Back-lying, one or both knees bent, tilting the knees and letting their weight twist, turn, and lengthen the body. Transferring weight. Broadening and clarifying the function and ease of the pelvis, hip joints, and lumbar. Learning to bend and straighten the legs with the freedom of a baby. Integrating this learning through the whole self, including the chest, shoulders, head, and eyes.
Lessons for Standing, Walking, and Running
A course of Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement (ATM) audio lessons. Each can be studied on its own, or you can work your way through the whole collection to learn in-depth how to better sense and organize your body to reduce pain and improve your posture, balance, mobility, and power.
Lessons can be repeated as you wish, so follow your curiosity! If a lesson isn't comfortable initially, it's fine to skip it and come back to it later; you don't have to go through them in this order. When there's a close link between adjacent lessons, it's mentioned in the Context tab of the lesson notes.
Descriptions of each lesson give you a sense of its aim, though everyone's learning process is unique and you may find other benefits.
2. Folding, Foundation, and Feet »
Back-lying, knees bent, integrating bending of the ankles through the joints of the legs and into the pelvis and lower back, blending into a classic Feldenkrais lesson which draws the head, elbows, and knees toward each other in different combinations. Improve the folding and unfolding of the body through refining coordination of the flexor muscles, building awareness of the use of the ground (foundation), and lengthening the extensors.
3. Activating the Arches »
Mostly back-lying, knees bent. The “tripod of the foot” lesson. Learning a more subtle awareness and control of the bones and muscles that create the fundamental ground contact structure of the body, and relating it to movements of the ankle, knee (head of the fibula), hip, back, and beyond.
4. The Buttocks »
Lying on the back and front, and various kneeling and standing positions. Exploring and improving the use and awareness of the buttocks in relationship to the pelvis, legs, feet, belly, and spine. Once Feldenkrais fans are ready for this lesson it's a profoundly important one for standing, walking, and running. See the Comfort & Configuration tab.
5. Connecting Arms and Legs »
Side-lying, integrating movements of the arms, shoulders, head, and torso as you learn to sense and hinge bodyweight in relation to the ground, and between the knees and feet. A great place to start if you can't lie on your back comfortably.
6. Your Navigational Pelvis »
Back-lying, knees bent. Learn how the interaction of the feet with the ground relates to the pelvis moving in all directions. Includes movements designed to integrate the spine, head, and eyes, all toward grounding and organizing the whole self for better walking and an easier upright life.
7. Breathing from Head to Heels »
Various positions, about half back-lying. Experiments with the breath mechanism, learning how it relates to the head, spine, and pelvis, and integrates into the length of the heels for standing. Uses what the Feldenkrais community calls “paradoxical breathing.”
8. The Anti-Gravity Lesson »
Back-lying, knees bent. Some modified side-lying. We can’t beat gravity, so let’s get organized to oppose it effortlessly with bones (instead of muscles).
After you complete the collection, returning to favorite lessons or progressing through from the beginning again 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, or continue your studies with our Easier Sitting collection.
I do like your Felden-lessons. The audio is good, that is how you get the lessons in classes. I also subscribe to Alfons on uTube, he is in Austria, I think. His classes are also good. I watch the lessons first then do the lesson. Thank you very much for allowing us out there to participate. Enjoy your coffee, Kolla
I just love the new website! I love that it makes it so easy to find the lessons. This was a terrific idea!
Thank you! Fun fact: this is the first comment left on the new site. Thanks for joining the discussion!
Just did the first lesson on the site Nick.
Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Gave a lesson last night that really encouraged shoulder awareness so derived much more pleasure as a result.
Great recording and website.
Will be joining.
Thanks so much! Glad to hear you’re using and valuing the Project!
Thank you Nick. This website is excellent. I’ll be joining.
Hi Nick, i like your ATMs as inspiring tools for my work, i really dived into them, enriching them with my own way of teaching, I appreciate your way of giving lessons, the clarity into it. Thanks very much for this, Silvia
Glad to hear it! Thanks, and please share them!
