitting in a chair to focus on tasks and memorization. Both these learning systems reflect right and left brain activities. They are both relevant to a healthy and productive life, however there is no balance of both systems. The silent organic and inherent one each of us was born with was replaced by the non-organic one created by our ancestors.

I have recommended a mobility board to some of my students to use when sitting.  These boards can pivot from side to side, and front to back.  Find this footrest on Amazon.   Two important points I brought up in these two videos that are available using these boards are: 

     1.  Awareness through shifts in movement with no effort

    • these boards model this type of movement 

      2.  Rotation 

    • these boards cultivate awareness of the subtle shift in bone rotation that begins in the feet and travels upward 

Models of learning are around us starting at birth and continuing into old age.  One never stops learning from the influences surrounding us.  These boards are an example of a learning model that imprints rotations patterns of  movement for those who are having chunky movements and balance issues.   Using these boards at set times throughout the day can enhance integration of the movement pattern, especially if one cultivates awareness of  different shifts in weight.  This pattern of micromoving can reduce inflammation and pain, and increase circulation.  

I encourage my students to now compare the walk in the first video with the pivot available through these footboards.  This comparison may deepen an inner sense of physical support through the skeleton.  

The only way to change is action


by Renee Lindstrom

 

Effective Movement Posture Mentoring Programs Available:← 

 1st Phase of Integration – Getting Started (Introduction & Pattern)
 2nd Phase of Integration – Getting Intouch (Experiencing & Connection)
 3rd Phase of Integration – Integration (Embodiment)

 

Follow the journey on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP @ Inside Awareness,  Living in Natures Love Blog
Renee Lindstrom Live
Copyright 2014 – 2021 Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

 

Feldenkrais®, Feldenkrais Method®, Awareness Through Movement®, Functional Integration®, are registered service marks of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America. Feldenkrais Method®

Mico-movements and the classroom chair for developing a child’s ability to age well

 

In Feldenkrais and early learning for aging well I encourage one to consider the long term effects of sitting in a chair.  I suggest the training to sit begins in primary school.

More on learning on how to increase the connection between physical mico-movements and the classroom chair for developing a child’s ability to age well

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The furniture to focus on as a disrupter to wellness is the chair.  The physical structure of the skeleton is designed to squat, not sit in a chair.  In fact, the ability to squat activates the most powerful force of movement in functional movement.  It increases the ability to balance and counterbalance in all movement postures.  Sitting in a chair for long periods of time reduces the availability to this squatting action.  From long term sitting this ability to squat disappears completely.   

My observations of working with students as young as 18  and up to 94 are that they all struggle to activate a movement action in the pelvis.  Each one will attempt to move their pelvis by tilting their head, shoulders and spine forward and back.  What I observe is they all have a gap between hearing the guidance for action and then activating the pelvic muscles for making this suggested movement pattern.  Once again this is something they all have this in common.  For me this means they all learned the same pattern in their earlier life.   The introduction of the chair and sitting for long periods has shifted the whole direction of movement in the west.  As the brain’s neural pathways for sitting in a chair develop as a functional movement, the neural pathways for squatting dissipate until this functional movement disappears. 

  • Squatting

Many strategies have been introduced for adults to shift sitting habits for long periods.  There are desks designed to stand, walk or run and all types of new chair designs.  However these solutions take that latest pattern of habitual movement one has already into a new strategy for movement behaviour.  If one has lost the connection to their pelvic functional movement they will not be activating it in any activity. 

A great solution is education and in an ideal world it would begin as children enter into a learning institution where sitting in a chair is introduced. If an educator has the luxury of working at these early ages I encourage that a regular break be implemented for the kids to stand and do a number of squats.  The purpose is to offset the time spent sitting that causes their pelvic muscles and soft tissue to go numb.  I would definitely encourage an educator to implement this prior to kids doing any exercise.  Especially  after sitting for long periods.  The reason for this recommendation is that it would be the difference between increased pelvic movement function or functional movement being recruited from ones back muscles.   If one is not using their pelvis they are using their back unwisely.

  • Guidance for squatting and mentoring students to squat in standing

Have them squat on their own a few times and observe their ability to counter balance as they go into and out of the squat.  Then choose one repetition to begin guiding them verbally through the squatting process without correcting them.  Let your students hear your verbal clues and process your words to create their own pattern.  Simply repeat your guidance pattern and  notice the changes each time you go through this pattern with them.  The difference in focus is letting them integrate it through their functional process verse learning a strategy.  This brings up another point of this not being an exercise.  So, go slow and encourage they slow down to notice how they sense the shift of their own weight in the transference through the shift in movement.  

