Arms Like a Skeleton, Integrating the Neck, Jaw, and Eyes (Patrons)

Back-lying. Designed to help you find new options for ease in your neck, jaw, and eyes in relationship to movements of your shoulders and chest. Great for reducing tension and improving posture, particularly carriage of the head, neck, and shoulders.

Before you begin read this for practical tips and your responsibilities, and check out Comfort & Configuration below.

Recorded live in a Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement (ATM) class, this lesson is copyright Nick Strauss-Klein, for personal use only.

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Tip – Pause the recording

Study tip: If you’re really enjoying a movement and want to explore longer, or you just need a break for a while, pause the recording!

Tip 3 – Head Support

Study tip: It helps to have a large bath towel nearby when you start a lesson. You can fold it differently for comfortable head support in any configuration.

Tip – Complete the Movement

Study tip: Complete one movement before beginning the next. You’ll improve faster if there’s enough time between movements that you feel fully at rest.

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Tip 5 – Discomfort

Study tip: If a configuration or movement causes any increase in discomfort, or you feel you just don’t want to do it, don’t! Make it smaller and slower, adapt it, or rest and imagine.

Tip 4 – Padding

Study tip: Comfort first! Carpeted floors usually work well, but it’s great to have an extra mat or blanket nearby in case you need a softer surface in some configurations.

Tip 1 – Interrupted?

Study tip: Interrupted or don’t have enough time? You can return to the lesson later today or tomorrow. Read how best to continue your learning on our FAQ page.

Tip – Technical Difficulties

Tech tip: If you have any trouble with the audio player, reboot your browser. That solves most issues. If not, please contact Nick.

Tip – what to wear

Study tip: Wear loose, comfortable clothes that are warm enough for quiet movement. Remove or avoid anything restrictive like belts or glasses.

Tip – Rewinding

Study tip: Many instructions are repeated. If you get a little lost, rest and listen. You’ll often find your way. Or use the rewind button on the page or your mobile device.

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Tip – What’s New

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Tip – skip a lesson

Study tip: If you can’t find a comfortable way to do the initial movements or configuration of a lesson, it’s ok to skip it for now and go on to another lesson.

Tip – Directions are Relative

Study tip: Directions are always relative to your body. For example, if you’re lying on your back “up” is toward your head, and “forward” is toward the ceiling.

Tip – LESSS is more

LESSS is more: Light, Easy, Small, Slow, & Smooth movements will ease pains and improve your underlying neuromuscular habits faster than any other kind of movement, no matter who you are or what your training is!

Tip – Lesson names

What’s in a lesson title? Lessons are about an hour unless a shorter duration is shown in the title. Thanks to our donors they’re freely offered unless marked “Patrons” – those are how we thank our Patron-level donors.

We offer over 50 free lessons, but this one's just for our Patron-level donors. You can learn about it in the free lesson notes and comments below, but to access the audio you’ll need to join The FP as a Patron. Learn more

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If you need head support in back-lying make sure it’s smooth and level, and only the minimum that you need to be comfortable. As the movements and lesson develop you may find you prefer less and less head support.

Near the end of the lesson, as you reach your arm forward you’re asked to keep your head “floor-supported,” not lifting into the air. It can be very helpful to the whole action to let your head slide on the floor as it turns and nods.

There are some interesting differences between how the movements are taught on the two sides, making this lesson a great candidate for reversing the lefts and rights on a subsequent listening.

This lesson is found in Patrons Monthly, our collection of lessons exclusively for Feldenkrais Project Patron-level donors.

It also appears in our Jaw, Neck, and Shoulders Deep Dive course.

It works well on its own but I’ve chosen not to edit out references to “last week’s class” which is “Beard Pull” Pecking, with Chanukia (Patrons). Both are in that course.

It was recorded on December 7, 2021.

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  1. c j on June 1, 2023 at 2:03 am

    That was a brilliant lesson. Thanks Nick

  2. Claire Gunn on October 1, 2023 at 3:20 am

    Thanks Nick, great lesson. I like how you suggest to ask if my moving still brings a smile . Movement for pleasure 😊

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on October 4, 2023 at 1:37 pm

      Wonderful! Fancy that, right? Moving for pleasure! It’s a gift of evolution that functioning well feels good. Now if we can just all convince ourselves to pay attention to those little pleasures more and more, and develop them. Skill comes when we are enjoying ourselves, leading to more ability and satisfaction in all our actions, and more skill…the loop of learning and improvement.

  3. Jon Low on December 27, 2023 at 6:45 pm

    Thanks for the lesson!! Always learn surprising things— like how I can actually still move my eyes through space with the option to be focused or defocused… realize I overly focus (like a laser) which creates a certain unnecessary tension/effort … even just to move limbs! Ha ha

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