Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2016 >Daily Dispatch #5

January 5, 2016: Feldenkrais Lesson #4 and Introduction to Internal Martial Arts

Quite the day in terms of doors opening. I did push some, but they readily flew open. First of all, Pete and I went to Anchorage for our weekly Feldenkrais session with Shari Lee. The area in front of her studio was icy so we entered via the side door.

We did a sitting exercise – we sat at the edge of our chairs, knees slightly lower than hips. We began by crossing our arms, right over left, and left under right. We then looked skyward, and at the same time took into account where there was and wasn’t movement in our spine. My spine felt tight to me the entire length, except in the neck, and really tight between my shoulder blades.

We then partnered up and put our hands on our partner’s back, in the places where they said they were tight. My back was tight; my partner’s back was tight.

We again crossed our arms, this time opening our mouths as we looked up, and then did the same opening and closing our mouths. At the same time, I began to think about dropping my upper body weight to my hip joints, and also thinking of the tripod points on my feet.

I did not feel any releases. Instead, I became more aware of points of tension – again, between the shoulder blades and my upper left arm – range of motion also limited – and as well in my rib cage where I fell last summer. This may have not been the best exercise for me – I most wanted to be doing floor exercises – but perhaps my being aware sufficed in this particular instance.

We next crossed our arms the other way – I had to think about this before doing it which in and of itself is quite interesting. Then we again looked up, mouth open. I am now thinking about how riders might do this on horseback – might be possible on a calm horse or if (yes) someone was holding the horse. Great idea. The work did me good. After, I felt loose in the hips though the back was still tight.

On the way home we stopped in town – I had an appointment at the Seven Sages Martial Arts Studio. We could not find the place. We called Jen and Jay, the owners, and were told that their place was not in town but off Soapstone Road, near where my friend Vickie lives. This seemed to me to be fortuitous, as did the fact that Jen and Jay are long-time student/teachers of martial arts practices.

This seemed to me to complement the fact that they live very simply. There is no clutter at all in their simple lives. I met their Great Dane Hannah, a very mellow and gentle dog. They invited me into their kitchen and there I drank tea and ate scones. This, I thought, is the way ALL people should do business. They were both calm and very centered. This is the only way to describe the pair. We soon determined that they have many commonalities including a love of our general area. The two have studied with grand masters – they had their photos on their walls.

I had this urge to get down on their studio laminate floor and do some spinal process releases. I said this was akin to a horses’ wanting to get down and roll.

I was also impressed with Jen and Jay’s breadth of knowledge about martial arts, in fact so much so that I’ve decided to start taking classes with them – tomorrow evening.

So yes, doors are swinging open for me (still) with seemingly little effort. It’s quite remarkable -- I can’t believe all that is going on in my life. I am going to be so centered that no one is ever going to believe it. Lucky me, lucky family members. Lucky friends. Lucky, lucky horses.

Next: 6. 1/6/16: A Conversation with Hrimfara – Thanks but no Thanks

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles