I have been told, by Tom my trainer, about various famous teachers of the Alexander Technique who were short in stature like me. None of them were as slight as me…just to set the record straight. Well anyway I think about them as Tom and I explore together what I need to do to successfully lift a long, heavy leg. I call these esteemed teachers up, as it were, for some moral support.
The evening of the flute playing activity for my hands-on I extended, then lifted, my co-trainee Elizabeth’s leg a few times; and then Tom’s leg a few times. My two co-trainees and my trainer are way bigger than me. So what else is new? And Tom is the most dense/hardest to move…whatever. You get the drift. So there I was…at the last try on lifting Tom’s leg…thinking forward and up, neck free, going into monkey, redirecting, hand on the ball of the foot to be lifted, other hand under the knee, redirecting, putting pressure with the hands but no gripping no gripping no gripping in the arms, redirecting, putting more pressure more pressure more pressure really pressing, redirecting, hands had to come out of the back, redirecting, hands had to be connected to each other, redirecting, hands had be be connected to my feet, redirecting, neck had to be free, redirecting, staying forward and up…when…as I was putting more and more pressure on Tom’s foot, and up into the back of his knee, all of a sudden I felt his foot sort of shift backward as I got him to stretch his leg out…ahhhh…and he said right after that “yes!!!” And so, with both of my hands continuing the pressure, I came up from monkey and lifted! I brought his leg up and got his knee bent, and placed it on the table. Smoothly. And I managed to do so because I was using myself well! My little hands were coming from my back. I was not gripping in my arms! Yay me! Okay, so that right leg of his wasn’t placed in the same way his left leg was. Who is quibbling? These details will be sorted out. How I need to take a step? Eh…no problem. That I need to start lifting as I am coming out of monkey? Eh…no problem.
So what happened that night was that I discovered a missing piece for me in this leg lifting business. I felt with my hand when his leg was stretching. That needs to happen to be successful in this manoeuvre. But of course for me to do so is to be set up well. That night I sort of was.
But in the next training session after that one I felt I hit a brick wall in the leg lifting department. So humbling! But then in the next class, it went a whole lot smoother.
And then…hiatus…my hands-on now is hands under neck, hands under head…so…I didn’t get a photo of me working on a leg! Here is a non-sequitor photo…of a hot dog cart where I walk on the way to TCAT-NYC…near to where the infamous Attack of the Skateboarder happened!