The Anatomy of Action
A Course for Feldenkrais® Practitioners
Knowledge of human structure and function was an essential starting place for Moshe Feldenkrais in his work with himself to recover from his knee injuries. Expanding on this knowledge, through hands-on practice with many individuals, led to the development of Functional Integration®. Moshe's genius reached a pinnacle of expression when he began to apply his accumulated understanding from theory and practice to create his unique group movement classes. In over a thousand Awareness Through Movement® lessons he has left us an accurate blueprint for optimizing human function and a methodology for reawakening our capacity to learn to help ourselves.
As Feldenkrais Practitioners® we work with the whole person, not just body parts or areas of diagnosed dysfunction. It is therefore useful to have some understanding and image of what an ideal body organization has the potential to do. Dr. Feldenkrais used this imagined ideal as a 'mental auxiliary' to iniate the direction of his investigation with each new individual.
In his book, The Elusive Obvious, Moshe states (p. 101), "Without my ideal image I am at a loss to know what to look for; each function grades itself when compared with an idealized function...Man's ideal posture is one feature that I have considered most over the years so that I have arrived at a precise idea—or ideal—reinforced by scientific findings and by long practice." Clear anatomical knowledge is essential to formulating such ideal images of function and can better inform the way we help our students improve control and efficiency of their movement.
1. Lower Extremity - Foot, Ankle, Knees
- structure, motion, muscles of the foot, ankle and knee joint
- muscles and tissues crossing the knee joint and protective muscle synergies
- structure, motion, and muscles of the leg as a whole
- exploration of ATM series Pillows And Swings and AY 246 General Coordination
2. Lower Trunk - Hip, Pelvis, Lower Back
- structure and range of motion of hip joint
- muscles of anterior, posterior, medial and lateral hip joint and what they do
- muscular patterns involved in stabilizing and mobilizing joints within pelvis & lower trunk
- mechanics of joint motion of lower spine
- muscles of the lower back
- muscles of the abdominal wall and role of trunk muscles in sustaining various lower spine orientations & movements
- exploration of the ATMs Hip Joints By Way Of Lengthening and Pelvic Clock
3. Spine and Ribs
- postural and movement functions of the spine and trunk as a whole
- bony landmarks of thoracic spine & thorax, e.g. locating each vertabra and identifying its orientation
- movements and muscles of the middle trunk
- moving the volume within thorax: muscles of respiration and general muscular synergies involved in breathing
- exploration of the ATMs AY1 Bending Head To The Side In Sitting, Dead Bird, and Paradoxical Breathing
4. Upper Extremity - Shoulder, Arm, Hand
- structure, motion, muscles of the shoulder girdle
- structure, motion, muscles of the shoulder joint
- elbow and radio-ulnar joints, muscles and actions
- wrist joint and muscles; bones, structure, and motion of hand
- muscles, movements, and activities of the hand
- exploration of ATM series Advanced Use Of The Arms
5. Neck and Head
- mechanics of joint motion of the upper spine & trunk
- muscles of the neck & upper thorax, neck as "head stalk"
- bony landmarks and joints of the skull & cervical spine, movements of head, jaw, and neck
- exploration of the ATMs Periscope—created by Anastasi Siotas—and AY6 Circling The Head Around Its Circumference And In The Center
The Anatomy of Action is designed to provide participants with a basic functional and kinesthetic understanding of our musculoskeletal system in action. We will examine how the shape and location of our bones affects the transmission of forces generated by our effort through muscle synergies, how joint kinematics and patterns of muscle coordination, move us through different orientations, and how positions and constraints in ATM lesons highlight and refine particular relationships. Each meeting will focus on particular ATMs that address the topic at hand. We will deconstruct the steps of lessons in terms of arthrokinematics, muscle synergies and constraints, and examine their implications on real actions.
See our Calendar for the dates and times when THE ANATOMY OF ACTION is offered.