Feldenkrais: Help In Standing Tall
Each of us was given, as part of our birthright, a certain height. When we stand at this height, we look good. We look like ourselves.
But things can happen, and the height can become less.
Some causes of getting shorter may be irreversible, but others may have the possibility of changing.
Here is a fact to reflect on: our tensions make us short. By contrast, to relax is to become taller.
In the book, A Story Like the Wind, Laurens van der Post recalls his childhood among the Matabele in South Africa. In the evening, after a long day hunting, the tribe gathered around a campfire. The chief took his place and invited relaxation with the phrase, “Come, let us let our bodies be long.”
Many of us wish we could relax like this: outside, around a campfire, listening to the night sounds, and feeling ourselves under the stars.
Perhaps vacation takes us there.
In the meantime, while living in our mostly urban environment, other approaches can help. One such is the Feldenkrais Method. It is named after its founder, Moshe Feldenkrais.
The Feldenkrais Method is a way, through movement, to bring about greater harmony in the body, and more generally throughout the self. Every demand of life, so it seems, is to activate. Feldenkrais wanted to be effective and get things, but he also asked the bigger question: “How do I get things done?”
The activity of the Feldenkrais Method is, first of all, to focus on how you do things. Simple things, like reaching and rolling over. Then, to help you increase your awareness of having choices. And then to match choices to the situation.
As an example, will you make an experiment, please, in how you are when you come to stand.
- Usual. From sitting, please stand. Pause there, and note your sense of height. Then, walk a few steps. Observe how you feel as you walk. Resume sitting.
- Worse than usual. As you stand again, feel that you are rushed and do not take your full height. Walk like that.
- Better than usual. As you stand again, take the time to draw yourself up to your full height, and even, aim to be a little taller than usual. Pause, then walk.
Do you notice any differences? Is it interesting to question like this?