backwards

by thankfeldenkrais

And because he’s found his pelvis.

He finds himself on all fours.

And I am privy once more to a glimpse of a baby in the midst of learning to move.
This time from creeping phase,
To crawling phase.
Little tummy high off the ground,
Just like anyone else.

A billow of oxygen fills my lungs,
And it’s not until I take breath,
That I realise I’d been holding it,
In anticipation.

What’s different for him I soon learn however is how,
He is insistent on then lurching forward,
By throwing his legs out behind him,
While over extending his back in an arch,
In an attempt to move,
Once he finds all fours.

Which stops him in his tracks.
As he pancakes to the floor.

So instilled in his organisation is the belief he must extend his back,
With his hips – straightening his legs -in order to come forward.
Where in fact to crawl,
One must have hips in flexion,
While back is straight.
A foreign concept to Isaac,
And so one we must teach him.

And the best way to discover this is by first going backwards,
And then learning to put that into reverse,
Forward.
Not the other way round.

To go forward,
We first need to go back.
Reversibility is the key to transitions and movements.

To facilitate breaking his patterns,
We use rollers under him,
To recreate the sensation of going between flexion and extension,
Encouraging him to push backwards, by pulling his hips into flexion –
As his back stays extended, his arms can also come out in front freely.
Allowing him to further push himself back with his arms, while his knees tuck, bottom going past them.
And thus he begins to link the elements required for effective four point crawling.
Which in turn will open up into giving him directional options in movement – the required reversibility.

Image-1 (1)

This principle has also become habit, in sitting,
Or rather coming upright in sitting.
His preferred option is extending his legs and back simultaneously.
Which in fact just throws him backwards,
And doesn’t allow him to come up at all.

And so under him in straddled sitting,
A bolster is placed,
Feet on the floor –
To show him,
His hips can be in flexion,
As his back comes up right, from the pelvis,
To remain tall,
To reach forward,
To have free arms.

august 1

He also sits at the piano,
This same positioning applied, same goal in focus.
His beautiful plastic brain relishing the novelty factor.
As his love for music flourishes,
All the while helping him uncover the use of his body,
For best crawling.
Without actually crawling yet at all –
I try to digest this phenomenon,
But instead happily opt to blindly trust in the process –
As everything else leading up to this moment has worked.

Thank you Feldenkrais, another silent prayer.

And I close my eyes,
Trying to conjure up an image of the moment,
He’ll take off!
Which feels closer than I dare admit,
Yet completely beyond depiction.

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