The other day, I was teaching a lesson that put the hand into what some people call “backbend” position, a term which is unfamiliar for many. So I suggested that people place the hand on the floor with the fingers pointing toward the shoulder.
One woman had her fingers placed exactly right. However, she said, “That’s impossible! I can’t point my fingers toward my shoulders! They’re pointed towards the wall!” She insisted for a few minutes longer, then, exasperated, turned to look at her hand. “Oh my god! I would have sworn my hand was the other way!” She exclaimed.
Most of the time, we just rely on the body to perform its functions as best it can with the information available. But because we are not utilizing our “sixth sense”, the ability to sense ourselves in space, the brain can often misinterpret, or create limitations.
From missing a step and falling, to misjudging the distance of the hand to an object, we all experience this falling short of our proprioceptive abilities. What most people don’t realize is that you can not only learn to avoid such missteps, you can actually learn to improve this sense.
Just like a musician can improve her sense of hearing, or a perfumer refine his sense of smell, you can improve your proprioceptive sense. What will that do? You’ll be more balanced on your feet, more able to respond quickly to changes in the environment, feel lighter and more coordinated.
Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lessons offer a unique learning opportunity that can put you in charge of your place in space. Enjoy this sample lesson.
And if you’d like to explore even further, join me for some great workshops coming up – including Your Sixth Sense, in Boone, NC.