Why focus only on one thing at time?

“Hi Alfons, just wonder if we can practice with both hands at the same time?” – Youtube comment by Florencia Djoe, video link

A good and frequently asked question. It could be phrased to be more general: Why do we often focus only on one part or one side at a time in Somatic Education (or in The Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education)? But let’s stay with this good question about the hands.

My answer: You certainly can perform the movements with both hands simultaneously, but… can you also observe the many details and sensory feedback of each hand (and its parts and connections to your whole self) at the same time? For example, maybe your right hand connects to the lower ribs of your right side very differently than your left hand to the lower ribs of your left side. Would you be able to sense that and work with that when you do both hands at the same time?

Practicing with both hands would almost be like listening to two people talk at the same time, or having an intimate conversation with two people at the same time… not saying that it’s impossible, it might be possible and might have its place, time, purpose, and method, but certainly most people will perceive this as more stressful than listening to only one person – or one hand – at a time. What do you think?