Use of the Eyes in Extension/Sidebending

Source: gA Burak

Opening Scan

come to standing

feet comfortable distance apart: hip or shoulder width

face forward, arms at sides

eyes toward horizon; soft gaze

length of whole self from top of head down through neck/spine to hips, legs, ankles, feet, toes?

contact with floor on soles of feet?

distribution of weight:more on  R/L foot,  ball/heel, inner/outer edges?

alignment of head over torso; torso over pelvis, pelvis over legs, legs over feet?

support of floor from underneath?

walk

what do you notice in walking?

eyes only look forward or gaze around room?

torso remain facing forward or twisting/side-bending?

arms swing freely or held close to body? one arm swings more than the other?

step with equal weight on R/L sides or more weight on one leg?

step with equal distribution of weight on soles of feet or more on ball/heel/inner/outer edges of sole?

return to mat, rest in standing 

RIGHT SIDE

Arcing Arms Forward/Backward 

Baseline Movement

raise R arm in front to comfortable height 

below shoulder height; about 45 deg

raise L arm behind you to comfortable height

begin  slowly tracing arc with arms in opposite directions

R arm goes down backward then behind; while L arm goes down forward to front; then vice versa

continue to establish a slow comfortable rhythm

can you make it easy, light, gentle?

where do you bend or twist?

does your head stay fixed or does it turn?

do you bend your knees? when would it make the rhythm easier? 

where do you look?

rest in standing

Weight Equally on Both Feet  

shift weight onto R foot, using L toes only for balance

begin tracing arcs forward/backward allowing eyes to follow R hand throughout

maintain a comfortable slow rhythm

are there sections of the arcing path that you lose sight of?

pressure change on R foot?

continue arcing with R eye only

only two or three swings are sufficient

switch eyes so that only L eye is following path

only two or three swings

continue arcing looking with both eyes

only two or three swings

rest in standing

Weight on R Foot

shift weight onto L foot, using R toes only for balance

begin arcing motion allowing eyes to follow R hand throughout

continue looking with R eye only

switch eyes to look with L eye only

look with both eyes

rest in standing

Weight on L Foot

shift weight onto L foot, using R toes only for balance

begin arcing motion allowing eyes to follow R hand throughout

continue looking with R eye only

switch eyes to look with L eye only

look with both eyes

rest in standing

Forward on R Foot

step R foot forward

keep weight equally distributed on both feet

begin arcing motion allowing eyes to follow R hand throughout

maintain awareness of distribution of weight over feet?

slow, comfortable, easy, light, gentle?

continue looking with R eye only

only two or three swings

switch eyes to look with L eye only

look with both eyes

rest in standing

Forward on L Foot

step to set L foot forward

keep weight equally distributed on both feet

begin arcing motion allowing eyes to follow R hand throughout

continue looking with R eye only

switch eyes to look with L eye only

look with both eyes

walk a little, return to mat, LOB 

Improving Extension

Benchmark Movement

raise R arm in front near maximum comfortable height and hold

allow hand to hang

do not strain past range of comfort

turn head to gaze softly at thumb

eyes and nose both point toward hand

change in shape of entire length from head to feet?

bending in hips/knees/ankles?

alignment centred or twisting/sidebending?

distribution of weight stays centered or shifts to front or back?

change in pressure on soles of feet?

look beyond hand to mark reference point on ceiling or wall

lower arm 

rest in standing

Extending Range with Head/Eyes

raise R arm in front near maximum comfortable height and hold

turn head to gaze softly at thumb

eyes and nose both point toward hand

allow head/eyes to continue along arc upward to comfortable distance; return downward to reference point

repeat a few times

eyes and nose follow same path together

where are you bending? just in neck?

place L hand on sternum, elbow pointing outward to L side

keep shoulders, shoulder blades soft

maintain width across back; do not squeeze shoulder blades together

place R hand on top of head, elbow pointing outward to R side

continue movement arcing head/eyes further upward

where are you bending now? more from middle of yourself?

use hands to see if sternum and head are moving the same amount? 

sternum moves forward/backward?

bring arms down  

rest in standing

Extending Range with Eyes

raise R arm in front near maximum comfortable height and hold

turn head to gaze softly at thumb

eyes and nose both point toward hand

allow head/eyes to continue along arc upward to comfortable distance and hold

place L hand on sternum, R hand on top of head

allow eyes to continue further along arc upward and return to look in direction that nose is pointing

nose stays fixed

repeat a few times

bring everything down 

rest in standing

Benchmark Movement

raise R arm in front near maximum comfortable height and hold

turn head to gaze softly at thumb

look beyond hand to compare with reference point on ceiling or wall

range of movement changed?

participating with more of yourself?

bring everything down 

change in alignment? of head over torso, torso over pelvis, pelvis over legs, legs over feet?

change in distribution of weight over feet?

change in contact of feet with floor?

more stable?

LOB 

Improving Sidebending

Benchmark Movement

raise R arm to R side near maximum comfortable height and hold

allow hand to hang

do not strain past range of comfort

turn head to gaze softly at thumb

if nose does not point directly at thumb, go as far as you can easily, looking at thumb from corner of eye

change in shape of entire length from head to feet?

distribution of weight stays centered or shifts to one side?

change in pressure on soles of feet?

look beyond hand to mark reference point on ceiling or wall

lower arm 

rest in standing

Extending Range with Head/Eyes

raise R arm to R side near maximum comfortable height and hold

turn head to gaze softly at thumb

eyes and nose both point toward hand

allow head/eyes to continue along sideways arc upward to comfortable distance; return downward to reference point

repeat a few times

eyes and nose follow same path together

where are you bending? just in neck?

place L hand on L side of ribcage, elbow pointing outward to L side

place R hand on top of head, elbow pointing outward to R side

continue movement arcing head/eyes further upward and return

where are you bending now? more from middle of yourself?

use hands to see if ribcage and head are moving the same amount? 

ribcage: one side shortens, the other lengthens?

bring arms down  

rest in standing

Extending Range with Eyes

raise R arm to R side near maximum comfortable height and hold

turn head to gaze softly at thumb

eyes and nose both point toward hand

allow head/eyes to continue along sideways arc upward to comfortable distance and hold

place L hand on L side of ribcage, R hand on top of head

allow eyes to continue further along sideways arc upward and return to look in direction that nose is pointing

nose stays fixed

repeat a few times

bring everything down 

rest in standing

Benchmark Movement

raise R arm to R side near maximum comfortable height and hold

turn head to gaze softly at thumb

look beyond hand to compare with reference point on ceiling or wall

range of movement changed?

participating with more of yourself?

bring everything down 

change in alignment? of head over torso, torso over pelvis, pelvis over legs, legs over feet?

change in distribution of weight over feet?

change in contact of feet with floor?

more stable?

LOB

LEFT SIDE

repeat R side sequences on L side with eyes closed

LOB

BOTH SIDES

Closing Scan

come to sit, standing

feet comfortable distance apart: hip or shoulder width

face forward, arms at sides

eyes toward horizon; soft gaze

length: taller/shorter?

arms have more space between them and your sides?

contact with floor on soles of feet?

distribution of weight: more centered underneath?

alignment distributed more evenly from top to bottom?

clearer support of floor from underneath?

Baseline Swing Movement 

raise R arm in front to comfortable 45 deg height 

raise L arm behind to comfortable height

begin  tracing arc with arms in opposite directions front and back

speed up movement to establish rhythm

allow head/eyes to move freely

how much of your whole self participates in the swinging of your arms?

Walking

continue swinging arm movement and take it into walking

what do you notice?

more mobile, more stable, both?