The Carriage of the Head Affects the State of the Musculature (Patrons)
Lying on the belly, knees bent, soles of feet oriented toward the ceiling, learning to tilt the feet to the side in order to integrate the pelvis, the length of the spine, and the ribs and shoulders with various configurations of the head and neck. Also, late in the lesson, discovering the potency of imagined movements.
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 – 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.
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.
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. If you need it, use the 10 seconds back button.
Tip – Comments
Project tip: Leave a lesson comment below! It’s a great way to give feedback or ask a question, and it helps google find us so we can achieve The Feldenkrais Project’s vision!
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.
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 – 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.
While we offer 52 free lessons, this one's just for our Patron-level donors. You can preview the 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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Another great lesson Nick. It is amazing just how powerful imagery is. How it can, in a very short time, transfer the effects of movement on one side to the other.
I very much dislike lessons on the belly, so I generally avoid them. However this lesson kept coming up in my mind as one to try for some issues I was having, resulting from Aikido front rolls.
There was a new discovery that I encountered with this lesson, specifically with the idea of lengthening. Could it be that I was compacting myself instead of rolling out into length during the Aikido classes?
During the lesson, the idea of lengthening was mentioned several times, and I discovered a movement of my spine, very subtle, that I didn’t realize could happen.
Afterwards I felt a freedom in my lower thoracic region that seemingly had nothing to do with the neck or shoulder (the area of concern).
I am realizing that it is important to try even those lessons that appear uncomfortable (as long as one knows the guidelines for keeping oneself comfortable so one can really learn). There are new discoveries to be had by trying the not so favorite lessons. Which makes this lesson a new favorite for the freedom I received!
It was challenging yet fruitful to imagine the movement on the second side. Thank you.
As a chronic pain sufferer, I think this is the lesson I need the most. it is not the most comfortable, but I am sensing the beginnings of lengthening. I do not yet understand though how I can possibly tilt the knees when legs are together so that one comes off the floor without wrenching my back. Lol Any tips? I have done many, many of the lessons and they keep me going on the hard days, so thank you greatly for this site!!!
Glad to offer it! The first option is always to go so small and so slow that you simply can’t hurt yourself. The intention is to “err” on the side of doing nothing, but of course it’s not an error at all. With quiet attention (and not making your nervous system defensive by “wrenching” things) you will improve, even if you’re barely moving or only imagining moving!
Second idea for this belly-lying configuration is to experiment with putting a folded up towel under your hips. Try different thickness and sizes until you find a position that allows you to feel, while resting, that your back is longer and more slack before you begin to move.
Playing with some of the breathing lessons that use belly-lying might also help prepare you to benefit from this lesson: try Getting Oriented Lesson 7, or Breathing from Head to Heels.
Thanks for listening and please spread the word about the Feldenkrais Project!
Thanks Nick I will try the towel and go gently
I love this lesson, feeling taller and ‘chic’ after.
I didn’t expect a facial, just by tilting my legs but I got one and even significant changes just by imagining.
Another fabulous lesson, thanks Nick! I love the clarity of your instructions, and the details that surprise my attention and improve my movement, even with lessons that are familiar from other sources.
I clicked on this lesson yesterday in the throes of back spasms and just smiled. In zoom class over a year ago, a similar lesson guided me out of back pain. Back then I couldn’t imagine that getting on my stomach was even possible, let alone smart, but this time, I just did it. Moving the lower legs in this way was once again profoundly helpful. I want to stay out of back pain woes and am committing to doing the Daily most days. Just sayin’ 🙂 Thank you, Nick!
Wonderful! And great that you’ve made a connection between a personal challenge and a genre of lessons to go looking for when you feel it. Thanks for sharing the story!
After working on the right side, I could see the right side of my face in the mirror noticeably more relaxed than the left side. After working on the left side, both parts of my face were equally relaxed. My head was erect and comfortable, and I had a feeling of increased wellbeing. Thank you for the superb way in which you lead the lessons!
Wobble head in a good way. Relieved some thoracic discomfort. A bit challenging for my lower back. Will be more gentle next time. Hard not to maybe twist too much with gravity since it feels so good.