  1. As they begin to squat suggest to them to bring their head forward and take their behind back.  (counter balance)
  2. Mention that as they begin to take their head forward to bend their knees so that their upper body weight is going through to their feet on the floor.  (important reminder of weight transference)
  3. As they begin to come upright into a standing posture, suggest to them it is in reverse of squatting down;  keeping head forward, behind back,  and begin by straightening their knees, followed by swinging their pelvis forward to bring their torso upright. In other words using the joint movement to straighten not the back muscles.
  4. After a few repetitions of 2 and 3 bring their attention to dropping the weight into their feet going down and then pushing through their feet coming up with no strain on the back muscles.   
  5. Then once or twice when they are in a squat have them swing their pelvis forward and back a few times.  

Try this yourself first.  It is the ability to curl your sacrum and tailbone forward and back in unison with movement through the whole spine with no effort.  It is the counterbalance effect of the posture transition that removes the burden of effort.  It’s one’s ability to thrust forward and back that is so important in walking and balance.  Without this ability the back is being strained as it is recruited to take over the thrusting action of the pelvis. 

This is an important consideration for joint health in hips, knees and ankles and a healthy back and neck.  In later years I notice that those who have lost the ability to squat have trouble walking efficiently, cutting their toenails and getting up and down from the toilet.  It has also led to many hip and knee replacements and the discomfort of edema.

The only way to change is action


by Renee Lindstrom

Feldenkrais in the Classroom integrating Awareness through Communication & Awareness through Space

Mentoring Programs Available:

 1st Level – Getting Started (Introduction & Pattern)
 2nd Level – Getting Intouch (Experiencing & Connection)
 3rd Level – Integration (Embodiment)

Follow the journey on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP @ Inside Awareness,  Living in Natures Love Blog
Renee Lindstrom Live
Copyright 2014 – 2021 Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

Feldenkrais®, Feldenkrais Method®, Awareness Through Movement®, Functional Integration®, are registered service marks of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America. Feldenkrais Method®

Hidden influences of the decor in a Classroom learning environment

In these two classrooms pictured you will notice how each design focuses one’s attention in a specific way.  In the primary classroom the walls are colourful and lined with learning materials.  There is open floor space to wander physically and mentally.   The picture of a later grade demonstrates more  confinement through its structure.  Presumably this is to reflect focus on mental tasks replacing the stimulation in early grades.  This is a visual of a subtle learning model designed to shift direction in a students focus of  attention.    What is not evident to most parents and educators is how streamlining children’s attention creates a new model of behaviour that I refer to in Feldenkrais and early learning for aging well.

In the primary grades the design model identifies with the inner learning system of a baby and small child.  Observing this design one can imagine learning is through activities.   In the second picture it seems the design is for focusing the mind to solve puzzles using specific formulas for each subject.  These formulas are introduced in early years as the foundation for expanding upon  through all level of education.    Consider how printing letters becomes stories, followed by writing letters that segway into language arts and so on.  This learning model of repetitive  patterning to form an integrative experience is similar in both the mental gym learning model and  baby’ inner learning model.  The difference between the two can be compared to a labyrinth and a maze as pictured here.

 

Babies are born with an inner learning system that is universal to all babies.  It is like walking a labyrinth to the center and out again.  The labyrinth pattern can be described as the elusive pattern for inner learning and the experience of moving inward and outward is the skill development.

The maze is a pattern of learning that engages critical thinking skills.  It has constraints blocking the way that one must solve as riddles to advance forward.  It is designed to go in one direction.

The labyrinth is open to possibilities developing flexibility and resilience while the maze is one way forward developing rules, right and wrong ways and hierarchy.    Both these systems add value to a meaningful life.  However I am suggesting that there are ways to tweek man made education systems by cultivating awareness of the gaps in it and reducing some of the consequences.

Early inner learning patterns of a newborn cannot be tweaked and my personal belief is that this first learning systems is perfect.  Why?   How else would babies integrate the inner skills in order to come into an upright posture and learn to think, speak and contribute to family life?

