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Lopsided Different

Recently after Feldenkrais class a student told me that the biggest insight was in her sense of her body.  She said standing and lying down were not the same, that she was shaped differently. She called it “lopsided different”. She feels her standing has some deviations from a balanced and centered position. She expected to feel this same shaping when she was lying down. But by checking in carefully with her self, she found that she was actually arranging herself in another way.

Our bodies are not made of wood or stone. We are able to reshape ourselves. We tend to think we are just “made that way”, but the reality is that we have habits- habits so strong that we come to  believe in them as facts.  The good news is these can be altered.

What does it take? It takes noticing that the habit exists. As soon as a habit comes under examination, we start to change. It is our image of our bodymind reality that controls much of our habits. we act according to our expectations of our self. The choice to examine a habit softens the image, making it more malleable

Dr. Feldenkrais said, “If you know what you are doing, you can do what you want.” We are often doing something quite different from what we think we are doing. We have old injuries, emotional needs that may be hidden from ourselves, and places of incomplete learning. These all can be at odds with what we are trying to accomplish.

Here’s Rodin’s marvelous rendition “Saint Pierre”. Rodin had a particular genius for showing how our idiosyncrasies create character.

We don’t need to resolve everything to perfection to be able to function accurately. We can cope quite well if we take into account our quirks. awareness allows us to step around the obstacles that previously tripped us.

When we notice our “lopsided different”, there is an awkward and tender moment. Our self image, our view of reality, is up for renegotiation. This brings great possibility, and likely a dollop of fear, as the ego mind likes to hold onto existing ideas.

When we choose to stay present with that moment, we stay open to opportunity. This allows easier change. More importantly, it creates a new habit. We are acclimating ourselves to overcoming fear and trusting in change through self reflection. Through the process of noticing “what we are doing”, we build a stronger and calmer self. Our “lopsided different” becomes our greatest resource.


January 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sinus care

Sinus pain and infection are frustrating and sap energy. For some people, sinus problems are an obvious health issue. For some others, sinus issues are a hidden drain on their immune systems. An infection can be quietly lurking in the background for decades.

There are drugs for sinus infections. They can work, but they can have wicked side effects. Levaquin is notorious for brutal damage, and all antibiotics damage the ecology of the digestive tract.

Nutrition can help. Dr. Andrew Weill recently was interviewed in the Sun He recommends going off dairy foods for three months. He says this cures many sinus problems. Beside dairy products, sugar, alcohol, white flour and junk food in general seem to exacerbate sinus infections. Spicy food can be eaten to promote drainage. Wasabi, horse radish, hot mustard and various peppers and curries can aid in clearing sinuses.


The neti pot is an awesome tool. It is a small pottery teapot-like thing ususally sold at health food stores for under $20.

Fill it with body temperature water in with a 1/4 teaspoon of table salt. Standing over a sink, you put the spout into one nostril and pour the water through your nasal passages. By tilting your head various ways you can flush your head out thoroughly. The water will pour out your other nostril or go back toward your throat.  This is a great way to relieve the cough caused by post nasal drip. Some doctors recommend also standing and tilting your head back during part of the neti procedure so that you flush the frontal sinus.


Here is an amazing Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lesson. Like all ATM lessons, it will help symptoms, but there is much more to it than first appears. Beside clearing sinuses, it will help develop voice power and clarity. It will also improve posture and breathing and could greatly help your hearing, particularly for pitch and tone.

It can seem very silly, but can be stunningly effective. Sometimes there is a lot of nasal drainage so have some tissues handy.

1. Sitting comfortably, keep your mouth closed (lips together, teeth can separate) and recite a nursery rhyme (or something else easy), as loud and clear as you can.

2. Hum as high a pitch as you can with your mouth closed. Then hum as low as you can with your mouth closed. Make it as loud and long as you can.


3 Pinch off one nostril by pressing a finger against the side of your nose. Hum absolutely as high and loud as you can. Do this a bunch of times. See if you can get higher and louder.
Take a short break.

4. Hum as low as you can. Pinch off the same nostril. Do this a bunch of times. See if you can get lower and louder.

Take a short break.

5. Recite the nursery rhyme with your lips closed. Your teeth can separate. Be absolutely as clear as possible.

6. Do steps 2-4 while pinching off the other nostril.

7. Now tilt your head back and briefly repeat 2-4 on both sides.

Rest for a minute.

8. Tilt your head toward your left shoulder and do 2-4.

9. Then tilt your head right and do 2-4.

10. Bend forward as far as comfortably possible. Repeat steps 2-4 on both sides.

11. Recite your nursery rhyme again. This time keep your teeth together, but open your lips. Exaggerate the enunciation. Make an effort to be loud and clear.

12. Pinch one nostril and hum starting highest and dropping to lowest. Repeat this many times. Try to smooth out the sound so that the pitch can drop more continuously.

13. Do the other nostril.

14. Now start with humming you lowest tone and gliding up to your highest. Be loud and go for making it smoother each repetition.

15. Do your other side.

16. Repeat your first step, keep you mouth closed and recite a nursery rhyme as clearly and loudly as possible.

You can repeat this lesson and get more results. It also works to repeat pieces of the lesson when you don’t have time for the whole. Gradually you will find you have a different sense of the inside of your head.




January 6, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment