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January 14 - March 31, Irene Dowd presents Understanding Individual Muscles Through Multiple Senses: Focus on the Muscles of the Lower Trunk The purpose of this course is to understand the "functional profile" of individual muscles in a deep, multi-sensory physical way. We will do that by looking at the muscles, drawing them, feeling them on our own bodies, and performing mini- choreographies for each muscle in which muscle is engaged from its most elongated to its most shortened length concentric contraction , and then from its most shortened to its most elongated eccentric contraction while sustaining its ability to contract and exert effectively.
Most functionally useful, we will consider how each muscle can coordinate and collaborate with other muscles in the actions of daily living. As a result of experiencing our body through drawing, touching and moving, we can become more skilled at visualizing and kinesthetically experiencing the ways in which each muscle serves our whole body to produce our movement through time and fully three-dimensional space.
We might be able to more easily identify our "lazier" muscles and our "over-achieving" muscles, and how they might fully collaborate together. The muscles of the lower trunk that we will investigate include: latissimus dorsi, lumbo-sacral and thoraco-lumbar erector spinae and transverso-spinalis muscle groups, abdominal wall muscles, and ilio-psoas. Author of Taking Root to Fly, she has maintained a practice in kinesthetic anatomy and neuromuscular re-education for 48 years in NYC.
Free access to her digital archive is available at: irenedowdchoreographies. Pre-registration is essential since the course will be limited; payment by check or cash only. Download the flyer for this workshop here. We will study the bones, joint biomechanics and muscles of the limbs. We will focus on how these joints move and the patterns of muscle coordination which move them in the activities of daily life, such as walking, lifting, carrying and manipulating objects. Pre-registration is essential; check or cash only.
Author of Taking Root to Fly, she has maintained a practice in kinesthetic anatomy and neuromuscular re-education since in NYC, while continuing to be a guest teacher in academic and dance institutions throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. To Register: email Stephen Williams at nohostudio yahoo. Since collagen is a major component of skin, fascia, ligaments, tendons, blood vessel walls, and the encasement of organs, lax collagen can contribute to quite a variety of functional challenges.
Aging is also associated with collagen becoming more lax this is why older people become more and more wrinkled, for example. Sometimes people can develop more hypermobility of a particular joint, or joints, as a result of injuries or from intense long-term training practices e.
In this workshop, we will learn how hypermobility is actually defined and identified. We will review some of the most recent research pertaining to various potential consequences for a person living with hypermobility, as well as what might be done to minimize the un-desired consequences.
Participants will be introduced to training strategies and protocols that are designed to optimize function of people who are hypermobile, and will be guided through physically experiencing examples of each of these strategies. September 10 - November 26, Irene Dowd presents Understanding the Mechanics of Skeletal Joint Motion through Multiple Senses The purpose of this course is to understand the details of joint motion in a deep, multi-sensory physical way.
As we deepen our knowledge of the shapes of our bones and particularly the articular surfaces between them, we understand the actual and potential configurations of bony relationships within our own bodies as well as in others much more clearly.
We will be drawing from real human bone, both from a fully articulated skeleton as well as from individual bones, because only these have the exact reality that can teach us most effectively. By simply attending to and drawing what we see, we will organically come to understand the skeletal body more three dimensionally as it really exists and moves. She has been my colleague in teaching a number of anatomical drawing classes. Her art is extraordinary see her website at: lauraferguson.
I will provide basic drawing supplies, although you should feel free to bring your own. As a result of experiencing our body through drawing, touching and moving, we can become more skilled at visualizing and kinesthetically experiencing the articulated skeleton moving in time through fully three-dimensional space. This practice can be extremely useful for those of us who wish to analyze, coach, and create more effective physical performance. We will study bones, joint biomechanics and muscles of the spine and trunk, as well as pelvis, rib cage, and skull.
We will consider how our trunk functions as a 3D volume that contains, supports,and moves us through space. We will examine coordinated activity patterns of our trunk muscles during basic movements of daily life in varying relationships with gravity.
