When we say that people in general (people in our culture) “live in their heads,” this is more than metaphorical. If you watch people moving from one orientation to another, or from one level to another (lying to sitting or sitting to standing), their action is usually organized around the idea of getting their head where it’s going. The pelvis is an afterthought. And then everything is difficult and challenging, because your pelvis is the center of you. You aren’t going anywhere your pelvis isn’t committed to being.
Depending on your position, your center of gravity will be more or less in the pelvic area. (Think of the dan-tien of the martial arts.) The biggest and strongest muscles in the body surround the pelvis. Many of you will have been finding with the “scanning” week after week that your pelvis lays most heavily on the floor, lying on your back.
Indeed, to achieve the ability to be agile–ready to move in any direction without preparation, Feldenkrais’s definition of maturity–while lying on the ground would be no mean feat. When we’re standing up, standing still is an achievement (it takes children a long time to learn to organize themselves so they don’t need to be in constant motion, because the position of standing is one of high potential–it takes virtually nothing to tip us and put us in need of shifting to regain balance). But when we’re lying down, we like to stay put. Getting up is work.
Does it need to be? What would it take for the whole of us to be as agile and available to act from lying as from standing?