Coach Dori Posts | Feldenkrais® | Body Awareness

Getting Up and Down from a Toilet [Awareness Activity]
By Coach Dori

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There are many things we talk about in getting up and down. So, you can get up and down out of a chair.  You can get up and down off a couch. 

One of the ones I think people notice the most in my programs, and one of the ones that I think is really cool for you to pay attention to is the toilet seat. So, how do you get up and down from the toilet?

I think what makes this one nice to look at is because you’re doing it, hopefully, many times a day. And also, it’s a little lower for some. Unless you have it raised, it’s a little lower.  So, it’s a really good way to see how you’re doing in your standing.

Why Is This Important?

Why is it important to notice how you get up and down from a toilet seat? That’s a very good question! (haha)  First of all, it’s important to be more aware of where you are with your movement. And for many people, this is something that gets ignored over time. And you don’t even notice you’re allowing yourself to be assisted more and more in ways that aren’t useful to you.

Also, being aware of anything is helpful to everything. So, the more aware you can be of your movement as a whole, the better.  And, I think this is one of the funny things. People don’t come to the movement program, at least I haven’t had one person yet, sign up for any of my movement programs and say, I want to improve how I get up and down from the toilet. (haha) 

I haven’t heard anyone say that. Maybe one day. 

However, many, many, many people have said they notice how much better they get up and down from the toilet after being in the program and doing the movement lessons. 

So, now that you know why it’s important to do these awareness activities. And, why this one in particular is one of my favorites, let’s get started.

Notice How You Sit Down

Here’s what’s going to happen, is you’re just paying attention. That’s it. There’s nothing hard here. I don’t want you to change anything. No adjustments needing to be made. Just notice what you do. 

So, the first thing you’re going to notice is how you sit. Where are your feet positioned? Do you use your hands in any way? Is this easy for you? Is this difficult for you? Do you get part way down and then it’s a free fall from there? (haha) I know I’ve had that in the past. You know, you’re kind of like, my legs are doing it … boom … done! (haha)

Is it a steady, guided movement down, or a boom? What do you have?

And again, don’t try to change anything. We’re just paying attention. Just noticing.

Go ahead, and just pay attention to anything you can find about how you sit down. Like I said, feet position, is it comfortable to you? Just notice whatever you can. 

How Do You Stand Up?

Okay, and then the main one we’re after, the main one, is getting up because that’s the one people notice the most once they’ve been doing the movement lessons is getting up.

So, here you are.  Now you’re sitting.  How do you get up? And, this is a really important thing to notice. First of all, do you use any help? 

I remember there was a time when I hurt my knee and I could actually reach the door panel, so I used it to pull myself up. I actually reached my arm out and would pull myself up so I didn’t have any pain on my knee.

That’s one thing you can notice. Do you use any support? Do you push off? Do you push down on the top of your thighs? That, often can help people get those muscles to work.

So, what do you do? Where are your feet positioned? Are your feet flat on the ground? Are you on your toes? Is one one way, one another? 

And then, is it hard for you to get up? Is it hard or easy when you go to stand? Do you feel like, oh I could, oh this is nothing. I got this made! Or, is it a struggle? 

More Things to Notice

And, a couple more things before we wrap this up, just so you can have a little more to play with. Notice your spine and what it’s positioned like. Is it straight as you get up, or is it curved? And also, how much forward lean do you have in your hips?

Whether it’s straight or curved, is it leaned forward, or is it in some other position? Do you come up straight? Or, do you come up in a little bit of a weave pattern?

Could be, as you go to stand up, one of your legs takes over more of the load and you have a little bit of a turn as you go up. 

So, just notice. What is it you do when you sit on the toilet, and then when you stand up from the toilet? And, this is gonna be one of those things that going to be super helpful as we go along, because as you improve your movement, you will find this – along with many, many, other things – will become much, much easier.

You’ll find that it’s no problem. You don’t need assistance.  And, you feel like you could do it all day long (haha). Which is good because you might be in there a few times a day, right.

Anyway, enough on this for now. 

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