Freeing the Neck with Crawling and Rolling (Patrons)

Front-lying, back-lying, transitioning. Improving integration of the head, neck, shoulders, and chest through explorations of crawling movements and improvisations toward rolling.

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 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.

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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 – 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.

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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 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 – 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!

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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 – 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 – 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.

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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This lesson benefits from a low friction mat. Clothing that covers your knees may be helpful since you’ll frequently slide them on the floor. If it helps for your comfort while lying on your front, please have a towel and/or small pillows available for support under a shoulder, or under your chest, your lower abdomen and hips, etc., at least for resting situations.

In the front-lying configurations, the elbows and forearms rest on the ground along with the palms except when described as “push-up position” or “elbows in the air”, or when you’re specifically asked to lift your elbow.

This lesson is found in Patrons Monthly, our growing collection of new lessons (one or more added every month) for Feldenkrais Project Patron-level donors.

It also appears in two Deep Dive courses: Rock & Roll! (and Rotate) and Jaw, Neck, and Shoulders.

Audio was captured during a live Zoom lesson.

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  1. Matthew Lanzi on July 17, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    Very interesting lesson. Two things I noticed- 1) when in the push-up position, I am easily able to relax my left shoulder and sort of drop it into the floor but I am not able to nearly as easily with my right shoulder. 2) one of the first times we have our knees bent, dangling above; when you ask us to bring our elbow and knees together, I can again do this pretty well on the left side but not the right. I’d say mostly due to limitations in the right hip. Do you have any lessons that expand on those two different movements?

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on September 16, 2020 at 11:10 am

      For both issues, it may be helpful to work gently with some of our “folding” (flexion) lessons, allowing the two sides to be asymmetrical and following each hip and shoulder on its own terms. Use our Search and Sort All Lessons page in the menu for “folding” or to browse through the collections.

  2. Chris Sigurdson on March 4, 2023 at 11:05 am

    When I stood I felt enormous in a very good and powerful way. Unexpected. Delightful.

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