In the first post about the Dart Procedures, I only go through fetal. In this post, I’ll take you through several other patterns to show the procedures Joan took us through in April.
Rolling the head side to side:
I remember Luc showing me this one years ago when I had some pain in my shoulder. It seems to me that it is the beginning of the spiral just like searching for a hand in the chair. Even this small movement of the head affects the shoulders, back, pelvis, and legs.
Spiraling out of fetal to back:
As you keep turning the head from side to side, the spine will lengthen into a secondary, and the head will eventually turn you over onto your back. Joan emphasizes to roll over on whatever side is comfortable, and almost everyone that did it at the course preferred one side or the other. We thought it might have something to do with which foot or arm the student puts on top when wrapping them across in fetal. As you can see the body knows what to do and on the way to my back, my head didn’t stay in secondary but had a built-in response to reset in a primary so that my head didn’t hit the floor.
Eyes lead to roll over to secondary:
I always feel like my mom could be standing right above me at this moment because it always flips me easily with my intention out and wanting to be part of the world above and in front of me. To me it is a good example of the difference of the Dart work to other movement. In dance, this might be a choreographed movement in which I try to direct the legs, arms, torso all to be in shapes, but if I lead from the intention of my eyes, there is a pattern already in place that takes me around easily. It is a patter that people often don’t use to get up from lying on the floor but would be much easier if they did:
Looking up to pull myself forward:
If I were to lie my head down from the position in the previous video and then look up, it would look like this:
And this is the pattern that Joan uses so often in the chair when she has them look up. The extensors of the back get tone, the arms respond in an engaged pull to go forward that is felt all the way to the sit-bones or even feet (I could have allowed this to happen in the video even further down my spine/legs).
In this pattern, you turn your head towards your hand that is up, so that your thumb is in front of your face (see example 3 in “Figure 11” from the Institutes).
I took two videos, one where I didn’t look up to turn to each side and one where I did.
Joan tells a story about demonstrating this with a large man and at first the limbs weren’t coordinating easily, but when she had him look up as he switched, everything magically coordinated together easily. Joan also talks about the rotation of the legs here. The straight leg rotates in (and foot often sickles as I showed in fetal) as the bent leg obviously rotates out. It is a pattern that people often don’t fully allow to happen when they are standing and in a class where people tell them to keep square hips, etc. It is also a fantastic way to see how turning the head directly affects the rotation of the hips.
In this version, we used the contralateral pattern to crawl forward. I keep my intention forward towards something and my arms pull along the floor as my feet and legs push me forward. I’m not thinking of those as separate actions as much as keeping my intention/eyes wanting to go forward towards a specific object/place in the room. As you can see, it still involves the rotation of the legs in relation to head and shoulders/arms. I might be interfering with the overall pattern a little in this video, but it gives you something to play with:
Getting up to standing, Hands/knuckles on back of the chair, & Going up to the toes :
We did not do this part of the Dart Procedures that week (or I missed the day that they did?), but you can see Gray do them on Becky and Luc’s video that I posted in the first Dart Procedures post and some of it in the Daily Procedures, Part 2.
Dart’s description of these patterns can be found in Skill and Poise, “Postural Aspects of Malocclusion,” 100-106.
As you can see from the daily procedure and the above explanations, though, they are not something we practice like exercises, but are more tools to help understand what takes us in the direction of up and coordinates us so that we can help ourselves and others.