When Feldenkrais worked with Ben Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel, he taught Gurion how to stand on his head by teaching him how to fall. We cannot avoid falls entirely. Our bipedal structure is unstable and we are bound to tumble at some point or another. If we learn how to fall better, though, we learn how to bounce back from our inevitable missteps a lot more easily.
I still have a lot to learn in the falling department. I am still very disoriented by a sudden change in orientation. I wouldn’t slide to the ground voluntarily. I’m not ready to study martial arts, for example. But I can see my training at work when I end up on the ground. It used to be that any misstep I might take would end in injury. A step into a pothole would dramatically turn my ankle. A fall to the ground would break my wrist or chip my elbow. But I know my body has learned a thing or two because I took a major tumble on a slippery rock about a week ago and while I fell and slid and rolled and got my entire side and back covered in mud, I came out unscathed. I fell right.