A Look Inside the IOPS Sit-to-Stand Curriculum

IOPS Faculty member Andrew Gibbons produced this video to show the link between Ideal Organization and Profound Strength in the sit-to-stand curriculum we teach in the IOPS Academy. 

The video includes: 

  1. A demonstration by Jeff Haller with students from the 2014 workshop "Learning Self Organization Again and Again and Again..."
  2. Source footage of Dr. Feldenkrais working with a client, showing and demonstrating the ideal organization in sitting. 
  3. Andrew demonstrating the sit-to-stand function with various challenges:  kettlebells, resistance bands, carrying children, and taking it further into everyday life activities like loading the dishwasher, picking things up from the floor and eating meals. 


Related Links: 

  1. Jeff Haller's "Learning Self Organization Again and Again and Again..." (June, 2014, NYC)
  2. Source footage of Dr. Feldenkrais' lesson with Ronald:http://feldenkrais-method.org/.../collection/ronald-lesson-3/
  3. Another good lesson on sitting with Dr. Feldenkrais and "Bill": http://feldenkrais-method.org/.../collection/bill-lesson-1/

p.s. Below, we've posted the thread of Facebook comments related to this post.  

Facebook thread: 

Tom Rankin This is wonderful. Amazing editing and clear explanations make this video a powerful experience. Andrew and Jeff make an incredible team.

Marta Havlicek Sometime I would like to see a video about a trainer given lesson about a squat in one legs or a back walkover or real bridge. Something more challenging. Counter balance, loading stretching if you do more challenging movement are well known to improve your movement. Sometimes ,I fell like we continue to discover hot water. Maybe because I'm not in a good day today

Victoria Worsley excellent

Andrew Gibbons For another example of Dr. Feldenkrais working with this particular functional pattern in sitting, see his lesson with Bill Koch. http://feldenkrais-method.org/.../collection/bill-lesson-1/

Andrew Gibbons Marta Havlicek: I agree. I've enjoyed learning from some of Jeff's more dynamic work with athletes and dancers. But also have enjoyed watching the basic foundation-laying he does with them, too. That's one of the reasons I included footage of me lifting weights in the video. Static, supine, table lessons where the client does little or nothing, are sometimes necessary, but don't necessarily have much of a future unless the person learns to take on the work themselves as part of the teaching process. You may have already watched it, but Jeff's lesson with Dorothy (a dancer and practitioner) contains lunges, leg lifts, etc. http://www.bodyofknowledge.me/.../commentary-on-jeffs-fi...

Andrew Gibbons There's also Dr. Feldenkrais' lesson with Merrill Ashley, where he makes her take on much of the work to find the top of her hip joint (particularly the second half of the lesson, when she's prone). http://feldenkrais-method.org/.../colle.../merrill-lesson-2/

Laura Yedwab It is a wonderful video. My favorite part is when Andrew is at the dishwasher and then cleaning up his living room. I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the video and have already shown these scenes to 3 clients. They also loved it.

Marcia Martins de Oliveira Congratulations, thank you so much!

Isabella Turino grazie per aver condiviso questo videoSee Translation

Andrew Gibbons Prego!

Laura Yedwab I have a request for the sequel. My sister-in-law watched the video, loved it, and wanted to see the ideal organization being applied while getting a toddler into a car seat in the back seat of a car.

Andrew Gibbons Anyone have a toddler to lend me? Mimi?

Cynthia Allen Well done. Very helpful details beautifully illustrated.

Ichi Hansamu Andrew Gibbons and Jeff Haller: thanks for filming this. Not only was the filming clear and well illustrated, It was nice to see someone talk about self cultivation aspects. I think we all sometimes pay lip service to this, or use ATM to get into transient, pleasurable states etc. I'm not really interested in that so much because it doesn't help me live the other 99% of my life. I liked your explorations and comments about how organization leads to profound power. 