Classroom influences that reduce rotational mobility 


Background

As a Feldenkrais Practitioner I see a range of people of different ages and capabilities who are seeking to increase the range of motion in their movement functions. The focus of a Feldenkrais session is to tap into the current patterns of movement and to investigate any potential of expanding it.  Attention is on the movement itself versus giving it labels or diagnosing it.  The primary goal is to become present to the felt experience and then integrating a new pattern of available movement.  Not memorization.   The actual somatic learning experience is inside the function with no limitations of philosophical self-image.   The self-image development through ones first phase of development is the felt sense image.  This has a connection to the support through the body as a response to the ground.  Later on self-image on outside worldly feedback comes into focus.  

An example for understanding this suggestion of philosophy and self image is the philosophy and practice of yoga.  Yoga is an Eastern Indian spiritual philosophy comparable to Buddhism.  The movement of Yoga focuses on poses with names not associated with the body.  Dog and cat poses reflects a movement seen in dogs and cats and then mimicked for a wonderful stretch.  I have had students who adopt yoga as a lifestyle that includes adopting a new identity.  This is through clothing,  community and how they wish to seen by others through behaviours or appearances.  Rather than natural random pictures in their social media posts I have observed posed  yoga themes whether out for coffee or at the beach.    The standing tree pose seems to be the most popular.  This is where one is standing on one leg with the other leg bent so that foot can rest on the inside of the standing leg.  Sometimes awkwardly as the body is not a tree!

Language and images can shift natural inner development and create an alternate way forward deepening the divide  between inner body awareness and external self imaging.

The focus of Feldenkrais isn’t on posing and stretching.  The focus is on the felt sense of anatomy, specifically the skeletal micro-movements.  As a Feldenkrais Practitioner I view the whole skeleton from skull to toes as the  core of one’s strength and flexibility.  The skeleton is the foundation to intentional movement for each of us in our own movement patterns motivating us to roll, sit, stand, walk and run.  A baby spends its first months developing a felt sense of their own skeletons anatomy which  I observed as a gap in the adult experience.   Feldenkrais can take an adult into an exploration of the skeletons anatomy using felt senses  to fill in some of the gaps.

Over time the experience of working with differing ages of students has led to my belief that everyone is learning from the same hidden or elusive patterns  Ones  being modelled in their surroundings at early ages and for extended periods of time.  Some patterns being integrated create constraints that later on lead to reduced function.  This influences false narratives of conditions in later years.  I have observed how change can happen when stuck artificial patterns are brought into obvious awareness.  Once recognized there is choice and their hidden consequences can be easily balanced.  Through this cultivated awareness some early tangible and elusive learning patterns can be replicated to successfully create new patterns for aging well.    

An aspect of somatic learning in babies is the choices moment to moment.  As newborns lose their shiny newness they are molded into the communities lifestyle that limits choices by its very nature.

On the classroom influences that reduce rotational mobility 

The only way to change is action

 

 


by Renee Lindstrom

Feldenkrais in the Classroom integrating Awareness through Communication & Awareness through Space

Mentoring Programs Available:

 1st Level – Getting Started (Introduction & Pattern)
 2nd Level – Getting Intouch (Experiencing & Connection)
 3rd Level – Integration (Embodiment)

Follow the journey on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP @ Inside Awareness,  Living in Natures Love Blog
Renee Lindstrom Live
Copyright 2014 – 2021 Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

Feldenkrais®, Feldenkrais Method®, Awareness Through Movement®, Functional Integration®, are registered service marks of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America. Feldenkrais Method®

An intro to hidden patterns of learning in classroom that lead to reduced mobility through the spine

The classroom

In an earlier post, Feldenkrais and early learning for aging well, there is an introduction to how a baby’s first learning momentum begins somatically through their moving parts.  It is through the felt sense of their bones that they begin to sense solid yet flexible movement from the feedback of solid surfaces.  Only when they actively make a connection to what they are feeling in conjunction with the responsive action, are they able to make individual patterns intentionally.  While movement patterns are growing so are their brain’s neural pathways. This learning system is inside baby and elusive.  It is not usually a conscious understanding in adults and generally not patterned into educational systems. Remember that babies don’t come into the world with a pattern of thinking up strategies and solutions.   That is a culturally learned skill.  Educational models are patterns of solutions and strategies that start in  primary grades.   Perhaps reading this will be cause to pause and consider some new ways to explore increasing balance between babies first system of learning and their ongoing development.

Here is a question to all parents and educators:

 “how flexible are the bones of your learning environments?” 

