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Deep Dive:

Breathing with Vitality

Our Deep Dives gather standalone Feldenkrais Project lessons into themed courses of study. Newcomers, we recommend exploring our primary collections first for a more generalized intro to Feldenkrais.


Breathing "properly" (whatever that is) – or even thinking about my breathing – makes me anxious. My pandemic project has been Feldenkrais, and I now have the playful courage to dive into breath.

– email from Sara

Sara's email hints at a fundamental Feldenkrais teaching: there is no one "right way" to breathe. Instead these lessons guide you toward fuller, more flexible breathing that adapts spontaneously to whatever you're doing. They're also wonderful for calming anxiety patterns – in body and mind.

Wake up your entire breathing apparatus and get free of compulsive breathing habits and limitations, so you can enjoy breathing with vitality in countless different ways every day!

The colored boxes highlight thematic links between lessons. This Deep Dive begins and ends with lessons harnessing the connection between better breathing and better posture. Building awareness of this essential relationship improves both, and thanks to our donors several of these lessons are free to all.

To access the lessons marked "Patrons only" you’ll need to join the Feldenkrais Project (or sign in) as a Patron-level donor. Click to learn more about donation or our donor benefits.

Awaken and Integrate the Breath

Enjoy easier, more connected breathing with any of these paradoxical breathing lessons


Freeing Your Breath and Spine (16 or 37 min)
Our intro "seesaw" breath lesson. Discover or refresh this potent technique, and enjoy easier uprightness.

It’s fascinating to feel grounded and full in a new and different way.  Thank you for the reminder of pleasure, and for your precise instruction!

Our Patrons have access to an extended version of this lesson with discussion and additional variations.

Breathing from Head to Heels
Dive deeper into the profound connections between breathing and posture

Wonderfully taught lesson! After 10 years of Feldenkrais I can still discover new things about my breathing. Thank you!

Differentiation of Parts and Functions in Breathing (Patrons Only)
In his book Awareness Through Movement Moshe Feldenkrais introduces this classic version simply: "Now you will learn to recognize the movements of the ribs, diaphragm, and abdomen that make up your breathing."

Anatomy and Adaptability

Discover fuller, more responsive breathing through other learning techniques


Thinking and Breathing (Patrons only)
An anatomy lesson introduces another classic from Moshe's ATM book

I thought this was an inspired lesson. I have a copy of the Feldenkrais book but the detailed introduction with [the animations] made the lesson so much easier to feel aware of what was happening.

Holding Your Breath, in Awareness (39 min, Patrons only)
Balance the breath, then learn about holding it – so you can hold it less often!

This was a beautiful exploration of breathing! I will return to this lesson, no question – I can feel the calming effect on my nervous system, which is welcome!

NEW: Breathing with Floating Ribs and Sternum (49 min, Patrons only)
Enjoy the profound breathing efficiency of floating ribs and a more supple sternum

It’s exciting to discover and experience so many different ways of breathing (like becoming a breathing virtuoso). And every new slight modulation has a different surprising effect.

Rest and Recharge

Rest is rest. Action is action. Clarifying the difference improves the vitality of the breath – and everything else.


The Liminal Lesson: Transitions Between Action and Rest (Patrons only)
Perfect after the lessons above – closely related to the breath but not focused on it

Many thanks, Nick, for this beautiful lesson! I love to learn to look a little differently at things… I found myself smiling often during the lesson, like a kid on a dreamy swing.

Making Peace: Smooth Breath, Skillful Bias, Supple Chest (Patrons only)
Practice balancing the breath again, then come home to your primary bias

What a delightful “best hits” lesson, thank you so much!

Vitality and Verticality

Harness your new skills in explorations designed to further improve breathing, posture, and more


Finding Sensations of Not Shortening (Patrons only)

Breathing with length ????

I feel so energized from this.

 The Anti-Gravity Lesson

I had a dramatic awareness about how the breath affects my verticality, lifting up away form the floor, relaxing a little into the floor in the rhythm of the breath.

 Fundamentals of a Healthy Back

Feeling much taller and straighter.

Really interesting to observe the relationship between the breath and the 5 curves.

Thank you Nick! This is a wonderful exploration of the spine and relationship with head and pelvis! So much food for thought.

We all thrive when more people are doing more Feldenkrais. Please share this resource!

3 Comments. Leave new

  • Nick Strauss-Klein
    December 20, 2021 5:25 pm

    How was this Deep Dive for you? What’s the effect of studying multiple lessons on a theme?

    Reply
  • Nigel Atkinson
    November 17, 2022 2:37 am

    Hi Nick,

    It was wonderful to experience your teaching live at the LGBTQA festival yesterday and also to hear your personal journey from a classical music background. I related to a lot of things that you touched on.

    Thank you for the two lessons. Are they available on this website?
    The second one I would like to spend more time with. The relationship of the sternum with our whole self is something I am particularly curious about and wish to explore.

    I have just completed the supple feet, powerful legs deep dive, which has been so informative and transformational really. I did one a day each morning am thinking to follow either with the breathing with vitality or the awakening the spine dive.

    Thank you so much for your sharing of knowledge and experience with such clarity.

    Reply
    • Nick Strauss-Klein
      November 20, 2022 10:31 am

      Thanks for your kind words, and I’m thrilled you’re so engaged with this work! The Deep Dives are my favorite content on the site, and I love that you’re working your way all the way through them.

      I call the first lesson I taught at the festival The Tongue and The Spine, and you can find it in a lovely learning context in our Jaw, Neck, and Shoulders Deep Dive.

      I call the second one “Breathing with Free Ribs and Sternum,” and it’s about to join the Deep Dive above and our Patrons Monthly collection, as soon as I can get it published.

      Sounds like you might also value a lesson in our Walking from Your Spine Deep Dive called Walking with Your Sternum.

      A note for all readers: whether or not you’re a Patron-level donor you can track new content for Patrons by clicking the Patron news box on our email list signup form. Some folks watch for content they’re interested in, then join up.

      Reply

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