BTW, one of the things that is very difficult for martial artists and athletes etc is being "power proud". Athletic endeavours tend to produce strength in above normal levels. If you're already on the 10th floor, while most others are in the basement, there can be little incentive to climb up to the 30th floor. So, one of the great challenges in cultivating practices like this is the idea/fear of 'losing' that physicality, betting on the wrong horse etc.

There are other pitfalls too; for example, purists who become hot house flower - good at doing the thing (ATM, exercise, whatever) but disconnecting from the greater reality of the thing.

It was interesting to see the application using bands, kettlebells, toddlers etc. Great video. Thanks for sharing!

Ichi Hansamu Didn't realise this was on youtube. Others may enjoy this also.


Andrew Gibbons Ichi Hansamu: so Akuzawa: holy sh*t! The organization and spontaneity. Were I headed for Japan...

Ichi Hansamu Andrew Gibbons Let me see if I can't find you a juicer clip. If I do, will PM it to you. You'll like - trust me.

Andrew Gibbons On cultivating states: yes, I think it's a major pitfall we have in that we end up cultivating states, instead of stages--or not knowing the difference. I'm sure others can speak on the issues of working with athletes, and the athletic mindset. My experience is that their training has been so sport specific, and there's been so little exploration of any of these principles, that like anyone trained and any other endeavor they have to constantly put everything back into the bottles they know. I don't mind that, it's fun if you can break through it though. It's not until your mind is completely stopped by a demonstration for a moment of ability, or inability, that forces you to confront and reinterpret so much of what you've been "taught". The question then is, can you look down the road five 10-20 years and from that new perspective begin to till the soil and create what you now realize what you actually want for yourself.

Andrew Gibbons Thanks, Ichi Hansamu.

Ichi Hansamu No problem Andrew Gibbons. BTW sent you the clip, hope you enjoy. If you can figure out some way to capture that snippet, please do and share it. It's eye opening I think smile emoticon
 (I tried gifcapture but it wouldn't do it; something about the file format I uploaded it in)

Andrew Gibbons Purists are such because they're supported by an environment, typically stocked with novices (typically a stage, but all too often a very, very long, sometimes terminal, one.) It's an intellectual stance mostly that's used to provide some sort of beacon/certainty (it's ok for your to be uncertain as you learn because I'm not) in the swirling confusion of beginner-hood. It also masquerades as the path, when really it is nothing more than an interpretation (one that should be tested rigorously and dispassionately). Students and trainees can suffer because they never see that what they're being offered is, indeed, an interpretation (although it may not be described that way). Jerry Karzen seemed to allude to this a while back in a thread discussing the merits of exposure to different trainers. (In the same post he mentioned one of Dr. Feldenkrais FIs with Ronald where Ronald pretty much falls off the table.). So the question remains: to stabilize/calcify (unconsciously) in an interpretation? Or learn how to interpret?

Ichi Hansamu Gif'ed it. The guy riding piggyback is 190lbs; Ark is about 160 by comparison


Andrew Gibbons Whee! It's simple: just don't shear...

Ichi Hansamu I'd like to hear more about how the IOPS curriculum cultivates the "chop wood, carry water" mentality. How are things structured such that students fold their ATM/FI experiences back into real life? As I understand it, you're using a competency framework - Is there a mutually agreed upon project or...? It's very easy to gain intellectual/ cognitive understanding and state dependent / associative learning is something that everyone that goes through a FPTP experiences. I'm interested to hear more about the final stage - automaticity in every day life - and how IOPS inculcates it.

Jeff Haller Just to let you know but I have a meeting with Akuzawa in September in Los Angeles. Been in communication with one of his students. Should be a trip. J

Andrew Gibbons ...bring the elder wand...

Ichi Hansamu Let us know how it goes Jeff. I have a chance to meet with him in Jan

Ichi Hansamu Just a thumbs up here for Jeff Haller's online class (which just moments ago wound up). With some 70 odd participants, I found the Zoom platform worked seamlessly in creating a training-like experience. It will be interesting to see how IOPS rolls out

Andrew Gibbons Ichi,

One of the ways IOPS helps practitioners cultivate practice, discipline, automaticity is to help them better understand the upright orientations. 
Thus sitting, standing walking, climbing the stairs (loading the dishwasher) all have the potential to become your arena of practice. This way we stop paying lip service to how FM makes so many activities better, and start to explicitly show and embody it. Jeff places a high value on this. 