Flexibility is the foundation for teaching children to dance with resilience.  Without it they lose their balance along the way to their future.  Balance is more than staying upright versus falling down.   I have observed as early as 15 my  students have lost the rotation in their scapula and connection to movement in their pelvis.  Most will move their pelvis by leaning forward and back from head and shoulders.  This is not a good pattern for flexibility or balance for them now or later in life.  One common strategy adults will come up with is guide them to cross crawl.  This is to reach one  hand to their opposite knee while bending their knee and bringing it up to their hand.  This gives them a focus on their hand and knee, not their pelvis.  Unfortunately,  from sitting in chairs for long periods of time it’s the pelvis that needs to be brought back into awareness.

Learn simple patterns to include into a classroom day to support keeping or regaining vital patterns of movement for balance and flexibility.  Start the process of balancing the dumbing down of internal movement behaviour by cultivating awareness.  These can even be done in the chair!

By comparison my suggestions is that the container for education is the skeleton from which all learning values are formed and integrated for future action.

Quote from Moshe Feldenkrais

Flexible body, flexible mind.

Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984)

Beginning with the classroom basics (skeleton) here are three physical attributes to consider.  These shape children’s future behaviours, physically, culturally, perceptually, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  The question is, “Is the skeleton flexible or rigid?” A reminder that a baby would not be upright, walking and talking if their skelton was ridgid.  

Here are some silent or elusive stimulus in a classroom that continue to somatically model patterns of learning for consideration.   For home learning consider the same concepts and transfer them to the home learning environment.

#1.  Physical environment  

The physical environment of the classroom is a hidden pattern of learning.  It will stimulate adults and children alike through its design.  Some classrooms have strong bones that are balanced and ground those within its walls, or weak bones that create anxiety.  There will also be participants and with their own unique responses to the design like those who have a tendency to be left brain learners.  They will be comfortable in a highly structured environment while those who are right brain dominant will do better with soft edges.  Why is this important?  Right and left brain reactive behaviours of flight, fight or freeze.

    • Skeleton of the classroom:

Obvious and stays the same day to day

      • structure
        • walls, ceiling, floors, carpet, stairs, hallways, doors, windows
      • furniture
        • chairs, desks, benches, equipment

Elusive and  fluid

      • heat

The need for rounding the edges in design to increase spinal rotation in the classroom

 

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    • Decor or theme of the classroom:

The colour of the walls and furniture will mostly likely stay the same for the full year.  It is what is posted on the walls, boards, furniture and equipment that will be changeable throughout the school year.  The decorations are an added element influencing learning and reactions.  They can be inspiring, motivational or disruptive.

Obvious and stays the same day to day 

      • colour

Obvious and fluid

      • decorations

 

 

Decor can be rich and inspire or boring and draining


    • Sounds in the classroom

Obvious and changes moment to moment 

      • bells, other classes nearby, noise in halls

 

Noise can be a distraction.  Bells are designed to interrupt to change the flow of attention.  Voice announcement are designed to get ones focus of attention.  Other noises from voices and sounds in other rooms or hallway aren’t designed to refocus attention however they do.

Sound can be calming and comforting, or startling and disconnecting

.


    • Air in the classroom:

Elusive and obvious, and changes moment to moment 

      • odours
      • quality (stale or fresh)

 

The quality of air in the classroom is an element that can be a distraction, a mood stimulator and can be healthy or unhealthy.

Smells can be soothing or unsettling

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#2.  Cultural environment (classroom)

    • Skeleton of the classroom:

Another part of the classroom foundation is the social interaction model.  This would include the spoken word, listening skills and expectations.  It includes the interaction between students and teachers, parents and teachers, and students with peers.  The spoken word makes up only 3 percent of what’s being communicated.  The remaining 97 percent is the tone, facial expression and body language.  The younger the student entering the institution, the more they will be receiving through their senses.  Another silent learning pattern that influences a child for life.  A child will not be taught consciously how to process what they are perceiving and they will be left to their own devices to interpret.  This creates filters of interpretation starting at a 5 year olds level that can remain a habit unless purposely trained.  Imagine being 80 years old and still interpreting interaction from a strategy developed at 5 years old.

Elusive and fluid

      • relationships

 

.

