Lay down

Lay down on your belly and wait,
for a moment,
for your breath,
for your heart.

And when all has come together,
when you are one,
when you are the one,
lift your head,
and see if you stick your neck out, or not.

Lay down on your belly and wait,
for your eyelids to fall,
for your shoulders to drop,
for the floor to catch you.

And when all has come together,
when you are at peace,
lift your head,
and feel the length of your neck,
the length of your spine, be long, belong.

What is physical strength?

13 years ago, when I first walked the streets of Shanghai, China, I stopped at a construction site. In fact, the whole city of Shanghai was one giant construction site.

There must have been a good three dozen workers where I stood, building a subway station. Right in front of me three workers worked a manhole in the middle of the street. They lifted rusty, sizeable iron bars, and heavy cables from a large cable roll. Although they didn’t wear shirts they didn’t have big arms. They were not swole. Their bodies didn’t say “gym membership on steroids.” In fact, they didn’t look anything like Influencer strongmen or Olympic-style weightlifters. Their upper arms looked rather small in comparison, and their torsos lean and compact, just like the steel pillars they were driving into the ground everywhere. And I’m pretty sure they didn’t spend an hour every morning grooming themselves in the bathroom.

They looked like how I imagine wild tigers looked like in the jungle. Pure power, strength, agility, flexibility. These are the people who build 5 lane roads complete with bridges, underground tunnels, and all the tech involved; railroads, the canalisation, shopping malls, parks, and skyscrapers. These are the people who build megacities in record time with their bare hands and a few machines. They lift big weight under the most challenging conditions below minimum wages every day from early morning to late night, and also all through the nights, except for a few weeks holidays in early February, with a smile.

The original lessons of Moshé Feldenkrais (pun intended)

Which one is the original Mona Lisa? And which one is the most original Mona Lisa? Can you tell one apart from the other, at a glance? Which one do you enjoy looking at the most? Which one is the most inspiring to you? Which one has the freshest look? Which one makes you think, engage, and want to investigate, do more? Which one reflects the art and thinking of its time? And, would you say that it’s ok for all of them to exist? Is only the first version the real, the great, the valuable one – or do all of them have value?

Credits, left to right: Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci in 1503, Mona Lisa L.H.O.O.Q. by Marcel Duchamp in 1919, Mona Lisa by Andy Warhol in 1963

Consent form for comments

In the early days of Youtube, the Youtube comment section was a bottomless pit, a cesspool of darkness, emotional rage put into words. Things got a lot better since then. Youtube viewers noticed: even in writing we are socialising with sentient, fellow beings. We not only have the capacity to be aware of feelings, but we actually do live through our feelings.

I thought of a list for your own comment section, to let others know what you’re comfortable with and not. Of course, tongue in cheek. But I like my idea of it. It came to me after watching a Youtube video where an author – after his book presentation – was verbally attacked by a person from the audience. Q&A is not a feedback session. A comment section underneath another person’s work is not a place to vent. Here’s the form:

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
I welcome you to point out the following in a disapproving, critical voice:

☐ my spelling and grammar
☐ the way I express myself, my choice of metaphors, adjectives, and figures of speech
☐ my findings, opinions, and conclusions
☐ me as a person
☐ my gender, name, family, or culture as a whole
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Turning the head in prone position – Starting position

Please come to lie on your front side. In this position the floor is directly in front of you, and the ceiling is in the back of you. The orientation is obvious, but these things might go unnoticed if not mentioned explicitly. Or maybe I’m just giving it a double stitch so to speak. In this way these light and elusive things hold together much better. Being wide aware of your orientation is part of the lesson and learning. 

Your shoulder girdle and your pelvic girdle are parallel to the floor, and at the same time they are parallel to the ceiling. If you are in a squared room, that is.

Extend your left arm downwards, alongside your torso. Park your left arm like this. Then stand your right hand next to your shoulder, so that your right elbow is pointing backwards, towards the ceiling. Your right hand should stand somewhat like in a push-up, the fitness exercise.

Then turn your head to the right, at least a little bit. I know that’s not comfortable for everyone. There’s no need to have your left ear fully flush on the ground, just turn your head to the right as far as it’s comfortable.

Place both your legs on the floor, extended, straight downwards, more or less, let them fall into place, and rest them too, relaxed.

So that’s the starting position.

Filming again

I need to giggle at the facts. How I’m filming in my living room, me on my own with you in my mind. I enjoy it, I grow with it. I find that the movements have so many aspects, psychologically, philosophically, worldly. I always discover something new. I really enjoy it.

I don’t have a production team. I’m not working in order to make the big numbers. I’m just grateful that I’m able to work, be my own boss, flow to my own rhythms, and do what I’m most interested in. I think that in itself is a miracle.