Chain, pearl necklace, snake, rope and parabolas

20 Apr

The expression "pearls necklace" to refer to the twenty-four vertebrae is not Moshe Feldenkrais' but one of his first thirteen students trained in Tel Aviv from 1969 to 1971, Myriam Pfeffer (1928-2014). Moshe spoke of the "chain of vertebrae". How is the pearls necklace an even brighter image than the chain?

Myriam Pfeffer explains: we put a pearl, we make a knot, then a pearl, then another knot, a pearl, a knot... to get a nice necklace. How will the necklace look if I put two, three, four pearls without making a knot? It will have less rounded spots, and worse... the necklace can break much more easily.

Chain or necklace, this thought goes against the conventional wisdom that a healthy spine should be straight. On the contrary! If the vertebrae are articulated and differentiated, they organize themselves so that the spine can be shaped in many different ways. Each one plays its role and all participate.

In this lesson, we bend, we open, we imagine ideally proportional curves, and we detect, thanks to the more aligned places, which vertebrae know how to function only in blocks. We learn to tame our pearls to be able to mobilize them. Scoliosis and osteoporosis leave room for the undulating snake, the vibrating rope, the sparkling necklace.

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