Elusive and Obvious

      • expectations of relationships
      • goals and intentions of relationships

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#3.  Philosophical environment  (classroom)

    • Skeleton of the classroom:

This part of the classroom foundation includes the schools mission statement and curriculum for learning, the Ministry guidelines and the individual teachers and teachers aid curriculums.  The purpose and intention will be an obvious structure.  The individual cultural beliefs will be elusive.  Cultural beliefs will be habits created through individual and unique early childhood learning.   This is an important point for being in agreement and on the same page with other adults in the classroom as children will sense any reaction shared between adults.  The silent expressions will be obvious to them.  Imagine the patterns they are learning.

Elusive and obvious, and fluid

      • curriculum
      • goals and intentions of educational curriculum expectations
      • goals and intentions of both school and classroom
      • individual students perspective from home life

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If learning from home – translate into homes space & expectations

 

Back to Feldenkrais and early learning for aging well


The only way to change is action

Explore Next learning steps


by Renee Lindstrom

Effective Movement Posture with Feldenkrais integrating Awareness through Communication and Awareness through Space

Mentoring Programs Available:

 1st Level – Getting Started (Introduction & Pattern)
 2nd Level – Getting Intouch (Experiencing & Connection)
 3rd Level – Integration (Embodiment)

Follow the journey on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP @ Inside Awareness,  Living in Natures Love Blog
Renee Lindstrom Live
Copyright 2014 – 2021 Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

Feldenkrais®, Feldenkrais Method®, Awareness Through Movement®, Functional Integration®, are registered service marks of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America. Feldenkrais Method®

Feldenkrais and early learning for aging well

How the 3 & 4 dimensional movement patterns at birth are reduced to one dimension through the influences of  well meaning adults

  • Aging well begins as children
  • Resilience begins at birth 
  • Physical, mental & emotional flexibility is shaped by outside influences 

Learning Patterns

As a Feldenkrais Practitioner I see a range of people of different ages and capabilities who are seeking to increase the range of motion in their movement functions.  What has stood out for me is the similarity in linear patterns of  movement and the inner-narratives my students share, both young and old alike.  The loss of  three and four dimensional movement patterns of early childhood is obvious. These fluid patterns have been replaced with a linear pattern that I call one dimensional.

Consider this picture of squares and circles.  When I look at it my eyes are drawn through a tunnel to an opening.  I use this to demonstrate an experience of dimensions and to reflect a balance between right and left brains.  The left brain is structured, so I am using a square to demonstrate it, and the right is flexible, so I am using a circle.

In addition to the square and circle reflecting the left-right brains, I am also using it to demonstrate the balanced learning patterns of  babies rotational pattern of movement. 

Physical movement through the body is rotational due to the:

  • nature of circular bone joints
  • independent movement of each vertebrae to turn left and right
  • rotational swinging movements of arms and legs
  • independant swinging shifts of movement available through the right and left sides of the pelvis

  These rotational skeletal movements create counter balance.  

The definition of linear is:

  1.  Linear movement:  arranged in or extending along a straight or nearly straight line.

2.  Linear narrative:  progressing from one stage to another in a single series of steps; sequential

Early learning patterns

How early stages of learning differ and the effects on mobility  

A traditional learning environment for children is the classroom.   However prior to entering the educational system children are learning in a home environment. 

At birth a baby has its own inner system of learning. 

Babies independently learn how to create patterns of movement to bring themselves into rolling, holding objects, crawling, sitting, eating, standing, walking and running, etc.   They develop inner abilities to transition from one posture to another in conjunction with absorbing what is going on around them.  When coming into these upright positions babies will model the actions and behaviours the environment has stimulated.  Before they come into upright positions a baby must first simultaneously feel its own bone structure through the feedback of hard surfaces that is bearing its weight in conjunction with making a conscious connection to intentionally shifting its weight.  What makes this  interesting for us as adults is that a baby does not have the same mental stages of development we do.  Consider how an adults mental education has  taken years to develop.   A baby is just staring this journey and is born with an uncorrupted system of learning encompassing a broader range of functions.  Very different than the limited focus of attention that an adult has learned.  This uncorrupted learning ability is universal in all babies.  

Rotational movement actions  

The roll initiated by the flat line feedback.  The circle contained within the square. 

Stage two of early learning patterns

After exploring at home for a few short years a baby will enter into a phase of learning that shifts their focus from right-left brain balance to dominantly left brain.  This stage is primary school. 

