“Beard Pull” Pecking, with Chanukia (Patrons)

Back-lying, exploring pecking movements to create ease, clarity, and better carriage of the head, neck, shoulders, and spine. Uses the playful image of having a chin beard that an imaginary friend gently pulls toward the ceiling. Movements from the Chanukia lesson are used to develop possibilities. A link to that prerequisite lesson is in the Comfort & Configuration tab.

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.

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 – 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 – 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!

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Tip – Technical Difficulties

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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 – 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 – 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 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 – 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 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.

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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.

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’re not familiar with lessons in which you “tilt your Hanukkah menorah” please do Chanukia, the Candle Holder Lesson first, then return to this one.

Breathe fully and pleasantly throughout the lesson, and observe carefully the instructions to remain comfortable in the pecking movements. It’s truly never necessary to lift your head from the ground, even though it’s invited at times.

Near the beginning it’s indicated that you can let your mouth open a little as you do the pecking movement, and that if it’s safe you may actually lift your head a tiny bit when your imaginary friend “pulls your beard”. If these movements are comfortable either or both are welcome throughout all of the lesson’s pecking movements.

Note that actually lifting your head off the floor is only recommended if/when it feels good and interesting.

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 it was followed the next week by Arms Like a Skeleton, Integrating the Neck, Jaw, and Eyes (Patrons).

It was recorded on November 30, 2021.

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  1. Terri Morgan on June 25, 2022 at 6:50 am

    Thanks Nick, love that see saw feeling of the spine ????

  2. shan shnookal on July 5, 2022 at 3:00 am

    Another fabulous lesson, Nick! I felt all sorts of interesting and unaccustomed connections in head, belly, hips, neck, lower back…

    • shan shnookal on July 8, 2022 at 3:05 am

      A few days later, i still feel my joints have been oiled! And i’m enjoying new (“better”!?) relationships between my belly/abdomen, pelvis and lower back.

  3. Richard Fancy on July 9, 2022 at 5:50 pm

    This is the third time I did this one. It’s made me very pleasurably aware of the movement through my spine of my pelvis as I breathe. I’m going to do the dynamic core lengthening the spine next; another way of organizing pelvis and spine with breath.

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