Moving Your Head and Legs Backward (Patrons)
Mostly front-lying, frequently one knee pulled up your mat. A sophisticated exploration of primary arching organizations in combination with twisting and pushing off the ground, from head to toes. Begins with a brief "ATM rules" reminder about taking care of yourself in challenging lessons. The lesson begins in back-lying at around the three-minute mark.
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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 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 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 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.
Browser/device size and audio player
Tech tip: On mobile? Depending on screen size, the audio player appears differently. Try landscape mode or start playback then use your phone’s audio controls.
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!
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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Beautiful lesson, that’s how we learn to go in all four and we start to crawl!
Great lesson. I have a question about a certain instruction, the one where you say to lift the head and the forearm back together. Is the intention not to use so much muscle of the neck and do it solely from the arm? That was very difficult for me.
Right, it likely won’t happen solely in the arm/shoulder/back. Definitely normal that you’d notice some engagement of your neck, but of course if that’s not comfortable please do less or see if you can reorganize for more sense of the arm leading. A good guide to the quality of your organization as you play with this is whether or not you can breathe comfortably and continuously, too.
But the idea is not to lift the head and the arm, but the arm that the head is lying on, giving it more weight? Maybe it’s not so important. I just felt, when I did the lesson, that thinking about it like this, and thinking about it like this made a huge different.
Yes, and that’s a difference that may be very valuable to explore. That difference isn’t the focus of this lesson as it’s presented, but there may be something important about it for you so it’s great that you’re thinking about it. The lesson leaves room for interpretation and (if I remember correctly) just says “lift them together”, but as you can tell there’s multiple ways to do that. Once we notice something like that in a lesson it’s great to experiment, with your comfort, curiosity, and easy breathing as a guide.
One way to experience some of the subtleties of this relationship: even if the head weren’t on top of the arm (let’s say they’re both resting on the floor, the bent arm near the head) lifting one will involve reorganization of the other.
Lovely lesson, specially for pro extension spine movers, like me.
Little nervous about the side bent knee, as it was rotating my spine.
Recovering from upset low back over twisting.
My neck benefitted a lot from the lesson, more freely moving. Thank you very much.