Lesson 1: What does it take

You will need to come to lie down onto the floor. And as I see it, most places may not be cut out for this. There might be no good default place to lie down onto the floor. The narrow strip on the cold bedroom floor seems uninviting, and even the best interior designers pack the living room carpet with as many sofas, chairs, coffee tables, end tables, and flower pots as they possibly can. The things I’ve seen. 

The floor has been neglected, feared even, to such extended that the Chinese invented several movement methods where you touch the floor strictly with your feet; in socks and shoes. This includes, probably, most variants of Tai Chi and Chi Gong. The floor is lava.

But we need the floor. Lying down is liberating. It liberates us from many burdens gravity bestows on us; it enables us to have a fresh look at age old movement habits, and to let go of rigid postures. There’s no need to hold balance, and no fear of falling – because we’re already lying on the floor. Lying down on a firm surface, not too hard and not too soft, is a gateway to introspection.

Students tell stories to other students, and Moshé Feldenkrais is said to have asked: „What was the greatest contribution of Sigmund Freud to Psychology?”, and his answer is told to surprise: „He asked people to lie down. Freud himself was sitting behind his clients, letting them rest reclined and experience themselves, without feeling observed, controlled, or manipulated. From all the great many things Sigmund Freud has discovered, this was by far his most important discovery, and also the one most overlooked and least understood.” So it is told.

You will root for the floor too, soon.

Yoga on Youtube, the COVID lockdowns, and Apple Fitness+ have already helped a lot in this regard. Clear yourself some space. But don’t limit yourself to a six by two feet (180 x 60 cm) hard plastic mat. Spread out a big, snuggly blanket and line up all the pillows and towels you could possibly need. Claim your big, cozy, warm, safe space on the floor. The space should promise an enjoyable experience. Without draft wind coming from under the door or window. It should be spacious enough for you to be able to fully stretch yourself out. „Yourself”, this includes your arms, out to the sides. Wide enough so that you could roll to your left and your right, maybe even all the way onto your belly. You shouldn’t run danger to hit your head, and shouldn’t have to stick your feet under a chair or a bed or a side-board. And when your nephew comes running in, the swinging door blades shouldn’t leave bruises on your legs.

So you have your space.

Then please come to lie down on your side. 

And they will tell you which side to choose. But I’m telling you: your two sides are not equal. In fact they might be as different as with two different people.