Another kind of rotation is the movement, in all dimensions, that takes place at our ball and socket joints i. This rotation optimally takes place in a fashion that maximizes range of motion while keeping the articulating bones in fullest possible contact with each other. If we can understand this optimal motion and visualize it when we perform challenging actions, we are quite likely to experience greater freedom of movement and ease.
In this workshop, we will consider both kinds of rotation while focusing primarily on some areas of the body which are involved in virtually every action we perform in the course of a day: our hip joints, shoulder joints, and spine including our neck. Author of Taking Root to Fly, she has maintained a practice in kinesthetic anatomy and neuromuscular re-education for over 45 years in NYC.
March 9, Sold Out March 10, Repeat Sold Out Irene Dowd presents The Abdominal Story The abdominal story is a story of the very dynamic and adaptive relationship between our rib cage and our pelvis, our upper and our lower spine, our arms and our legs. While this relationship is very much moderated in the front of our body by our abdominal wall muscles, those muscles can only be fully effective when cooperatively engaging with our spinal muscles and hip muscles, and even the muscles of our arms and legs.
Indeed, the story is wonderfully complex. How do we train all these muscles to be strong, flexible, appropriately responsive and able to work in constantly changing coordination with each other? What are the possible intimate and functional relationships between breathing and our abdominal wall muscles? Are there exercises that are more effective than others in preparing us for the physical demands of real life?
These are just some of the questions we will address in the workshop. Participants will learn some highly effective and adaptive physical practices that can serve us towards ensuring that all these muscles are ready to do what we need of them.
These practices can be done lying down, standing up, or sitting without needing to use any special equipment except our own purposive brains and the constant presence of gravity. January 15 - April 9, Irene Dowd presents Communicating, Seeing and Doing: Strategies for Enhancing Function in Action This course is designed for teachers, trainers, dancers, and movement coaches who wish to enhance their skills in communicating, analyzing and coaching movement, both for themselves and for others with whom they work.
In order to refine movement performance, we must first be able to perceive what is being done in the present. In order to achieve that refinement, we must be able to devise a strategy for arriving at the movement goal more effectively. Critically important, we must be able to communicate our perception and our strategy to the person with whom we are working.
Unless the communication between us is clear and undistorted, we can neither establish nor achieve mutual goals. In this course, we will focus on strategies that involve re-configuring the what and the how of our thinking concept and visualization of the movement as well as strategies that involve re-coordinating our muscle work while practicing different muscular use patterns. In other words, we will practice changing our idea of the movement as well as our way of engaging our musculo-skeletal system in order to perform the movement re-training our physical being in the process.
The purpose of this course is to be able to more effectively figure out ways to address the questions: "what do we SEE, and what shall we DO in order to achieve our mutual goals? To Register: Email Stephen Williams at nohostudio yahoo. We will refine our ability to perform the patterns ourselves as well as our ability to communicate these patterns to another person. We will be particularly attentive to how these patterns can enhance our adaptability and mobility while sustaining stability and enhancing equilibrium.
They require us to exert our muscles from their most elongated to their most shortened lengths while performing neurologically facilitating actions. As we refine our performance of these patterns, we may enhance our own daily life activities. If we can more effectively teach and coach these patterns, we may provide our students and colleagues with very powerful and far-reaching strategies for functional change. Author of Taking Root to Fly, she has maintained a practice in kinesthetic anatomy and neuromuscular re-education for over 45 years in NYC, while continuing to be a guest teacher in academic and dance institutions throughout the US, Canada and Europe.
We will consider how our trunk functions as a 3D volume that contains, supports, and moves us through space. We will examine the coordinated activity patterns of our trunk muscles during basic movements of daily life in varying relationships with gravity. We will analyze protocols for trunk stabilization and mobilization in relation to real-life goals.
Irene Dowd will analyze the potential joint movements which the thoracic spine, rib cage, shoulder girdle and shoulder joint are capable of performing. She will lead participants through a kinesthetic experience of the muscles that produce movements of the thorax, shoulders and arms, with particular emphasis on removing impediments to breathing, mobilizing the scapula on the rib cage, and recruiting the rotator cuff and scapula muscles as needed in action.
