Free While Constrained: Quiet Head, Twisting Spine (Patrons)

Back-lying. In this lesson you'll explore your options for moving freely while your head is constrained under the gentle weight of your hands. Among other benefits, it's designed to improve everyday movements of the carriage of the head, as well as the coordination and ease of our whole self while we orient our head one way and move our bodies another.

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 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.

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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.

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Tech tip: On mobile or tablet? Once you start playing the audio, your device’s native playback controls should work well.

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 – 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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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 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 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 – 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.

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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.

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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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Once the constrained head configuration begins (around 8 minutes in) if you find you can’t get comfortable perhaps explore Simple Twisting and/or Length Without Effort (36 min) and return to this lesson at a later time.

When you’re asked to “lengthen your left leg” around 38 minutes, these new very small movements are done entirely on the floor: just slide it millimeters longer from its starting position – no lifting.

This lesson is found in Patrons Monthly, our collection of lessons exclusively for Feldenkrais Project Patron-level donors, with one or more new lessons added every month. It’s also in our Free While Constrained Deep Dive.

The lessons mentioned in the recording that were taught over “these last three weeks…seeing how you can be whole and free while you’re constrained” are all linked in that Deep Dive.

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Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

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3 Comments

  1. Joan Oliver Goldsmith on December 5, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    extremely helpful for me in alleviating neck tightness and playing with reducing pain in left side of hip and pelvis.

  2. Sara Firman on November 10, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    Added a whole extra distance to my side to side twist in standing at the end with this – I guess it is coming from an increased capacity in the spine rather than neck. Feeling very tall!

  3. nicole halfon on June 26, 2023 at 9:23 am

    Have done this lesson several times. Never fails, always works. My forever tight neck finally loosens!

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