Interlacing Fingers – A Movement Lesson

The following is a simple movement lesson based on the Feldenkrais Method® of Awareness Through Movement. It is designed to bring attention to present sensations and observations, with periodic breaks while you rest.

Try this:

Sit comfortably in a chair. Interlace your fingers, so that one thumb is on top and the pinky from the other hand is on the bottom. Palms are together. Rest in this configuration for a moment. Notice your breathing. Is it smooth and easy or labored? Sense if you are holding any muscles unnecessarily. Notice that you chose to interlace your fingers in this particular way. We will call this configuration of interlacing your habitual interlacing of fingers. What can you sense in this position?

Now unclasp your hands and fingers, and just rest for a moment.

Still sitting, interlace your fingers again, but this time place the other thumb on top, with the opposite pinky on the bottom; palms together. Notice yourself in this configuration. We will call this the nonhabitual interlacing of your fingers. Notice your breathing, your arms and shoulders. Take your time to sense yourself; how is it for your fingers? Your arms? Your shoulders and neck? What else do you notice?

Now, unclasp your fingers and rest again.

Interlace your fingers again, in the habitual way. Has anything changed in your awareness? What do you sense?

Rest.

Now repeat interlacing your fingers in the non-habitual way. How does it feel this time? What do you notice?

This simple lesson illuminates an aspect of human habituation. Because we have two sides, our nervous system habituates to a particular way of enacting this task. The beauty in Awareness Through Movement lies in the introduction of making distinctions and finding new possibilities explored in infancy and childhood.

It is useful to approach an Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lesson with curiosity and a sense of wonder. In ATM, we are investigators, attempting access to movement possibilities we may have forgotten. Increasing our range of possibilities of movement potentially opens the door to more efficient and more potent movement.

See if this lesson lingers in some way throughout your day or week. You may want to revisit it, and sense any new sensations or awarenesses. This may just be the beginning of reconnecting with natural abilities to move, think and feel.

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