The image of the Vitruvian Man depicts the “five lines”, which was part of a Feldenkrais lesson I taught today. In fact this image adorns the cover of Moshe’s book Awareness Through Movement. As I thought about it, I realized Moshe used it to convey the concept that everything is connected.
The objective is to “not lose the image of the 5 lines” – the line of the spine, the 2 arms emanating from the shoulders and the 2 legs emanating from the hips. Now with the feet standing on the floor, not shortening or contracting any of the 5 lines; lift one leg, bend in the knee and the foot; as you straighten the knee without straightening the foot.
This means you need to keep a quiet back as you do this movement. This necessitates a high degree of differentiation in yourself in order to do this.
The result is that after the lesson is over and you stand up, you felt very equipoised; ready for movement in any direction, but calm and balanced in your center.
In Kelly Richman-Abdou’s article on MyMoedernMet.com entitled The Significance of Leonardo da Vinci’s Famous “Vitruvian Man” Drawing, she explains that his late 15th-century drawing, the Vitruvian Man, is a prime example of his scientific work. “Intended to explore the idea of proportion, the piece is part work of art and part mathematical diagram, conveying the Old Master‘s belief that ‘everything connects to everything else.'”
“What is the Vitruvian Man?” she continues. “Leonardo drew the Vitruvian Man, known also as ‘The proportions of the human body according to Vitruvius,’ in 1492. Rendered in pen, ink, and metalpoint on paper, the piece depicts an idealized nude male standing within a square and a circle. Ingeniously, Leonardo chose to depict the man with four legs and four arms, allowing him to strike 16 poses simultaneously.”
Continue reading about the “geometry of ‘perfect’ proportions in her article here.