more of himself/to get up and go

by thankfeldenkrais

The transition from arm gutter walkering,
To straight arm walkering was far from instantaneous,
Beyond the arduous search for a suitable replacement walker,
Isaac had a long way to go,
In finding his ability to stand tall,
And utilise pushing his weight down through his arms.

The consistent hunching over arm gutters,
And ongoing effort required to manage the R82,
Was instilling an undesirable gait,
As well as a constant reinforcement of sagging low to the ground,
As his idea of walking became more and more about his upper body,
Rather than his legs.

And so all the work begins around his shoulder girdle,
Neck and chest,
To soften and allow movement,
Which in turn can make possible his ability to release the arms,
And have them be available as props for stability,
Rather than the main drivers of walking.

For Isaac to find his height through his legs,
He must learn to raise his bottom,
And develop the weight-shift from hip to hip,
As he steps.
The bonus byproduct on those moments when he finds that elevation,
Is a straight knee and a heel reaching the floor.


And on those instances,
When his true height is realised,
He’s elegant in his stance,
A posture sparking excitement,
An ease about his being.

But so far it’s only fleeting,
And the exploration of his diagonals,
The idea of counter balance,
His rolling,
The concept of dorsi flexion,
That ankles can have agility,
A sensory feedback through the sole,
Ways of pushing through his heels rather than forefoot,
His pelvis mobility in standing not just crawling or knee walking,
His ability to move from flexion to extension,
All must be realised,
All must become part of him,
So the lower limbs can become truly present.

And useful.


And generally we seek to formulate new ways of having him utilise his legs,
In his daily life,
In an array of upright orientations,
Whether it be on an indoor balance bike,
Or discovering leg wraps for standing practise,
Which becomes less about straightening his knees,
And more about facilitating his bottom to raise up.


And his ever present default to thrust backwards,
Always on our radar to break,
And different ways of coming forward,
Continue to infiltrate his sessions,
And his daily tasks,
Moving him ever so gradually away from the locked imobility of w sitting,
To side sitting,
And cross legged sitting,
To open up the possibility of forward,
Of asymmetry,
Of a base that gives to future movement,
Rather than impeding it.


Giving him the options,
We fundamentally seek to allow him to understand the differences,
Between his actions,
Whether going from small to tall in sitting or standing,
Or coming forward from backwards,
Going from sagging legs to straight legs,
Sitting to standing,
Swinging legs from left to right,
Reaching or pulling,
The trajectory we want to be clear.

For now,
However much remains muddled,
And so we continue to redirect him,
In hope of establishing more permanent pathways,
And therefore more of himself,
To get up and go.