We started the lesson with some gentle walking about the space. Going through directions and lengthening. We did a little chair work and then into floor work where I spent a bit of time on taking the arms and trying to get her to release.
We talked about the idea of stopping, letting go and non-doing in semi supine. Adriana had a frozen shoulder, she had been practising a little semi supine, so I asked her to show me how she lies down at home and arranges herself and also what messages she sends from her mind to her muscles. We talked about this and how it should be done in three stages. The organising, the letting go and finally the directions. She said that she asks her shoulders to widen away from each other and her knees to go up to the ceiling. I reiterated to her that it is also important to think about lengthening along the spine and of the dynamic opposition between the head and feet. That thinking of a two -way asking for length can help with the springy quality we want to think of along the spine. I had sent her a worksheet prior to the lesson about practising stopping and finding an internal sense of pause i.e.) practising the skill of inhibition. At first it is ideal to do this in semi supine but as lessons progress and she gets more adept at practising it can be used in other activity, even in the midst of activity.
I worked on getting her to open the upper back by working on the knees and directing strongly to ask for the same in the shoulders. Then I took an arm on one side and scooped a hand under the scapula. Then placed my hands on the lumber spine and knee to get her to think about the connection between the back and the legs. Then I took a leg and replaced it and repeated. I did the both on same sides. We then did a mixture of breathing exercises including the whispered Ah. I am to send a typed sheet of these to remind her. FFF and SSSS and 12345 and Lalala and whispered Ahhh.
We finished with a little chair work. I suggested she practise the breathing lying down when released and then followed it up with some chair work. Next session I would like to visit the pelvic exercises we did with Niamh to engage the pelvic floor in singing and revisit the wall work.
2 Lengthening and Widening into Monkey
I stood with Adriana at the start of the lesson and asked her to think about sending her head away from her feet encouraging lengthening in the body. I asked her to come to quiet, come back to herself. To think the head going forwards and up and at the same time to let her heels go into the floor. I put my left hand on her Atlanto-Occipital joint and my right on her forehead to encourage this forward and away direction. I then moved behind her and put a hand either side on her ribcage to encourage a sense of ‘up’ throughout her torso. I moved her collar back to the side and placed my hand back on the Atlanto-Occipital joint properly. Then I placed my other hand on her forehead and I asked her to think of her neck to be free so that her head could go forwards and away, her back lengthening and widening, her knees, hips and ankle joints releasing. I asked her to let this build until the weight of her head would tip her forwards and in to a monkey. Once there I picked up her arm and let it gently drop to make sure it was released, and she wasn’t pulling the arm into the torso. I asked her to revisit the directions again, neck free so the heads can go forward and up, back to lengthen and widen and knees to go forwards and away. Legs dropping away from the knees and heels going into the floor.
I put my hand on her hip joint and suggested she ask for release. Then I put one hand on the hip joint and the other on the knee and concentrated on asking for a release from these two points. Then I asked her to think in a moment she would allow herself to come up to her full height leading with her head direction and I guided her through this and into standing.