Two Directions – one to think, one to notice

The habit is always to contract, to shrink, to lose our length and restrict sensory information.

Knowing this we must consciously think the opposite in the very situations that make us forget ourselves.

The directions to think are those that go through the centre of your bones – they are expansive away from your core

The directions to notice are those that operate through the fabric of your muscles – they are contractive towards your core.

The two directions are equal and opposite – the musculoskeletal system is a tensegrity structure or perfect anti-gravitational device.

Lengthening and directing legs procedure

The leg muscles are so strong and constantly in use that noticing habitual misuse is sporadic.

Spend 5 minutes practising awareness by:

Sitting on some books or a yoga block on a laminate wooden or slippery floor one leg outstretched.

Now practise drawing the leg towards you without doing it.

First start by sending your directions and maintaining the direction outwards to the heel – keeping the mental connection with the heel at all times.

As you draw the leg towards you the habit will shift the mind away from the heel as you “do” the action rather than “not doing” it.

Keep inhibiting and directing and only moving to the point where the mental shift happens and start again. At the beginning just a small bend of the knee will shift the mind until strengthening of inhibition and direction builds.

This isent about whether you can bend the leg!

Recognise end-gaining and start again.

In so doing you build the habit of mentally being aware of all of you from the tip of your head to the souls of your feet.

Pulsing is the meaning of continuous

The recognition that like the heart beating, the eyes blinking, everything is pulsing.

The mind puts everything together to create an apparent continuous happening.

The reality is that everything pulses – begins and ends in every moment.  By being aware of the reality is a great relaxation.

Inhibition and direction should be seen and applied as such – in pulses, repeatedly.

Opposition – AntiGravity – Centrifugal

These are the qualities experienced when the best relationship with the environment is attained.

Opposition – there is a gentle antagonistic pull away from the object with which you are in relationship with

Antigravity – a weightless floating yet solid experience

Centrifugal – that all parts are expanding outwards – one away from the other – as if the central point of reference is outwards

Muscles go OVER at least one joint

It’s easy to wrongly think about your muscles like your bones – you can see the start and end of bones more easily – it’s at the point of the joint.

But the muscles are like leverage pulleys and so they must go over joints or attach to points either side of a joint – this gives the structure stability.  Look in an anatomy book to find the beginning and end of muscles.

Often muscles of the leg go over 2 joints like the ankle and knee.

The muscles of the inner thigh go from the femur to the pubic bone keeping the hip joint in place.

Which muscles are over tightened? And so causing undue pressure on a joint?

How to work at a computer?

During a lesson we practise and have the experience of active sitting – sitting in balance whilst sending directions – without a forward stimulus caused by a computer screen

So to work on yourself – sit looking at your room – be aware notice

Swivel round look at your screen – what happens? 

(You will notice that the screen impacts your balance – one gives up control to a screen!)

This is how awareness/insight into our particular habit patterns accumulates.

The problem is the “doing” caused by an external stimulus – or put another way our reaction to the screen sets in motion a chain of unconscious habitual patterns – together termed our “use”.  Poor use will affect our functioning over time and impact our life experience.

Can you work on your computer as a secondary activity with your primary interest instead being on your Primary Control?

This is what we practise continually during the lesson and a key part of FM’s insight.

This applies to all activity – talking, cooking…..and is what we term “thinking in activity”

It’s a complete change in approach to all of life’s activities.

Finding the AO joint

Given the importance of the AO joint in the first direction “Let the neck be free” – let’s make sure we can locate it accurately.  

Keep refining your own internal location – making the point of balance smaller and smaller
As a guide the AO joint can be located three dimensionally by saying it is:

– Equidistant between the back of the ear holes

– Directly behind the centre bottom of the nose

– Just above the back of the roof of the mouth

“Let the neck be free”

This is the first FM direction and the most important.

We should start here and keep coming back here before any further directions are given.

So given it’s importance a clear understanding of each word is required:

Let – As in all the directions it’s a thought only – the volition to allow – a non-doing action – becoming aware that we are not letting but holding and having become aware to stop holding and hence letting.

Neck – This is short hand for the uppermost joint in the neck – the atlanto-occipital joint (AO joint) – this is where the first bone in the neck, the atlas, meets the bone that makes up the base of the skull, the occiput. 

Free – this balancing point is not a thing – it is a no-thing – an infinite space between two bones.  It’s characteristic is freedom.  This freedom is the guiding principle behind the Primary Control – the relationship between the head and back.