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Home Study “How-To”

Advice from our listener community!

In January 2020 we asked our listeners for practical tips, tricks, and traditions about their home Feldenkrais study using our lessons. Read what they said in the comments below. You can even contribute your own!

Over the years listeners and students have shared with me lots of really cool descriptions and ideas on a wide variety of topics: time of day, cozy locations, where the furniture goes, the virtue of pajamas, whether the pet can come in the room or needs to go somewhere else, the phrases listeners use to describe to loved ones why they’re disappearing for an hour, and all sorts of other details usually about time, space, comfort and coziness, or even technology.

So what are your home study traditions, tips, and tricks? Your comments below can help all our listeners and support our vision of spreading the benefits of Feldenkrais study as widely as possible. After all, the more we enjoy our lesson explorations, the more often we’ll study!

To get the ball rolling I shared some of my own Feldenkrais study tricks and traditions below as the first page comment. You’ll also find my all-time favorite Feldenkrais Project tech tip, pointed out to me by a listener!

Happy studies!

– Nick Strauss-Klein

Here’s an essential Feldenkrais Project tech tip: check out this screenshot from my phone! We know most listeners have figured out that the easiest way to listen is with your smartphone or tablet on the floor next to you, but have you made the Feldenkrais Project website an icon on your device’s home screen? Here’s how, on any platform. If you do this, you’re always just one tap away from the Feldenkrais Project! I nicknamed mine “The FP”.

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

21 Comments. Leave new

  • Nick Strauss-Klein
    Nick Strauss-Klein
    January 14, 2020 4:38 pm

    I especially like to study ATM on sunny mornings this time of year, when it’s often cold and dark in Minnesota. I clear space in front of one of the best windows in our house and lay myself in a sunbeam, like a cat, with my phone near me playing the audio. I’m pretty sensitive to getting enough light in my life, and even if my eyes are closed it’s wonderful to be in the sun!

    And speaking of the cold, I recently bought a little space heater that blows hot air right along the floor. Being warm enough is a requirement for me to enjoy ATM. If I’m thinking ahead I’ll even turn it on a few minutes before I’m ready to lay down. The one I picked is small, affordable, and oscillates, so even though I keep it fairly near to me it still warms me from nose to toes!

    Reply
  • I like to decide in advance which lesson to do (or, at least the category or focus, such as breathing or walking). With so many lessons to choose from, planning ahead helps simplify the process when the time comes to actually do a lesson.

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    • I find often that the reality of my preparation for Feldenkrais is that I am desperate for it… I imagine doing Feldenkrais all day. I imagine performing movements that pop into my awareness, or just focus on the sensation that sweeps over me when I say the word Feldenkrais to myself and smile. On these occasions I may be trying to reverse feeling scattered or possibly have some kind of discomfort in my body. Although I can’t wait to turn on my computer and look for a lesson with the body connections I have been imagining, or sensing I need, still I drink water, warm up my therapy room, get ready to lie down comfortably. I make sure my self knows that I am giving it this gift because it has told me that it really loves it!

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  • I like to be spontaneous about which lesson and what time of day. I choose what I feel my body needs most that day. I lay down a mat in my living room (double carpet below that), sometimes in the sun, keep the room warm and start. I have new hearing aids so I bluetooth them to my phone to listen. I look forward to shorter lessons (30 and 45 minutes?) because I am often challenged to be on the floor for a full lesson. I love The Feldenkrais Project! Thanks for your vision of sharing, Nick.

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  • As a Feng Shui practitioner, I’ve created a space that’s inviting to practice Feldenkrais. For me, that my living room with a soft rug (no need for a mat), live plants and pleasing decor. I often practice at night and may light a candle or just turn on a single lamp to help create an environment that works for me.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Gilian Franks
    January 15, 2020 4:12 pm

    It’s not always easy to clear space, so I often have fun doing recorded lessons in a different mode. What happens if I try the mvement in standing. Or doing the whole lesson in a chair instead of on my bacK

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  • I have the luxury of being able to keep a quilt out on the floor on top of fairly thick carpeting. I keep it out to remind myself to do a little practice, if not a whole lesson, most days. I, too, have a heater nearby. With that source of heat, there is no way I could keep my pooch out of the room.

