Reflections on Feldenkrais Alexander Yanai Lesson 303, The Line of the Ball that Rolls

This lesson is the second part of an Alexander Yanai (AY) lesson, AY 303, which has two parts. Part one is a lecture on self-image which must have been given around the same time Moshe was working on his book “Developing Abilities” or as it was later named, “Awareness Through Movement.” This lesson, AY 303 “The Line of the Ball that Rolls,” is very similar to a lesson in that same book. It is a fragment of lesson 11, “Becoming Aware of Parts of Which We are not Conscious with the Help of Those of Which We are Conscious.” In this AY lesson, as in the “Awareness Through Movement” book, Moshe has us lie on our stomachs and imagine a small iron ball resting on the right heel and then slowly moving up the back of the calf to the back of the knee, and then to the pelvis and so on. He spends quite a bit of time on each segment talking about sensing the parts that are clear in our awareness and those that are not thereby using the parts that are more conscious to help clarify those that are not. Next, Moshe goes to the hand imaging the ball on the fingers and then rolling to the wrist, then the elbow, then the shoulder blade. He then has us imagine connecting arm and the leg across the back with the movement of the iron ball. Moshe now instructs us to imagine lifting he leg and rolling the ball to the hand and then lifting the hand in the imagination to roll the ball back to the heel. While in this AY lesson Moshe takes us through one diagonal, in the lesson in the “Awareness Through Movement” book, Moshe takes us through several more variations. There are other AY lessons that follow this one that use an imaginary ball to help clarify the self-image: AY 305 “The line of effort in the back in lifting”, AY 306 “The line of effort in the stomach and the chest”, AY 307 “The line of effort in lying on the back”. I will be visiting these lessons and the lesson in “Awareness Through Movement” in the next few days.

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