Dynamic Balance: Coordinates of the Head (Patrons)

Back, front, and side-lying, framed by explorations of dynamic balance in standing. Soften your chest, integrate your head, spine, and pelvis, and improve your balance, posture, and breathing by learning to circle your head in your hands in many lying down configurations.

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 – 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 1 – Interrupted?

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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 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.

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 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.

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 – 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 – 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.

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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During the legs long, back-lying, head-lifting variations: if it’s necessary for comfort you could rest your knees on a roller or rolled up towel, or even bend your knees and stand your feet.

However you do it, let your lower back relax, move, and even learn to press the ground to support lifting and shifting your head with your hands.

It’s helpful to pay attention to your pelvis – and its relationship with your head through your spine – whenever you think of it throughout the lesson, not just when it’s mentioned.

“Change over the organization of your hands” means interlace your fingers in the other way.

This lesson was recorded in a “Breath, Balance, and Posture” course. These three phenomena are closely related in our nervous system and physiology. By our nature, when one changes the others must change too.

The lesson is designed to leverage the many relationships between these phenomena, and to bring more awareness to them, so all three improve in an organic and lasting way.

Another curiosity: in after-class discussion several of the students present when this lesson was recorded reported surprise that this lesson relieved neck pain, and relaxed tightness in the buttocks and legs. Working with the chest is often very helpful for our extremities, since a more supple chest distributes some of the movements and efforts of the neck and pelvis throughout more of the body.

This lesson is found in Patrons Monthly, our collection of lessons exclusively for Feldenkrais Project Patron-level donors. It also appears in our Better Balance Deep Dive.

It was recorded in a FP Weekly Zoom class on June 14, 2022.

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4 Comments

  1. Ileana Vogelaar on December 16, 2022 at 9:39 pm

    Thank you for this Wonderful lesson.
    As well as for lesson on 12/ 12.

    Both very complex and with lots of novelties ( for me ).
    I enjoyed the variety of working all sides and directions. Not hard on the body ,as my body likes work on tummy.
    And thank you for the Holidays extra lessons gifts I am home isolating as Covid hit. Used to be very judgmental for sick people… Now I see how this all goes around: infected people feel well and go around spreading germs. By the time I tested positive, I infected my daughter .
    Luckily meds worked right away, just after one bad day I had. Isolating for a week, and now less judgmental.
    Chance to catch up on Nick’s new lessons. Great, healthy Holidays and love to all.xoxoxo

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on December 18, 2022 at 9:09 am

      Wishing you and your family a quick return to full health. It’s a complicated time. Feldenkrais helps me so much – I’m glad it is a balm for you, too!

  2. Sara Firman on December 17, 2022 at 10:41 am

    Lovely circularizing lesson – back feels very happily warmed up. Thank you for all you’ve offered us this year.

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on December 18, 2022 at 9:08 am

      It’s been a great year at The FP! Thanks for your support.

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