Lying on the back and later on the front with the limbs in a large letter X shape, learning to lengthen and lift the limbs, organizing from the torso, discovering a pressing foundation, and inhibiting unnecessary shortening and tightening responses to anticipated difficulty.
Lessons from Awareness Through Movement
These audio lessons are sourced directly from Moshe Feldenkrais's 1972 book, Awareness Through Movement. For a variety of reasons many are more challenging than most of our lessons, so this collection is recommended for more experienced Felden-fans, as well as Feldenkrais professionals and trainees. They are part of our "thank you" benefits exclusively for Patron-level donors.
Over the years, the Feldenkrais Practitioner community has begun to teach many of these lessons in other ways, as I often do myself. But there’s great value in carefully examining Moshe’s originals, so for this collection I've mostly retained Moshe's steps and lesson titles even as I teach in my own words. I sometimes take small liberties to make them more accessible and follow the students I was watching.
This collection is in progress and the numbering follows Moshe’s. After a long hiatus I've added five more lessons in 2021 and 2022. Finishing the collection by adding #1 and #2 is high on my priority list for the Feldenkrais Project.
- Nick Strauss-Klein
Descriptions of each lesson give you a sense of its aim, though everyone's learning process is unique and you may find other benefits.
Each lesson can be studied on its own, or you can work your way through all of them, perhaps in tandem with reading Awareness Through Movement (here it is on Amazon). I wrote a blog post years ago with a few recommendations for how to study this text, which you can read here. Many Felden-fans find it very rich to have Moshe's text and my recorded interpretation to study.
4. Differentiation of Parts and Functions in Breathing (Patrons) »
Various positions, about half back-lying. Experiments designed to help you differentiate the various mechanisms of breathing, and to learn a fuller, more adaptable use of the diaphragm and ALL the ribs and surfaces of the torso. Uses what the Feldenkrais community calls “paradoxical breathing.”
5. Coordination of the Flexor Muscles and of the Extensors (Patrons) »
Lying on the back, knees bent, one or both feet standing, variations on tilting crossed legs and "triangle" arms/shoulders in order to twist and untwist the torso, learning more awareness, control, and coordination of the major flexors (folding muscles) and extensors (arching muscles).
6. Differentiation of Pelvic Movements by Means of an Imaginary Clock (Patrons) »
Lying on the back, mostly knees bent, feet standing, using the image of a clock painted on the back of the pelvis as a guide for building awareness and refining control of the pelvis, and relating it to movements of the head.
7. The Carriage of the Head Affects the State of the Musculature (Patrons) »
Lying on the belly, knees bent, soles of feet oriented toward the ceiling, learning to tilt the feet to the side in order to integrate the pelvis, the length of the spine, and the ribs and shoulders with various configurations of the head and neck. Also, late in the lesson, discovering the potency of imagined movements.
8. Perfecting the Self-Image (Patrons) »
Seated, back-lying, and eventually transitioning between, all while holding one foot in two hands. This lesson clarifies how our attention and sensory motor imagination can be consciously harnessed to improve our self-image, options, and behavior, since – as Moshe writes – "We act in accordance with our self-image."
9. Spatial Relationships as a Means to Coordinated Action (Patrons) »
Floor-seated, with back-lying rests. Guided asymmetrical attention and imagination tasks are applied to symmetrical movements, powerfully demonstrating your nervous system's ability to change and improve your body, movement, and awareness based simply on what you pay attention to. See the Curiosities tab for a post-lesson discussion.
10. The Movement of the Eyes Organizes the Movement of the Body (Patrons) »
Standing, then mostly side-sitting on the floor, with rests lying on the back. Discovering how improving the smooth tracking of the eyes in various turning motions can improve the whole self.
11. “Generalize Your Skills” (Patrons) »
Front-lying. Become more skillful in everyday and high-performance actions by expanding your perception of the diagonals of the back of your body, with the help of an imaginary ball gradually rolling over you. Begins with a 5-minute talk about principles at work in this lesson.
12. Thinking and Breathing (Patrons) »
Back-lying and seated, improving awareness and use of the whole breathing apparatus by directing attention to specific anatomy while experimenting with "stepped" breathing and different body configurations. Starts with an essential anatomy lesson that cultivates concepts and imagery used throughout the ATM lesson. Illustrations are below the audio player.
After you complete the collection, returning to lessons you've already done will yield new insights. It can be very surprising to new Feldenkrais students how lessons you "know" are a different, valuable experience on subsequent explorations.
You might also want to browse our Learning Guides for ideas to help bridge your Feldenkrais learning into everyday life.
I’m in training in Santa Fe with Diana Razumny. I would be very interested in your teaching of Moshe’s number 8, perfecting the self image. Are you going to post it soon?
I have shared your website with many people and have enjoyed it and your teaching for several years. I live in a rural area and don’t have access to weekly classes so your site has been extremely helpful!
Thanks so much
Thanks for your request – you can see in the comments below that you started a trend! It’s a longtime in coming, but I have now added the lesson you requested. It’s for Feldenkrais Project Patrons due to the time demands of resuming my old project of studying and recording these more challenging ATM book lessons.
You can read the description of this lesson in our Straight from Class collection, and access it there if ever the time is right to become a Patron!
I’m grateful for your motivating request, and your referrals to The FP!
I’d like to see Number 8 too
Thank you! That’s two votes do get to #8 first whenever I can return to this project. It’s on my list for this year, but…it’s become a very strange year (writing in April, 2020).
I third the motion for #8.
Thank you! It’s definitely on my list. Not sure when, but I think it’ll be the first one I add when I get a chance to continue working on this collection!
Hi Nick, I am going to add my vote for lesson #8 and urge you to make it a priority for 2021. People really need it. Really!
On it! As you can see the groundswell is here, and I’ve been searching for ways to record within the constraints I give myself for the Feldenkrais Project. That is: a live, public teaching. I’ve actually found some new ideas recently for making this one accessible to the public. That said, what do you think about the idea of advertising a special recording session for experienced students/practitioners only?
It is not a lesson I have ever thought of a way to teach to a newcomer, whereas I believe everything so far on our website has had that possibility in mind while teaching, aside from a few marked as “Part 2,” or “optional advanced.”
Nick your teaching style lends itself well to students. I have not studied to become a teacher, but have studied for 20 years. I have worked with two teachers who were taught by Russell Delmam, a Moishe student. They were both excellent. You bring a freshness to your word choices that I find inspires me to continue.
Glad to hear it. Delman has had a big influence on me, but only through one weekend workshop and his recordings, which I think are excellent.