Feldenkrais Lesson of the Month #34 (7/00)

By Rich Frye
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For safety and best results, read instructions before doing lessons!

Seated Twist

Differential rotation of spine, turning and twisting the torso, looking over the shoulder (as when driving), initiating movement from the center of gravity.

Works with:
Differentiating spinal elements; pelvis, waist, trunk, neck, head, eyes.

   1. Stand for a moment, hands hanging loosely at sides...then slowly turn to look over first one shoulder, then another...notice how far you turn easily...is one side easier than another?...which foot do you stand on to look over each shoulder?...walk around the room mindfully...look over each shoulder as you walk, and see how that is...walk in a circle right and left...then lie on back and rest.

2. On your back, notice how your body makes contact with the floor today...compare the right and left sides…remember how it feels...then come to sit with your knees to the right and your feet to the left...the sole of your right foot is near your left knee, and your left foot is near your left hip on the floor...lean comfortably on your right hand, which is on the floor to the right…place left hand lightly on right shoulder, and turn head, shoulders, arm, and hand to the right as far as is easy and comfortable…repeat it many times…notice a spot on the wall as you view past your hand, that marks how far you turn easily…and rest.

3. Same position...now turn right to easy maximum and stay there…slowly turn head and eyes right and left many times…does your weight shift?...then repeat original movement from #1 do you go further?…and let it go and rest.

4. Same position, turn right and stay…this time keep face pointed at same spot...and move eyes slowly left and right…it's okay if nose moves just a little along with movement…which eye is dominant looking to the right?...which to the left?...notice how the movement of the eyes echoes in your waist and belly...and again check original movement, turning head, shoulders, whole body, and notice the continued improvement…rest.

5. Same position, this time close your eyes and turn right, and return...do it many times with eyes closed like that...and after a number of times, turn and stay, and softly open your eyes, and notice the improvement...and rest.

6. Same position, but now rest your left hand on left hip...explore a movement of shifting weight onto the right sitting bone, lifting the left sitting bone away from the floor, and turning to the right to look over your right shoulder...your left hand tells you how the left hip is lifting and turning in space...initiate the turning by first lifting and turning the pelvis…do it many times, slowly...then move hand a little behind left hip, near sacroiliac joint, and continue…do it several times looking back over your left shoulder each time...and then several times turning right and looking over your right shoulder each time...and again repeat the original movement, with left hand on right shoulder, turning whole self to the right…notice improvements…and rest.

7. Now place your left hand on your belly, maybe over your navel, and continue the turning-right movement...your navel moves over your right thigh, and you become aware of the movement in your right hip joint...your weight comes up onto the right sitting bone...repeat it many times...and rest.

8. Same position, but now place your left fingertips on your sternum in the center of your chest…and continue the turning movement...you initiate the turning from the center, from your pelvis, and feel how the movement of the pelvis turns the waist, which turns the chest, which turns the shoulders, neck, and head...then place left hand on throat, and continue…do it several times looking back to the left as you turn right, and several times looking right as you turn right...and then once more repeat the original movement from #1, with left hand on right shoulder, turning to right, and see how much farther you can go easily now than at the beginning...and let it go and rest on back…notice the changes in how you feel.

9. Change your legs so the knees are to the left, feet to the right...and one by one, repeat #1 - #8 on this side…then rest on your back, and feel what is different…then slowly, maintaining the same inward focus as when doing the lesson, bring yourself to standing, and walk around...while you are walking, follow your curiosity to look first right at what you are passing and leaving behind you over the right shoulder, and then left at what you are passing on the left...walk around yourself to the right, and to the left, and see if it feels different from the beginning.