Steven Fetherhuff will demonstrate various protocols on the Pilates equipment that enhance function of the thorax, shoulder and arm. Both Irene and Steven will collaborate in reviewing common challenges, as well as approaches to modifying traditional protocols to avoid injury and enhance balanced muscle conditioning.
Forces are always acting on us, but how can we choose to change in response to them so as to enhance rather than degrade our circumstances? In this workshop, Irene will teach physical activities and visualization strategies that can transform and reduce our stress response, while simultaneously contributing to enhanced physical fitness and well-being.
Rebecca will explain what happens in our bodies when we experience the stress response, and how we can mitigate the potentially harmful effects with the way we eat and organize our daily lives. She maintains private practices in New York City and Vermont teaching anatomy, physical re-education and nutritional biochenistry. Author of Taking Root to Fly, she has maintained a practice in kinesthetic anatomy and neuromuscular re-education for more thsn 45 years in NYC, while continuing to be a guest teacher in academic and dance institutions throughout the US, Canada, and Europe.
November 4, Irene Dowd presents Our Interactive Feet with Steven Fetherhuff Performing actions with our feet allows us to initiate coordinated exertion patterns that can re-organize our whole body! They are also our most direct interface with the ground we stand and move upon. Most of us spend much of our lives on our feet, standing and walking. Our feet are intimately and essentially involved in every kind of locomotor activity such as running, jumping and skipping.
We can also use our feet in order to more elaborately interact with our enviornment such as when we are kicking a ball, gesturing through space in a pirourtte turn, or grabbing and holding steady on an irregular surface when rock climbing.
With practice, our feet can even function like hands. In this workshop, you will receive an introduction to the anatomical architecture of the foot.
These forms serve a purpose, but underneath is the larger reality of the Unconcious and what Carl Jung called Individuation-the essential journey toward Wholeness that each of us is taking whether we are consciuos of it or not. The process of Individuation is the unique unfolding of the person. If one can participate with it consciously it opens up enormous creativity and freedom to truly become oneself. Framed by the Jungian model of Psychological Typology, this workshop will shed light on the structure of the Psyche and how it informs us as teachers and movers.
Cary will introduce the physical and psychological maps that hold our unique processes of Individuation. Through these we will identify our own typology. We will touch on how to support the less developed aspects in ourselves, and why those untapped areas are so important in our own development and in relating to those we serve in our teaching and in our work. Understanding the underlying Mandala of the individual nourishes our creativity and leads us to the discovery of the Self.
In this workshop we will learn how knowledge of our typology and the typology of our students will enhance and improve our teaching and our own physical practices. She has been practicing and teaching Yoga and Pilates for 25 years.
Alongside her individual work, Cary regularly teaches in Colorado and Nebraska leading group retreats on Meditation and Movement, Jungian Psychology and Ayurveda. Space is limited. The practice of Ideokinesis can enhance coordination, equilibrium, fine-motor skill, efficiency and ease during the performance of everyday activities such as sitting and walking, as well as very challenging activities such as sky-diving and performing triple pirouette turns. In this course, Irene will provide an introduction to the teachings of Lulu Sweigard as she received them at the Julliard School in the time between and She will review the 9-lines-of-movement, some of the movement practices and strategies she taught Irene, as well as her own adaptations of those practices.
Irene will present some of the applications she has made of her work in response to questions, movement challenges, contemporary concerns, and more recent neuroscience developments which have evolved during the ensuing 40 years of her own private practice and teaching. Integrating a historical and contemporary perspective, she will introduce many strategies for bringing the practice of Ideokinesis into our daily life.
Considering how to adapt Ideokinetic images to individual needs and circumstances as we stand, sit, walk, run, engage in our chosen professional work, adventure, dance and interact with others.
Taking Root to Fly: Articles on Functional Anatomy