Superfluous effort shortens the body. Efficient action involves growing taller, lengthening the limbs and the spine.
This is a fundamental idea in Feldenkrais. Scan your feeling of height as you sit in your chair reading this. Then clench your jaw–do you grow taller or shorter? Tighten you shoulders. Taller or shorter? Grip your stomach like you’ve just had a fright. Taller or shorter?
This theme is integrated into the lessons in many ways. In measuring lengths in the scans. In monitoring the maintenance of length (as we might monitor easy breathing) to recognize and modify superfluous effort when it arises during an action. In many lessons the question appears almost as an aside–where does the top of your head go?