Intention: To help you gracefully and lightly roll up over your bones from the floor to sitting in a chair. You will reinforce your capacity to move without anxiety or a fear of falling. It’s empowering to get up and down from the floor in a variety of ways. You’ll feel lighter and more agile, like an airplane that’s been de-iced.

Starting Position: Lie on your back, with your arms and legs long, in front of your chair, slightly to the left side of the chair.

1. Roll over onto your right side by bending your knees to the right and reaching with your left hand across your body to the floor.

Learning to Fall 01

2. Reach with your left leg down away from your pelvis, as if someone were pulling your leg, and roll up onto your right elbow until you are sitting on your right hip with both hands on the floor.

3. Raise your pelvis above your knees as you straighten both arms and lift your head. You should find yourself on all fours.

4. Adjust your position on your hands and knees so that you are near your chair and can place your left hand on the front of the chair.

5. Place your left hand on the left side of your chair as you stand on your left foot on the floor. Push down with your left hand, left foot, and right toes as you turn to the right and sit on your chair.

Learning to Fall 02   Learning to Fall 03

Feel that you could reverse the movement at any point and return to the floor. Go back and forth several times. Rest by sitting in the chair.

6. Imagine going down and up from the floor. The next time you imagine going down, go all the way down to lying on your back. Imagine doing this on both sides. Not only will this movement melt your old habits, but it will also enable you to create new movements by expanding your physical imagination and adding new neurons to your brain. You might even find that it’s good exercise to go down to the floor and onto your back, then return to sitting—something you could practice on both sides every day. Feel free to invent your own variations, as long as how you do them is clear to you.

Change Your Age Tip: For practice, try going at various speeds so that you can go up and down from the floor without bumping. Feel how smooth the movement can be and how light you can make your return to the chair. Practice on the other side.

This movement is very stimulating to the inner ear, and sometimes we need to take time to adjust to that. When you increase your speed, you might find yourself getting dizzy. If so, simply rest sitting in the chair for a while. Eventually the exercise will strengthen your vestibular system and improve your balance. You’ll find yourself be- coming less concerned about approaching and leaving the floor.

For more movement lessons, tips and helpful routines, buy the Change Your Age book and the Change Your Age video program.