Guidelines for Mindful Movement Lessons

In this thirteen-minute installment of the podcast, I give guidelines for doing the mindful movement lessons in a safe and effective manner, including positions and props, addressing issues like tremor and dystonia, and where to direct your attention throughout a lesson. If you are familiar with guidelines from the Feldenkrais Method, you might skip this introduction. Otherwise, please take the time to listen to this so as to maximize the benefit of these lessons.

The Spinal Chain

Can you sense most of your 24 vertebrae? How much range of movement might you gain if you could? To be able to sense one's spine and its movement is one of the fundamental bases of safe, effective, and enjoyable movement. In this classic 20-minute lesson, we explore mobility of the spine, pelvis, and hip joints - essential areas for balance and strength. The lesson is done lying on the back. 

Spinal Rotation

In this 38-minute lesson, done lying on each side and on the back, we explore spinal rotation - the ability of the vertebrae to rotate or twist. We also look at how deep breathing - which involves muscles related both to breathing and spinal posture - can increase the ease and range of spinal rotation. The lesson ends with some walking, exploring how healthy spinal rotation can become a conscious part of walking and swinging the arms. This lesson was taught as the second lesson during a Mindfulness for Parkinson's workshop, so it would make sense to do it after having done the lesson "Mobility of the Shoulder Blades."

Mobility of the Shoulder Blades

In this 40-minute lesson done lying on the back, we explore the range of movements available to the shoulder blades. With gentle movement, we try to "unglue" the musculature that binds the shoulder blades into a fixed position in relation to the spine on so many people, thus hindering movements like reaching, carrying objects, and turning the steering wheel of a car. This lesson was taught as the first of a two part series at a Mindfulness for Parkinson's workshop, with the second being "Spinal Rotation."

Balance #2, Safe and Dynamic Walking - Developing Awareness of Weight Shift and Soles of the Feet

In this forty-three minute lesson, we explore balance in walking through awareness of the soles of the feet and the availability of the ankles, knees, and hip joints to adjust in movement. The lesson is mostly done standing and walking, with interludes sitting in a chair. The ideal set-up for this lesson is a chair (with a back), and enough space to walk around or back and forth in the room.