Literally one of my most favorite lessons. I’m not kidding, although my students will tell you I say this all the time. The connections unfolding from the top down and bottom up brings a growing delight as I wake up parts of myself that felt hidden. I love the feeling of instant responsiveness at the end. It’s like a whole constellation of points of awareness is rubbed into a shiny, bright sheen.

An eye-opening lesson in how the upper back supports the neck—really, truly supports it. Often we get stuck in moving “just the neck” without the rest of the spine. This lesson reverses that habit. Many of my clients find enormous benefit in restoring this connection to the neck because then the neck doesn’t have to work so hard!

Feeling the head move with the upper spine and ribs wakes up how much support the neck really gets from the rest of the bones. Feel more freedom in the head and neck as you clarify how support in different places lets go of more and more tension. A very cool lesson, but please do it gently!

Rolling across the spine can unravel all kinds of tension. This lesson opens up the upper back right between the shoulder blades, plus with some oscillation up and down the spine you get up feeling like you have a new back!

Sinking the spine between the shoulder blades is a lovely feeling because for many folks, the shoulders are hunched forward, far apart from the spine. Bringing the shoulders together in a functional move, rather than a forced, “pull your shoulders back!” move is vastly different, and yields much better results. This lesson really gets the spine moving between the shoulders, and the shoulders start moving across the ribs like they’re an open field.

Learn to lift the head, rather like a baby does when the back muscles start to wake up. We forget this as adults. The back muscles get hijacked for other tasks. This is a very baby-like process of activating the upper back to support the head and neck. You’ll feel taller, more upright, with a sense of lightness in the upper back. (Mia Segal/Gaby Yaron, 1977-78 evening classes)

Second half: More to do with how the head can be leveraged with the middle of you rather than working hard all the time.

When your actions in the world are in line with your motivation, you will experience an absence of effort.

For example, you could ride a bike right away if you eliminated all unnecessary work and performed only what was necessary to propel you forward. Instead, the apprenticeship to riding a bike involves many unnecessary actions until it is clear what is required.

Most of the time we fail to achieve what we want because we are enacting more muscular effort than we are aware of and we are not at all clear about what is required.
— Moshe Feldenkrais