First attention

A bit more about Feldenkrais.

Last Tuesday I was in another Awareness Through Movement class with Rainer Knupp in East London. We started sitting doing some very simple spinal rolls, drawing our attention to the possibilities in both flexion and extension. Rainer then asked us to lie down (on our individual mats), and then said, "Notice what part of your body your attention is drawn to first". But, I'd already starting scanning my body, not settling on a particular part or aspect of my attention, but scanning, hovering across a multitude of points of contact, of sensation, or tightness, or even absence.

I smiled at the time, thinking just how habitual this process of scanning (or channel surfing) the body is for many dancers (perhaps in particular improvisers?). It is undoubtedly an important part of attempting to tune into the body's entirety or wholeness, and yet at the same time it felt as if I had missed out on something. A simple chance to direct my attention to a specific part of my body for a longer period of time, to cease the need to try and notice everything! That's not quite right, but it was a gentle reminder to be aware of the ways and possibilities of noticing the state (or states) of parts of the body, and that these parts might become portals to an alternate kind of corporeal clarity.

Feldenkrais rocks.


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