Continuing on from Part 1, once we take people out of the chair, there are a number of things we do. They usually involving hands on the back of the chair (which I go into more detail about in another post). Below I have described a couple of the many options:
Pulling the chair towards us and pushing it away:
As you can see in the video, Joan even has a “means-whereby” for bringing our hands to the chair that is related to developmental movement. Instead of lifting the hand to the outside of the chair, we bring it through the middle as you would if you were going to bring it to your face (the teacher can help give this experience by scooping up the student’s hand and bring it up in the same way). Then we place it on the chair “Colonel McConnel” style in order to proceed:
Then we ask the person to pull the chair in towards them. You can see in the above video that pulling the chair towards me takes my whole self forward and up. This is the same as the baby pulling along the floor. Then we place it back on all fours and lift the fingers to push it away. If you let the weight of the chair passively stretch your thumb, it feels nice and, to me, feels like part of “non-doing.”
This directs hips back and away from elbows. It is another place where people like to over straight the elbows, so sometimes Joan will encourage the upper arm to spiral out (just like Sally did in the video of Joan, the Observer) which encourages the elbows to bend.
Straighten and bend knees to take student up and out of hips:
Joan noticed at one point that a baby crawling up stairs pushes on their feet to thrust themselves up and forward. I talk more about being “up out of the hips” in another post. She also is interested in the action of a jump, I think, which is where the knees bend to then straighten and take you up.
Anyway, in this video, I tried to start kind of down in the hips so that you would see how far up straightening each leg (we do it while the chair is pulled into us) takes me. Then I think of keeping up out of the hips as I allow my knees to bend away from the hips. Sometimes Joan gives tactile feedback at the hips here, so the student can feel if they’re staying up. As you can see, the knee just releases away without the hips/pelvis going lower.
Knuckles and backs of hands on the chair:
This has a very direct relationship with the Dart Procedures. First we bend at the hips and knees to allow the fingertips and then back of each knuckle to touch the chair. As we do it, we think of coming up and away from the hands. After my full knuckles are on, we sometimes pronate the thumb and think of thrusting ourselves forward and up. Kind of feels like you are looking up over the terrain 🙂 and most importantly it brings the hands to the same position as Alexander’s hands on the back of the chair. Then I roll down to the backs of the wrists and “paint the chair,” meaning I slide the back of my hand on the chair and flip it to slide the hands under my shoulders (and again thrust myself forward and up). At this point, the student has a ton of tone and can easily be taken into and out of the chair.
Taking student into and out of chair:
From any of the positions each of these procedures left the student, they can be taken into and out of the chair. I had Sally do it to me because I think it’s nice for people to see the antagonistic action of it: she takes me forward to go back into the chair and back to take me forward and up out of the chair.