Updated on Oct 4, 2023: We’ve added some newer lessons. This post first appeared in 2019 as one of our monthly featured free lessons newsletter (subscribe here).
Our miraculous uprightness and bipedal gait is a defining characteristic of humankind. It’s so basic to us that it’s easy to take it for granted: when we’re walking we’re usually more interested in where we’re going than our skillfulness in getting there! Perhaps because the modern world is so different from the one we evolved in, most of us have built some restrictive habits around walking.
We evolved to enjoy our whole self moving harmoniously, using the suppleness of our chest and torsos – integrated with our legs – to carry us around for miles a day with grace and ease. But our cultural environment makes it hard to claim this birthright. Two of the biggest culprits are the hard, flat, numbing surfaces we’re often required to walk on, and the hours we’re expected to be seated.
The Feldenkrais lessons below can help you explore and improve many of the whole body functions that underlie our gait, and get free of restrictive habits in our torsos that limit our walking ability. By taking time and space to notice ourselves and explore new possibilities, we can listen closely to our habits, get free of unnecessary efforts, and learn to walk with more skill and pleasure!
These lessons develop suppleness of our chest and torsos and integrate them with our legs and walking.
Featured Free Lessons
Mostly side-lying, framed by standing and walking explorations. Using your sternum as a reference point, free your shoulders, hips, chest, and back for better posture and upright movement. Experience how different organizations of your torso affect your ability to move with freedom and confidence.
Side-lying, improving functional relationships of the shoulders and hips through small and large movements. Constructing and improving your image of the “quadrilateral” of the torso while integrating the ribs, spine, neck, and head. Later, harnessing the suppleness of the quadrilateral to support reaching and circling the arm.
Side-lying, further expanding the image of the shoulders and hips toward improving major postural and gait-related organizations of the torso. This lesson uses bending and thrusting the legs from the hips along with lengthening, arcing, and circling the arms.
All three of these free walking lessons are in side-lying. If side-lying doesn’t work for you, use our Search & Filter tool to search “walking,” filter for free lessons, and EXCLUDE side-lying.
Back-lying, sometimes knees bent. Explore small, precise movements of the shoulders and hips, and the fine relationships between them, with an intention toward reducing unnecessary efforts in the torso and improving walking.
Back-lying, framed by brief standing and walking explorations. Develop the diagonal connections across your torso and limbs through gentle movements and creative imagery. Expand the scope of your learning through references to the pelvic floor, breathing with length, and the freedom of your head.
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