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Alexander Technique & Restorative Dance Class 1: The Atlanto-Occipital Joint

We covered a lot of material in our first session of Restorative Dance as I wove together principles of the Alexander Technique with movement and dance skills.

One of the first things - I feel - that is critical to embody, is the understanding of the atlanto-occipital joint. I have included a video from YouTube – and I encourage you to watch the first 3 minutes! Begin to build your awareness around this joint throughout the day in the many activities that you’re engaged in.

Below is an outline of additional material that was covered, which we will deepen into in our next class.

1. The “spacial” trajectory of the head - where is our head in space? Think that this trajectory of the head is forward and up from the spine.

2. Balance of the three weights of the torso.

3. The weight of the torso is balanced at the heads of the femur bones and equally distributed down through the legs.

4. We explored what I mean by “decontraction”. How the “tassels” (arms, legs, head and tail bone) of the body respond to the center of gravity.

4. Integrating the legs into the torso. Awareness of the psoas muscles.

I asked you to consider how the embodiment of the skeleton (our bones and our joints) reflects the mind. As we become more aware of the foundational structure of the skeleton, I believe this awareness impacts our thinking mind.

Our skeleton provides us with our basic form. This foundational form gives us the possibility for movement and presence in the world. As we embody this awareness, our mind can reflect more structural organization, supporting our thinking and our ideas.

I look forward to moving into week 2!

With Affection, Rita

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