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S3NSE: Heads and Tails

Updated: Jun 27, 2023




A Feldenkrais Question for Carnic the Magnificent (Johnny Carson)

Answer: Use Your Pelvis.

Question: What is the answer to most Feldenkrais Questions?


Monty Python would refer to the pelvis as the home for our naughty bits. Cultural attitudes about sex has had a great impact on how people thought and used their pelvis. In the past, women wore tight girdles which restricted pelvic movement. Early rock ’n’ roll horrified mainstream America by encouraging kids to shake, rattle and roll. Elvis Presley was so good with his pelvis, TV shows would only show him from the waist up. Times have changed and we are a bit freer with our clothes, attitudes and movement. But for many people, there is still a disconnect between heads and tails that makes life difficult and painful.


The head and pelvis are the biggest and heaviest parts of the body. The average adult head weights 11 pounds. The pelvis is a little heavier at 13.66 for males and 15.96 for females. The pelvis connects the legs to the upper body and the spine connects the pelvis to the head. Coordinating the relationships between the pelvis, spine and head is essential for efficient and effective actions.


Look at a picture of the musculoskeletal system and notice how the largest and strongest muscles are located in the center of the body. As you move upward, downward and outward the muscles become smaller and more delicate. Problems occur when you ask the smaller muscles to do the job of the larger muscles. When the large core muscles move the pelvis to support the head, the smaller muscles of the neck are free to make fine tuned adjustments.


The head-spine-pelvis connection is such an important human function that Moshe Feldenkrais made it the first lesson in his Awareness Through Movement book. For most people moving from sitting to standing requires a great effort. In this lesson, one learns how to roll the pelvis off the chair over the feet. Once your weight is smoothly transferred from the chair to your feet, it is easy to stand. S3NSE will focus on Heads and Tails in July sessions here at S3NSE.org. We have been taught to think heads or tails. If that is not working for you, how about learning heads and tails.

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