Healthcare and Medicine Reference
What is the response further up your body? Do you
feel the ribs lifting off the floor on the left side, or feel
some response in the shoulder girdle? Rest a moment.
Put your arms beside or above your head, palms up.
Find the easiest comfortable place, again without stress
or stretch. If this is too difficult or stressful, put your
hands on your chest and adapt the next set of instruc-
tions to your comfort. Begin once more to let your knees
fall to the right, but this time add another movement:
each time you move your knees to the right, extend your
right hand or elbow further up over your head. It does
not have to go very far; the important part is to coordi-
nate it with the knees, so that the arm is extended as the
knees go right, and the arm comes back down as the
knees return to upright.
As you repeat this motion, begin to extend it so that
the ribs and your head follow the knees. Let the arm
extend out more and you will find that you will eventu-
ally roll onto your side. Do this motion a number of
times, moving from your back to your side and back
again, coordinating the arm and the knees. If it is com-
fortable, let your head roll onto your right arm as you
come to side-lying.
As you do this motion, you can let your left arm cross
to the right, either across your chest or over your head.
Let it arrive on the floor in front of your face. So now
you are lying on your side, with your knees up (hips
flexed) and your left arm in front of you (Fig. 10.25).
Now begin to take your knees and elbows away from
each other and then back toward each other. Most bodies
will respond to this movement in such a way that as the
knees and elbows move apart from each other, you will
tend to go from your side to your belly. As the knees
and elbows approach each other, you will tend to move
toward lying once more on your side, and eventually
your back. Experiment with this movement, especially
with extending your limbs and trunk until you are lying
on your belly (Fig. 10.26). Be aware of the tendency to
fall toward the belly, and see if you can relax the muscles
of your torso enough so that you can ease toward the
floor without falling. Can you reverse the motion at any
time, change your mind and go back to the side? Can
you move from the back to the side to the belly by just
moving your arms and knees?
Now that you are lying on your belly, turn your head
so your face is to your right. Bring your feet up so that
your knees are bent, and begin to take your feet over to
your left, as if to take the outside edge of your left foot
to the ground. As before, let your legs slide on each
other, so that your right knee comes off the ground only
toward the end of the movement. Make sure the move-
ment is comfortable, and repeat it several times until it
is easy, even elegant.
As you do the movement, you may find that once
again, your body is following the movement, that the
right side of the ribs is beginning to lift up to follow the
hips. Your head will probably be comfortable rolling
onto your extended left arm. As you roll onto your left
side, bring your knees and elbows together once again
and you will find it easy to roll onto your back. Again,
do this movement - from the belly over the left side
to the back - several times until it feels easy and
At this point you have completed a 360" roll of the
body. If you have room, you can continue going in
the direction you have started. If not, you can go back
the way you came. Notice whether going one way
is easier than the other. Practice rolling in both direc-
tions until it is easy and effortless. Do it more slowly
rather than more quickly - doing it quickly is not an
indication of movement mastery. If you can do it slowly,
without falling or skipping over places, and without
throwing yourself through the movement via momen-
tum, then you can say you have mastered the
As you do this movement in a coordinated way, you
can feel the accordion-like folding and unfolding of the
myofascial meridian lines.
ATM Lesson lines analysis
Looking at this lesson with an Anatomy Trains lens, the
obvious part of this lesson is in the line doing the spiral
movement necessary to rolling. As we lie on our backs
and begin to take the knees to the left, the left Back
Functional Line initiates the movement, and the left LL
and right BFL are stretched until they begin to pull the
body on along with it, like a string around a top. The
right Spiral Line and the left Front Functional Line also
begin to pull as the right hip bone turns to the right,
pulling the left rib cage along with it, but the primary
line of pull is through the BFL (Fig 10.27). The left FFL
continues the pull from side to belly, and the right BFL
completes the pull onto side and back, all coordinated
with the two Spiral Lines.
Fig. 10.26 After you reach the belly-lying position, you can
continue on around the roll by taking your knees to the left and
letting the rest of your body follow.
Fig. 10.25 When you reach side-lying, you can continue by taking
your knees and elbows away from each other.