Feldenkrais Lesson: Rolling the Head

Yesterday’s Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement(R) lesson was titled “Hand Rolling the Head.” Actually, it would be more appropriate to say “Hand Rolling Your Head.” Rolling the head implies a sense of detachment or lack of ownership to the marvelous structure which sits on top of your spine and protects the most intricate personal computer you will ever own….your brain. Besides, the term “the head” implies a creepy image of a head rolling around on it’s own. That’s not a picture that supports a healthy self image, and it’s also a bit jarring to the nervous system. Ooops, I mean, your nervous system.

Language does have a powerful impact on how we see ourselves. If we are impersonal in our approach to a lesson, we might interrupt our own process of learning, self discovery, and miss out on a few “Aha” moments that could have unfolded naturally. In this lesson, we explored the skeletal connection of our hands to our head and our head to our hands. We discovered the relationship of our elbows to our shoulder blades and the connection of our arms through the 7th cervical vertebrae. We played with the movement of our ribs, sternum with the gentle movement of rolling our head while lying on our back, and we discovered a new sense of flexibility in our spine, hips and pelvis.

That last one was a true “Aha” moment, along with a softening of our rib cage, increased awareness of our lower ribs, and a loosening of our hip joints. ¬† All of this simply from rolling our head while we were lying on our backs. ¬†Another revelation was that no movement is simple. Instead, every movement in a Feldenkrais lesson is full of multiple complexities and opportunities to learn. It was a great day to lie on your back, and sense your contact with the floor!