Back-lying, knees bent, learning to gradually lift and lower the pelvis and spine. This variant of a classic Feldenkrais lesson cultivates awareness especially around the middle and upper spine and ribs, the shoulder blades, sternum, and C7 (seventh cervical vertebra) region.
- If you use a folded towel for head support when lying on your back, be sensitive to how thick it is during this lesson. You may find you want or need less as the lesson goes along (a thickly folded towel may interfere with allowing your head to shift comfortably while lifting your pelvis).
- Early on I talk about “dropping the tailbone” to the floor. This is a directional cue (toward the floor), not intended to be a quick drop.
- This lesson is part of Series 2: Freeing the Spine, Chest, Shoulders, and Neck. If you haven’t already explored them, Series 2 has several lessons that are closely related, including Spine Like a Chain, with a Bias and The Ultimate* Self-Hug,
- If you enjoy the directed breathing parts of this lesson (the “seesaw breath” tool which we call “paradoxical breathing” in the Feldenkrais community), these ideas are explored extensively in Freeing Your Breath, Lengthening from Heels to Head and Differentiation of Parts and Functions in Breathing.
- Practitioners, this lesson closely follows Esalen #7, “Spine Chain–Shoulder Girdle”
- One day I’ll break myself of my habit of pronouncing the singular and plural “vertebra” and “vertebrae” the same way (which I’m told is rare but not wrong)…. But not the day I taught this!