Errata - Mind in Motion blog


Errata - Mind in Motion blog

“Freedom is not worth having
if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”
Mahatma Gandhi

The other day, in The spirit of the method, I reported that the Feldenkrais Guild of North America’s upcoming online celebration of Moshe Feldenkrais’s birthday on the 6th of May is being offered free of charge. 

I got that wrong. 

There will be a registration fee to attend Robbie Ofir’s talk, Is the Feldenkrais Method a Spiritual Practice, and Was Moshe a Spiritual Man?, and do the ATM lesson I’ll be teaching afterward. The cost to members of the FGNA is $20.00 and $35.00 for non-members and the general public. 

Registration has yet to open. Please keep your eye on the FGNA website for information about signing up.

Last September, I wrote about my morning walks and the pace of my recovery in a blog titled The next step. The image I used came from a photo I took of a rock in one of my neighbor’s front yards. On the face of the stone, someone had inscribed that famous saying, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” and attributed it to Confucius. 

That is wrong.

The source of the quote is the Tao-Te-Ching, written by Tao-Lao Tzu, the founder of Daoism. 

It just goes to show you that because something is written in stone, that doesn’t mean it is correct. 

One of the participants wrote me a private Zoom message during a recent meeting of my current BREATHING BETTER postgraduate program for Feldenkrais teachers. I had said, in passing, that because the bottom-most ribs, known as floating ribs because they do not attach to the breastbone, the vertebrae attached to them were the most mobile part of the thoracic spine. In her note, my colleague asked if I was sure this statement was correct.

I wasn’t.

Ironically, the ATM I taught that day, one of many versions of Moshe’s COORDINATING FLEXORS AND EXTENSORS classes, provided a clear-cut counterexample of what I had just said. The lesson elicits twisting in the spine of the midchest to reveal, experientially, the significance of the motion of the ribs in respiration.

As soon as class was over, I set off to find The Physiology of the Joints. A collection of three incredibly detailed and informative books written, illustrated, and revised by Adalbert Kapandji, a French orthopedic surgeon and hand surgeon, these tomes are a trusted reference on the biomechanics of human movement. I pulled the third volume, which is about the trunk and vertebral column, off my shelf. Opening to the section entitled “Range of rotation of the thoracolumbar vertebral column,” I found what I needed to know. The spine of the midchest, located in the area at the bottom of the shoulder blades, which is also the region of the seventh and eighth rib, has the largest built-in capacity for twisting. 

My offhand comment was wrong. 

Even though I knew better — the statement certainly didn’t fit with what I have learned about how the spine can move — somehow, these words have hung on, becoming incorporated in my habits, and unconsciously popping up every so often. 

Try as I might, I can’t even remember where I got the idea. It wouldn’t be the first time something I learned in a class was wrong. Or did I jump to the wrong conclusion and absent-mindedly repeat the idea?

My face and throat got hot. I felt embarrassed and wanted to immediately contact everyone I had unwittingly misled or confused to apologize profusely.

As my ex- used to say, “I am never wrong. I may be wrong in 10 or 15 seconds, but at the moment, I am right.”

Mistakes, like accidents, happen. What you do when you realize you’re wrong is what matters.

I am sorry for my missteps. And I am grateful I have this chance to correct these blunders.

Credit where credit is due: 

  • Thank you to the marvelous Lavinia Plonka for pointing out the misattribution of the thousand-mile journey quote.
  • I used a photo by Gratisogrphy from as the basis for the stepping on gum image above.

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  1. Hi Larry,
    So lovely to hang out with you online the other day – your teaching has inspired my own as always. With regard to the inaccuracy of your offhand comment about the mobility of the 11th and 12th vertebrae, my ears pricked up because I think it is true that they are the most mobile ribs, for exactly that reason – that they are attached firmly to the rest of the skeleton at only one end, rather than both ends. I just checked as it is always wise to follow up these thoughts when one is able – and so easy to do now – and this site suggests that is the case, and that you might have at some point simply made a natural extrapolation of that idea: – I hope that is useful.
    Very best wishes,

    1. Hello Maggie –
      Yes, it was lovely to hang out with you online recently!
      Thank you so much for your suggestion about the possible root of my misunderstanding. That does make sense!
      Onward. Together,