Lesson of the Month #6 (12/96)

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


This lesson works mainly with softening the lower back and hip joints, and extending the range of comfortable flexion of the lower back. There's also something here about confrontation with the difficult; do you try harder with your muscles or with your mind?

Works with:
Opening hip joints, softening the lower back in flexion, and creating awareness of numerous linkages across the back of the body.

1. Lie on your back. Just lie there for a while. Let your body get used to the position. Don't do anything. See how it feels today.

2. Bend your knees. Lift your right foot and hold it in your left hand around the arch, being sure to keep the thumb together with the other fingers, apelike, not around the foot. Put your right hand behind your head. Now lift your right foot toward the ceiling several times, gently straightening. DON'T STRAIN! Take it easy, just explore. See what your lower back must do...Then lift your head at the same time you lift the foot, and move your elbow toward the loop formed by your arm and leg. Do it several times, then rest.

3. Repeat #2 on the other side, left foot in right hand.

4. Sit, leaning on left hand, left foot in right hand again. Lift foot and straighten leg comfortably several times. Notice lower back, how weight shifts...then place foot on floor, and, still holding the foot, apelike, let your head come forward as you straighten the leg and slide the foot away from you on the floor. Do it several times. Rest.

5. Repeat #4 on other side.

6. Lie on your back, right foot in left hand, right arm extended to the right or slighly overhead on the floor...Lift right foot gently toward ceiling several times...notice lower back. Then, still holding foot, roll to the right, to bring right knee close to the floor...your left shoulder lifts from the floor, rolling your upper body and head to the right... and return...repeat it several times till it gets easy... then, change it so each time the knee comes to the floor, explore taking your foot toward the floor on the right...your head and upper body are rolled more to the right... then let it go and rest on your back.

7. Repeat #6 considering the possibility that this movement could take you up to a sitting position...try different positions of your right arm and left leg for support and counterbalance... there's no need to strain; it's a matter of balance and a soft back...rest.

8. Repeat #6 and #7 on the other side.

9. Sit, right foot in left hand, left leg bent. Support yourself with right hand...lift the foot toward ceiling several times...then straighten the left leg out in front, and explore taking the right foot to the floor outside the left knee...then with the foot on the floor, lower your head toward the foot several times...maybe your left elbow comes to the floor and you support yourself with your left elbow somehow...let it go and rest on your back.

10. On back, right foot in left hand. Roll to right to sit as in #7. Just once or twice... then roll the right foot toward the floor on the left a number of times...this is a little different, so take your time...eventually it is possible to sit up this way, too, but don't force it...rather, explore different ways of using your right arm and left leg to make the movement easy...if you force it, all you will learn is how to force it. Do the movement as if you didn't have to reach sitting until next year sometime...when you get it , it will be easy...then let it go and rest on your back.

11. Repeat #9 and #10 on the other side.

12. On your back, hold right foot in right hand... put left hand behind your head...then roll to to the right to sit...easy, huh? Change hands and repeat it on the other side a number of times...then rest on your back.

13. On back, right foot in left hand...roll right and straighten leg a bit to the right...then roll left and straighten leg... you go from side to side, straightening the leg on each side...then change hands and repeat it holding the left foot in the right hand...and rest.

15. Lie on your back, holding right foot with right hand, left foot with left hand...your hands hold the outside of each foot, and your elbows are inside your knees so your hands and feet are over your lower belly somewhere, and your knees are out to the sides...(give yourself plenty of floor space for these next movements)...from there lift your head a bit away from the floor and explore a movement of rolling toward your right...your right knee goes toward the floor on the right...your head and body roll toward the right...and your left knee lifts toward the right, so it is somewhere over your body in the air as your right side and right thigh come to the floor...and then roll back onto your back...just repeat that a number of times...your weight rolls from being supported by your entire back to being supported by your right side, and then back onto the back...and rest.

16. Repeat #15 on other side.

17. Repeat #15...but this time as the right knee goes toward the floor, straighten the left leg a bit toward the right...you hang on with your left hand and roll up to sitting, holding one foot in each hand...then lean to the right and reverse it, so you roll down onto your right side, and then continue onto your back...explore it without trying too hard to get get up to sitting...it does take some learning to coordinate balance, effort, and timing...just explore it several times and then let it go and rest on your back.

18. Repeat #17 on the other side.

19. Lie on your back holding each foot...lift your head a little off the floor and roll to the right and up to sitting...but now keep going in the same direction, rolling down to the left...onto your back...rolling to the right, up to sitting, and so on...around and around...fun, huh?...Then change directions, and try that several times...when you've had enough, stretch out and lie on your back, and rest.

20. Bend your knees so your feet are standing. Slowly rock your pelvis up and down, giving your lower back a gentle massage as your waist lifts a little and then presses a little into the floor. Then stretch out and rest...notice how your back feels against the floor...then carefully stand up and walk around the room, noticing any unfamiliar sensations.