I love your instruction, Nick. It’s very helpful for me. I have chronic pain and chronic fatigue, so I do wish you had some shorter lessons. I feel like I do on overload after 40 minutes or so, but I also want to get the full effect of the lesson. Do you recommend breaking it into segments for different days? Or do you offer some lessons that are shorter? Thank you!
Yes to breaking longer lessons into segments. You can read about that on my FAQ page.
And yes, we have lots of shorter lessons now! Check out Getting Oriented. And Patrons can find a section of shorter lessons in Straight from Class (everyone can click through to see the names and descriptions). All our short lessons are between about 25 and 40 minutes long.
Do you have any lessons to be done while actually walking rather than in preparation for or in relation to walking?
Not at this time, but that’s a nice idea for the future! Meanwhile, to help connect our lessons directly to your walking experience, I recommend taking a walk at your own relaxed speed (pace not set by another person or walking a dog) shortly after any of the lessons in this series. You can also play games with speed and stride, alternating experiments like that with simply walking in a way that’s natural to the moment. Natural surfaces are great when available. Finally, check out my blog post which may be helpful: Reflections and Lessons: We Evolved for Easy Walking.
Hi Nick thanks so much for this lesson. I managed most of it and imagined some of the remaining parts. I wasn’t quite clear on the last part when we walk around. My buttocks were more in my awareness but I found I was clenching them as I was walking. Should I be doi g this. Thanks onec again for a very useful lesson in moving through life.
Hi Pauline! You left this comment a collection page with eight lessons, but by context I think maybe you are responding to doing The Buttocks lesson? And yes, well-functioning buttocks will clench a little bit alternately, one-at-a-time, as we walk.
Thanks Nick. That clarifies things for me. Very much appreciated.
Hi Nick I thank you once again for these amazingly helpful lessons. Ive done your navigational pelvis a few times. When I’m walking I find my torso is sitting more comfortably on my hips and it’s a bit easier to keep my head looking straight ahead. But when standing I’ve noticed my pelvis will suddenly tip upwards making my back bend forward. I try to relax my knees but this still happens. Just wondering if you can clarify what I may need to change. I’ve been doing the lessons small and very slow. I appreciate any insights you may have. Thanks once again. Warm regards Pauline
Hard to say from a distance. Do you mean the top of your pelvis tips forward when standing, and that leaves you feeling less supported by your legs and back? If so, I suspect you may find it helpful to dive back into this collection’s buttocks, breathing, and anti-gravity lessons. In addition there are a few Patron lessons about lengthening through the heels that may be useful for organizing that skeletal standing line of feet, legs, pelvis, back.
And one of my favorite tips to remember about standing? It’s meant to be dynamic, flowing. Standing “still” is an image we fall into that’s contrary to our top heavy, two little feet design. Even if you don’t look like you’re fidgeting or shifting your weight, ideally in standing we can still feel like we’re moving, breathing, shifting subtly like the upside down pendulum that we are, continually lengthening our crown skyward, suspended and floating in gravity through our bones.
Hi Nick. Thank you for your detailed reply. What happens when standing is my pelvis kind of curls like a c shape from the bottom. My legs feel alot pressure to point of stiffness. It makes my body bend forward from about the middle of the spine and I have coreect my posture by standing straighter. It does happen when walking. I understand it is hard to understand from a distance. Hope I’ve explained it a little better. Warm regards Pauline Donohoe
Thanks for the detail. It’s very hard to describe dimensions of movement like this, but I believe my recommendations yesterday are still good. It may also be useful to look for a couple local or online 1:1 Feldenkrais lessons (not a service I offer, sorry to say) to help clarify things.
Thanks Nick. I’ll do that. Thanks once again for your support and making Feldenkrais accessible to many people from all walks of life. Warm regards Pauline Donohoe