When I met Jeff, 7 years ago, the clarity of his presentation about the foot and support, made it absolutely clear to me that I had been totally ignorant of and ignoring this important aspect. My practice was still: study on the floor, get up feeling beatific and altered, and “somehow the learning will transfer.” Nope! Why would the lesson "stay" without some accurate skillful support to maintain it when you're upright?

Jeff has talked about this as one of Moshe’s mistakes: the assumption that the learning from the floor would translate into upright actions. 

The other thing he spoke to me about was that this work was not easy, but that it rewarded you for rigor, that through disciplined effort, your life would get immeasurably better. I have always been grateful for that honesty and directness.

I’ve lived and ridden the subway in NYC for 26 years, and wasted 19 of those years not practicing my upright support. Not anymore. It is simply what I do. At this point, I can even walk and chew gum at the same time. Every ride is a study: equal and opposite, cultivating the breath, you get the picture…. It just gets richer, and more and more humbling as you peel back the layers of ignorance. Like the old saying, you practice until you forget you're practicing and it simply becomes the way. 

What I often see in colleagues who work with Jeff, and work with this perspective, is that they are thrilled to realize there’s a practical, concrete “There” there to this work. They emerge out of the subjective/experiential fog and the generalities: sometimes slowly, sometimes suddenly. But they’re often grateful to realize that they can grow to the next level in this work. That there’s a clear path. 

When other practitioners ask me what was different about working with Jeff, I often talk about the discipline I found in myself. But through that discipline I experienced something unexpected: an explosion of creativity. 

As a graduate level program, IOPS is for depth over breadth. We’re going to work together to climb out of our first approximation of the Feldenkrais Method, and enjoy supporting and learning from one another as we do it. 

As to the “chop-wood-carry-water” aspect: participants will prepare and study particular ATM lessons prior to the live segments. There will be homework, preparation, study of DVD material, online forum, etc. 
Participants will complete a self-assessment, and track their personal and professional goals throughout the program. We’re assuming that the people who want to be in this program see the value in this kind of consistency and that want to use it to improve their lives, clean-up and strengthen their self-organization, and support the effectiveness and viability of their professional practice. 

We want to help them raise their teaching and self-organization to a higher, more specific standard; to embody the principles better and better and assess at each step how well their personal and professional study is moving them towards their goals. We want them to see that there is a substantial, rigorous curriculum to this work, that underpins all the vastness and richness of the ATM material. And that the same principles of self-organization that they learn in the program are the ones they will teach to their clients.

The conversation will be held within a consistent framework of understanding how to organize the ground forces through the skeleton, how the joint surfaces articulate with each other to promote that support, how to use the ATM lessons to study the specific principles. 

We will emphasize: 
--Cultivating a clear, disciplined personal practice. 
--Understanding the ideal as a way of measuring and orienting your progress. 
--Translating and understanding ATMs in relation to upright function/action and relating them to the tasks, activities our clients pursue. 
--Relating the biomechanical principles to the aesthetic qualities they promote in our experience of movement. 
--Developing clarity and practice in the upright orientations.
--Using the FI/ATM contexts for the study and demonstration of the principles of good support
--Demonstrating, testing and refining our competence with one another. 
--Figuring out "how the lesson works". 
More about the curriculum at www.iopsacademy.com/curriculum/

Hope this helps.

Laura Yedwab One of the difficulties with most advanced trainings is that you return home and its hard to integrate the learning into your practice. With IOPS, you will be part of a community that continues to work and learn together through out the 18 months. One part of this will be the on-line classes that will occur between the live segments.

Laurie Johnson Wish it had closed captioning for the hearing impaired...