In primary school school babies enter into an environment that slowly shifts their earlier focus from physical and mental  learning to mental tasks and memorization.  This includes elusive patterns through the environment itself.  In these pictures you can see this shift through the 3 designs.  There is a subtle shift building  momentum in this direction from physical to mental processing.   One example in these pictures that contributes to lifelong habits of not aging well is the development of sitting in chairs for long periods. The natural design of the body is to squat, not sit on chairs.  There are serious consequences to losing connection to one’s physical body function from sitting in chairs for long periods.  

On the classroom influences that reduce rotational mobility

Remember

Right-left brain learning has a focus of somatic creativity through exploration while left brain dominant has a focus on memorization and tasks. 

A baby’s learning pattern harnesses both right-left brain in balance from birth. Well meaning adults, who no longer tap into a balanced right-left brain approach themselves, are eager to teach and shape their futures.  This shifts organic learning to a prescribed model that has focus on linear patterns and a hierarchical perspective that is solution orientated.   As mentioned above, a tool being uncloaked as dangerous to future wellbeing is the chair.  A dominant tool still used since the first schoolhouse focus of  drilling down on the A, B, C’s.  We now know that chairs interfere with future patterns of whole function.    As adults, it is now considered the most unhealthy piece of furniture, yet a child is still placed in a chair for hours a day.  Upon learning this adults will seek outside solutions.  Yet, the most important aspects lost in these strategies are the movement patterns themselves.   Learn more on how to create healthier chair experiences in the classroom and make it apart of your daily curriculum.  This does not include getting up and running for a minute or doing jumping jacks.  

Learn more on how to increase the connection between physical mico-movements and the classroom chair for developing a child’s ability to age well

Background

As a Feldenkrais Practitioner I see a range of people of different ages and capabilities who are seeking to increase the range of motion in their movement functions. The focus of a Feldenkrais session is to tap into the current patterns of movement and to investigate any potential of expanding it.  Attention is on the movement itself versus giving it labels or diagnosing it.  The primary goal is to become present to the felt experience and explore a new pattern of available movement.  Not memorization.   The actual somatic learning experience is inside the function without any limitations of philosophical self-image.   The self-image development through one’s first phase of development is the felt sense image.  This has a connection to the support through the body as a response to the ground.  After the first self-image phase the focus is on outside worldly feedback.    

An example for understanding this suggestion of philosophy and self image is the philosophy and practice of yoga.  Yoga is an Eastern Indian spiritual philosophy comparable to Buddhism.  The movement of Yoga focuses on poses with names not associated with the body.  Dog and cat poses reflects a movement seen in dogs and cats and then mimicked for a wonderful stretch.  I have had students who adopt yoga as a lifestyle that includes adopting a new identity.  This is through clothing,  community and how they wish to seen by others through behaviours or appearances.  Rather than natural random pictures in their social media posts I have observed posed  yoga themes whether they are out for coffee or at the beach.    The standing tree pose seems to be the most popular.  This is where one is standing on one leg with the other leg bent so that foot can rest on the inside of the standing leg.  Sometimes awkwardly as the body is not a tree!

Language and images can shift natural inner development and create an alternate way forward deepening the divide between inner body awareness and external self imaging.

The focus of Feldenkrais isn’t on posing and stretching.  The focus is on the felt sense of anatomy, specifically the skeletal micro-movements.  As a Feldenkrais Practitioner I view the whole skeleton from skull to toes as the core of one’s strength and flexibility.  The skeleton is the foundation to intentional movement for each of us in our own movement patterns which  motivates us to roll, sit, stand, walk and run.  A baby spends its first months developing a felt sense of their own skeletons anatomy which  I now observe as a gap in the adult experience.   Feldenkrais can take an adult into an exploration of the skeletons anatomy using felt senses  to fill in some of the missing gaps.

Over time the experience of working with differing ages of students has led to my belief that everyone is learning from the same hidden or elusive patterns.  Patterns modelled in the surroundings at early ages, and for extended periods of time.  Some patterns being integrated create constraints later that lead to reduced function.  This influences false narratives of conditions in later years.  I have observed how change can happen when stuck artificial patterns are brought into obvious awareness.  Once recognized there is choice and the hidden consequences are easily balanced.  Some early tangible and elusive learning patterns can be replicated to successfully create new patterns for aging well.    

An aspect of somatic learning in babies is the choices moment to moment.  As newborns lose their shiny newness they are molded into the communities lifestyle that limits choices by its very nature.

