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  1. #11
    Member gypsy's Avatar
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    Arms are a big focus to me, when I watch someone perform I always notice their arms and it greatly affects how much I like it.
    I'm not sure where I am at with my own arms, but I try to be mindful of them whatever I am doing with the rest of me.
    Shira-Thank you so much for the article, it is so helpful! I will be practicing it!

  2. #12
    Member BigJim's Avatar
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    I feel that arms are a weak point for me also. I have a tendency to move them to fast and get into the flapping mode.My instructor also says that instead of framing the hips I'm having them to close and hiding them instead. She suggested working with a broomstick to try and cure this. Hold the stick as far apart as possible and then go through your routine. It will emphasize where your arm position is at... it's not perfect but I'm hoping it'll help get control of what they are doing... jim

  3. #13
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    I did the same thing, but with my assaya instead. It does help a lot Jim, keep at it.

  4. #14
    Member Selene's Avatar
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    I like the advice in this thread as I have problems with my arms as well. Starting with the fact that they are extra long(I have long limbs but short torso) so whenever I try to frame my hips, my hands are way too low, and if I arch them more my elbows look too pointy. Also, the pointy elbows are a problem often when extending arms in first position for example, although that helps me keep the elbows facing back since they look awful any other way xD so what can I do to make them look softer?

  5. #15
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Either accept your arms the way they are (glorious long arms!!!) or if you wanted to, you could rotate your elbows so that they point backwards to narrow the gap between waist and arms when your hands are framing around the hips. The decision is yours and should be made based on how comfortable it is to do the rotation trick I'm talking about. My elbows get a bit pointy when framing the hips so I do the rotation thing myself, but I honestly think that you should just do what works best for your body.

  6. #16
    Administrator Salome's Avatar
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    In Oriental we spend time learning travelling steps, teaching those feet patterns, training our hips, core and so on. We break down movements, we train muscles and through this process we begin to gain control and some level of mastery. But there are those dang hands, with pinkies so full of tension they are sticking up like antennas. Drooping elbows, limp wrists and arms that are cramping our space. Why? Because arms and hands (often get) left out of this break down/learning/training equation.

    I have taught extensively on arms and hands and I can tell you it starts with approaching your hands and arms just as you did your hip work. It takes specific training and lot's of practice. My workshop starts with stretching your fingers, wrists and arms. Increasing your flexibility and softness. Then dexterity exercises. For one example; hands open/fingers extended then fold the pointer and ring finger down simultaneously and open again. Repeat but with the middle and pinkie finger. Another dexterity exercise I like to do in my class is palms together and designate the pointer fingers as the dom in a rhythm and the other fingers as tek. Keeping your palms tightly together tap out the rhythm in a pattern - always trying to repeat it precisely as you did before.

    There is more than one hand position used in Oriental, at least in American Oriental, so in my workshop we practice moving through about 5 different positions with the hands. We do an Oriental version of porte bra and practice extension, form, grace, control and later add hand positions...

    I say all this to say, you are on the right track. Arms and hands need attention of their own. Stretch them - practice dexterity - practice framing and defining space around the body with intention. Good luck!
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  7. #17
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    This is a spontaneous unpaid plug for Salome's workshop on hands and arms. She came to Wyoming a couple of years ago to teach and it was an experience I wish everyone could share.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  8. #18
    Administrator Salome's Avatar
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    Hey Thanks Shanazel!
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  9. #19
    Member Selene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darshiva View Post
    Either accept your arms the way they are (glorious long arms!!!) or if you wanted to, you could rotate your elbows so that they point backwards to narrow the gap between waist and arms when your hands are framing around the hips. The decision is yours and should be made based on how comfortable it is to do the rotation trick I'm talking about. My elbows get a bit pointy when framing the hips so I do the rotation thing myself, but I honestly think that you should just do what works best for your body.

    Thanks for the advice, I actually do the rotation and it helps a little but I often forget to do it -.- Also, Im still trying to figure out what works best for my body when it comes to framing my hips, cant seem to get them arms looking pretty XD

    Thanks Salome for the tips on exercise~

  10. #20
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selene View Post
    Thanks for the advice, I actually do the rotation and it helps a little but I often forget to do it -.- Also, Im still trying to figure out what works best for my body when it comes to framing my hips, cant seem to get them arms looking pretty XD

    Thanks Salome for the tips on exercise~
    Stand in front of a mirror and move them around until they look right, then hold that pose. Do it the same for every posture you use and every arm pose you use and over the course of a few months it will become habit.

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