Healthy Beginnings

A short and sweet Feldenkrais lesson to improve your skiing

Sean Mirus, Director of Marketing and Sales at Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Sandpoint, Idaho, slashes through fresh powder last ski season. Photo: Sean Mirus

This short and interesting Feldenkrais lesson can improve your skiing form and flexibility in a matter of minutes!

Do it many times to embody and integrate movement patterns into your nervous system. Focus attention on your feet, ankles, knees and hips after you’ve done the lesson twice.

Do only what is easy and pleasant, never strain or push. This is how the body learns!

  1. Stand up comfortably and place your left hand on your right shoulder (LHOYRS). Several times, turn your head and upper body to the RIGHT and back, without straining. Your feet don’t move. Pick a point on the wall to remember how far you turned comfortably. Rest in standing, arms down.
  1. Again, LHOYRS, but this time, fix your eyes in front as you turn right. Only your head and upper body turn — your eyes stay looking forward. Repeat 8-10 times slowly and gently, exhaling as you turn. Rest.

Photo: Sean Mirus

  1. Repeat the original movement, LHOYRS, turning the whole body (except feet) right and back. Do you turn farther now and use less effort? Stop and rest.
  1. Come back to the same position; this time, keep your head and eyes forward while turning your body right … 8-10 times. Then pause, repeat the original movement and notice any improvement … rest.
  1. Same position — turn your head, eyes, and body to the right as far as you can comfortably and stay there. Now slowly turn your head and eyes left and right, many times, then repeat original movement, noticing additional improvement … rest.
  1. LHOYRS, turn head, shoulders and body to the right and stay there. Slowly move only your eyes right and left along the horizon, 5-8 times; then draw an arc with your eyes 5 more times, lifting them up at the ends of each movement and down in the center.

Photo: Sean Mirus

  1. Return to front, do the original movement, notice your improvements … rest.
  1. Now, slowly turn everything to the right and back 8-10 times, rolling your weight onto the inside edge of the left foot and the outside edge of the right foot, each time. Let your left heel come off the floor as you turn. Come back onto both feet as you return to center. You may find a big improvement now.
  1. Next, without lifting your feet, let your weight roll to the edges of your feet as you repeat the original movement, keeping your feet on the floor … then rest.
  1. Finally, do the original movement with your eyes closed, 8-10 times; stop at the extreme point and open your eyes … did you turn even farther? Now turn with eyes open a few times. Can you relax something in your body so you can go as far as you did with your eyes closed? Rest again.

Photo: Sean Mirus

  1. Now stand normally and turn to the right to look behind you. Then turn to the left a few times and decide if you’d like you to do the movements on the left side. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

I hope you enjoy how easy this is, and have fun on the mountain this winter!

Carole Bucher, BA, is a Guild-Certified Feldenkrais practitioner/teacher and owner of Reno Feldenkrais Integrative Movement. Visit renofeldenkrais.blogspot.com to learn more.