On the classroom influences that reduce rotational mobility 

The only way to change is action


by Renee Lindstrom

Feldenkrais in the Classroom integrating Awareness through Communication & Awareness through Space

Mentoring Programs Available:

 1st Level – Getting Started (Introduction & Pattern)
 2nd Level – Getting Intouch (Experiencing & Connection)
 3rd Level – Integration (Embodiment)

Follow the journey on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP @ Inside Awareness,  Living in Natures Love Blog
Renee Lindstrom Live
Copyright 2014 – 2021 Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

Feldenkrais®, Feldenkrais Method®, Awareness Through Movement®, Functional Integration®, are registered service marks of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America. Feldenkrais Method®

The need for rounding the edges in design to increase spinal rotation in the classroom

This Feldenkrais Mentor and Lifestyle Coach has a growing awareness of how  hidden learning patterns can eventually lead to reduced mobility through the spine.  

 

WHY?

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Over time I have observed how reduced movement through one’s spine can have an enormous impact in one’s physical, mental and emotional health. 

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Examples of Hidden Patterns that contribute to the loss of flexible rotation through the spine

I encourage you to consider the following prior to shifting your focus to  environmental influences, physical expectations and  focused learning styles  that I believe contribute to the loss of flexible rotation through the spine:

Observe yourself while reading this and pause to check in for your style.  Do you take information in in a left or right brain way.

For example, do you mentally compare this information to what you have stored in your memory already or immediately seek  references?  These two actions are left brain focused. If no, then do you receive information with an open investigative quality?  Exploring is different than solving and this qualify activates the somatic experience.  Let’s call this right brain experiencing. 

I encourage you to read this from a quality of investigation versus analysing or seeking comparisons.  In the introductory article, Feldenkrais and early learning for aging well,  the focus is on how observing human functioning through a variety of ages and backgrounds where all students demonstrated similar functional limitations.  Limitations that can only have come from hidden patterns of learning.  These constraints disappear  when these same students experience new information to integrate into their functional patterns.  Students from 15 to 94.  

All of us are born with similar abilities for learning to increase function and create habits as the building blocks to further development.   We all are born with an inner learning system.  Critical thinking comes later in our development process.   As a Feldenkrais Practitioner my focus is completely on tapping into this first inner exploring ability to take a student into experiencing if they can do more than they think they can.  There is no diagnosing, no judgments, no comparisons, no analysing and no fixing them with solutions. 

My unspoken question is,  “What can you do differently?”  

Environmental  Design Patterning

The ability to rotate increases counter balance, resilience and flexibility throughout life

ROTATIONAL REMINDERS IN PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENTS

Design

Prior to studying Feldenkrais I spent time uncovering the elusive qualities and corresponding effects in one’s surroundings. Here are three examples of how design can be an elusive influence for learning bad habits.  

  • Example #1 in architectural design:

Two straight lines  come together to create a sharp edge or point.

 

This is called a secret arrow and it can be agitating for those experiencing it for extended periods.  If you are kinesthetic your may feel the differences of the points and round container in this picture.  It is an example of how a felt experience can be created by what one can see.  Without the rounded container placement these points would stimulate warning senses.  Two recommendations are:

#1.  remove any furniture away from the aim of  a corner

#2.  place a distraction in front of the point like in this picture

Rounded corners would be prefered to sharp corners for all young children, parents and educators during formative education years.  Physical movement is rotational.  It is not linear.  The environment is an elusive model for learning patterns.  My recommendation is to shift the somatic experience of sharp edges and straight lines by installing stimulus that connects the outer experience with inner function. 

What I notice in later teens and in adults of all ages is that they all walk in a linear pattern.  Their early counter rotation has completely disappeared.  I am suggesting that the linear lines in homes and schools are being demonstrated through to their actions.  This is more evident in the next example.
  • Example #2 in pathways or hallways:

Hallways become the model for linear movement at an early age.  How much time does a student spend in hallways and aisles growing up?  The visual stimulus of straight lines in architecture, roadways and sidewalks become the structural model or container for children during formative years as they begin to focus their attention.  Emphasis is on staying within the lines. 

Straight lines are needed to focus direct attention however not at the expense of curved line experiences.  Curved lines are need to balance the escalation of too much stimulus by the reminder that movement is rotational, playful and joyful, not square and ridgid.    
This concept is important now due to COVID design measures of organizing.  How can you soften the edges of this experiences for children to remind them they are resilient and flexible.   

