Along with Lifting Up and Through One and Two, these three closely-related lessons are designed to be explored and reviewed in any order. They may seem different on the surface, but they all point to global patterns of lifting ourselves into effective action through clarified connections with the earth.

 

Back-lying, standing, front-lying, and floor-sitting. A detailed reteaching of our lesson called The Buttocks, specially tuned to clarify the skeletal effects of contractions of one or both buttocks to improve walking. Focuses on harnessing our primordial neuromusculoskeletal capacity to move with lightness and clarity in gravity. See Comfort & Configuration, below.

 


 

 

We offer over 50 free lessons, but this one’s just for our donors. You can learn about it in the lesson notes below, but to access the video you’ll need to join The FP as Member or Patron. Learn more

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Comfort & Configuration:

One purpose of this lesson is to help you clarify the use of the buttocks by differentiating their contractions from other muscular efforts. You will find many other areas contract or want to contract along with them, such as your thighs and hamstrings, your back and belly, and different aspects of your pelvic floor.

Limit your buttocks efforts to only do what’s comfortable for all these auxiliary contractions, and the auxiliary efforts will get quieter and clearer. Note that we’re not looking for isolation of the buttocks, just a more specific sense of them.

Even when asked to contract your buttocks strongly or quickly, go as lightly and slowly as needed for comfort and to avoid fatigue. You will achieve better control over the buttocks first in subtler contractions. You’ll learn more this way than by straining. As you progress through or return to this lesson you’ll find the buttocks can contract more powerfully without feeling discomfort in connected areas.

 

Curiosities:

Most of this lesson’s variations point at learning to let the legs externally rotate when the buttocks contract. This can be tricky, especially to begin with. Don’t be concerned if you don’t experience this when it’s first implied in the early back-lying and standing parts of the lesson.

Because this leg movement is often inhibited by unsensed parasitic contractions at first, it won’t help to try hard. If you’re having trouble finding it, do smaller and gentler movements, even when stronger contractions are asked for.

 

Context:

Recorded in a “Walking with Your Whole Self” series in The FP Weekly Pay-What-You-Can Zoom Class on June 27, 2023.

Four consecutive lessons from that series are available at The FP:

  1. Free Your Torso for Better Posture, Walking, and Running
  2. Lifting Up and Through
  3. Lifting Up and Through 2: Organizing Your Feet (Members and Patrons)
  4. This lesson

 

Related Lessons:

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Source:

This is a homebrew based in part on variations found in Moshe Feldenkrais’s Alexander Yanai lesson #13 (“Buttocks”), and another version in his Esalen recordings, #44. Both are resources for Feldenkrais professionals, not for sale to the public. I framed my version to point as clearly as possible at the other aspects of the “lifting up and through” global pattern explored in this trio of lessons.

 


 

Please don’t share the replay link. It’s intended for current Feldenkrais Project Members and Patrons.

3 Comments

  1. addi Greer on February 13, 2024 at 12:46 pm

    Hi Nick, Question: i can see how the movement of pelvis and even slight outward rotation of legs ‘helps’ w/walking—but is it best to contract glutes while walking as well as have a more ‘outward’ weighting of foot IOWs: as foot contacts ground in walking, is it heel first, and then less on contact w/inside/pronation and more contact w/middle to outer side/supination ??

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on February 13, 2024 at 1:30 pm

      Hi Addi! Yes to learning to sense and harness glute contractions in every step. The other question has a more nuanced answer: many folks indeed need to find more clarity of their outer edges while walking. However, ideally we roll through some supination and some pronation in every step.

      It’s roughly yes to what you said at the beginning of the footstep, except “heel first” often gets exaggerated. At most paces there can actually be what feels more like a front-outside-of-the-heel/midfoot initial contact. As the leg comes directly under the torso, the glute begins to fire more and more clearly. Then as we finish pushing the ground behind us we roll more toward the big toe, into the realm of some pronation.

      All that said, walking is so miraculously complicated that I often think our best tool is doing lots of ATMs that light up these relationships, and trusting our millions of years of evolution to take them into our gait because our brains are spontaneously interested in ease and efficiency, given new or rediscovered options. This is usually a much more satisfying process than trying to find all this in real time while walking, which can leave us feeling like we’ve forgotten how to walk. If you do explore while walking, it’s best to focus on one foot at a time for many steps.

      • addi Greer on February 13, 2024 at 2:02 pm

        Thanks Nick and RightOn!: Walking IS a complicated miracle—and finding anything ‘in real time’/while doing it is next to impossible for me <i somtimes know what ‘feels right’ but less why or how—and can’t differentiate which glute is firing w/ea step <frustrating —i guess you’re right: Lots of ATMS and then trusting the DNA eh!

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