Furniture and Placement

Desk Placement

In the perfect classroom the teacher’s desk would be along the wall with the  entryway and exits. 

 

However in most classrooms the teacher faces the door forcing children to sit with their backs to them.  Unfortunately this elusive placement stimulates a reactive quality of danger in the children.  This will stimulate their flight, fight, freeze brain center guaranteeing many  distractions.  

If you entered a traditional Buddhist learning environment with this placement, leaving the students backs unprotected,  a person would be placed at the door.  This persons placement would settle the students sensibilities and create a safe place for being present to learn.

Desk to close together or shared 

The safety, privacy, independence and autonomy of the child is lost with two or more per table or if they are close together.  Younger  children would not understand this intellectually yet they would experience it through inner reactions.  These reactions become habitual throughout a lifetime.

The desk experience can be an integral step to learning what boundaries are, yet this is mostly a lost opportunity due to its elusive nature.  The crowding of desks is a strategy for an adult problem.  In the process of fixing this adult problem the  lost opportunity for the children is the potential to  learn though simple dialogue modelling.  The reason is that in the process of fixing a problem there is usually  no consideration for outcomes or of how participants will process the experience.  This creates the following question for me.   Why do adults leave children to process their own reactions without guidance?  I have witnessed the lack of an empathetic listener and guidance of spoken word patterns for children to process an experience.  In the case of overcrowding with desks there is an expectation that the kids fit into the model without any acknowledgement of how this is for them and then letting them hear back the need for it.  This small interaction is the first step to empathy.  It all starts with dialogue that includes exploring what it’s like for the student and then giving them the opportunity to understand the need for it.   It doesn’t mean the configuration changes.  It simply means that it is no longer an elusive distraction.

When desks are too close a question that arises  is, “how can a child focus if they aren’t emotionally safe in their own learning space?”  Another is, “At what age is a child compared and judged for their appearance, learning materials and how they complete tasks by their own peers?” These are normal conditions and I am sure we can all agree on that they are going to be a part of life.  However, I am suggesting  that their learning model can accommodate consideration for making the elusive obvious by slowing down and considering the influences to their learning.   Sensing and emotions are stimulated by environmental influences and can only be fully released when they receive acceptance and understanding.  Environmental influences include relationships, verbal dialogue, body communication, expectations and directions, and the actual physical surroundings.

Remember that a pattern of words can be learned to express boundaries.

Desk corners 

  • Sharp corners

As mentioned earlier, sharp corners increase agitation and add to the distraction in students.  Ideally the corners on desk and tables would be rounded.

 

Back to Feldenkrais and early learning for aging well


The only way to change is action


by Renee Lindstrom

Effective Movement Posture with Feldenkrais integrating Awareness through Communication and Awareness through Space

Mentoring Programs Available:

 1st Level – Getting Started (Introduction & Pattern)
 2nd Level – Getting Intouch (Experiencing & Connection)
 3rd Level – Integration (Embodiment)

Follow the journey on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP @ Inside Awareness,  Living in Natures Love Blog
Renee Lindstrom Live
Copyright 2014 – 2021 Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

Feldenkrais®, Feldenkrais Method®, Awareness Through Movement®, Functional Integration®, are registered service marks of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America. Feldenkrais Method®

 

Signs of low Calcium

Effects of deficient calcium

  • Weight Gain
  • Weak bones
  • Lack of sound sleep
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Fluctuating Blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Numbness
  • Tingling in hands arms, feet legs and mouth
  • Muscle tremors
  • Muscle cramps
  • Pain in arms, underarms and thighs
  • Painful when walking

FYI:  Increasing Calcium can increase weight loss

Back to Are you Eating for Spinal Cord & Nerve Health
Back to Vertebrae & the Spine 
Back to Spinal Cord & the Nerves

Learn why combining Feldenkrais with eating plan can improve spine function

 


The only way to change is action


by Renee Lindstrom

Effective Movement Posture Mentoring Programs Available:

 1st Level – Getting Started (Introduction & Pattern)
 2nd Level – Getting Intouch (Experiencing & Connection)
 3rd Level – Integration (Embodiment)

Follow the journey on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP @ Inside Awareness,  Living in Natures Love Blog
Renee Lindstrom Live
Copyright 2014 – 2021 Renee Lindstrom, GCFP