    I do the short practice sessions in the mornings. When I make time for a full lesson, I usually choose late afternoon or occasionally early evening. Most often the long lessons are chosen to deal with some specific ache or pain. It’s a 2020 intention to do more full lessons without the “target my pain” approach.

    Reply
    • I prepare my cozy bedroom with the fireplace on and a comfy quilt on the floor atop the carpeting. Shut the door and lower the shades and don my free flowing clothing. My IPad is propped by my side….. a few stretches, a few whiffs of lavender from my eye pillow and I am ready to explore. And don’t forget to take the phone out of the room! Total bliss as my mind absorbs Nicks soothing instructions. Before I know it, I am in a Feldenkrais “high” from the lesson.

      Reply
  • My favorite time of the day to practice Feldenkrais is in the morning because :
    1. I can be full of energy to be full of awareness.
    2. To enjoy all day long the benefits of the practice.
    3. To wake my body and my spirit.

    Before, I didnt have space so I did Feldenkrais on my bed and it was not so bad, very confortable and the bedroom its easier to warm.
    But after I make it to do on the floor on my living room on some blankets on front of my big Windows and it was very pleasant to have all this light and space. And also I feel the movements better that way on a garder support than the bed.

    Thanks you for all this wonderful lessons and to give the opportunities to people without Money to access feldenkrais and to a better living !

    Reply
  • I created a 2 Week Feldenkrias Intensive for myself by committing myself to doing your lessons for an hour and a half for 14 days and in addition, during the two weeks, I scheduled two table work sessions with a local Feldenkrais teacher. Having those sessions, really helped keep me accountable to my intention. Wow, did my body enjoy the benefits of ease and wellbeing from my Intensive!

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  • The theme of the comments seems to be warmth…my version is a heated blanket that works as a mat. And a space heater on the coldest days. Sometimes I choose lessons randomly, other times I deliberately chose a series to motivate myself to do more lessons. I am intrigued by the thought of doing a lesson in a different mode, as mentioned above. I think I will try that with some of my favorites – hmmm, maybe the Self-Hug.

    Reply
  • I try to do a session when I happen to have a spare hour, it’s never a set time period. A period of exploration and calm, coming home to myself, is a always a restorative exercise – Ideally i should do it daily of course as a matter of self-care, but life isn’t always accommodating so I play with parts of a session for maybe five minutes while waiting for public transport etc. When at home with the luxury of an hour to myself I will lie on a carpet with a silk scarf behind my head to stop my hair from going frizzy with static! Depending on what the lesson requires I often find I have to clear more space for myself eg moving furniture or books from under a couch so I can extend my arms out fully. (I often discover long lost items this way – last week I discovered an ear-ring, pen and pair of glasses.. I always feel so much better after the sessions and am so grateful for your generosity in offering such great free lessons. I live miles away from any Feldy folk and you are a wonderful resource and teacher to have by my side. Thanks for everything – difficult to put into words how much I value what you have given me!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Frances Brooks
    January 16, 2020 8:02 am

    I have a parquet floor over concrete. A cold hard surface with no give. Not ideal. I compensate with a double thick mat laid over a rug. Also if I get muddled during a lesson I make repeated use of the back button. If things don’t clarify, I give myself permission to just listen. Next time I repeat that lesson. It sometimes feels as if I fell asleep in the midst of Nick’s instructions. In any case, the more often I do a lesson the more I learn. And I have the rest of my life to improve.

    Reply
  • Thanks so much for this data base! The Proximal to Distal and pelvic clock lessons are resets for my fencing following Hamstring reattachment surgery 3 yrs ago (I’m 60) I have also shared these lessons on the Proximal Hamstring Injury and Surgery Facebook page they are a favorite there

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Robin Marlowe
    January 17, 2020 1:16 am

    I decide the night before that I will do a lesson, and which one, and set the intention to do that the next morning.

    Reply
  • I treat it as my meditation time. Has to be quiet, uninterrupted, warm enough, and focused. No socks; gotta feel my feet. Pause the ATM if I need more integration/longer pauses or more tries to experiment with the movement. Also, I like to do them in the morning and then, before bed that night, lay down and play around with the parts of the ATM I remember, furthering the mind/body engagement of the lesson.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Maggie Skewes
    January 18, 2020 2:03 am

    I have my nice wooly yoga mat ready always on the floor as I do not have chairs in my home and eat and do computer stuff always seated on the floor. The Feldenkrais lesson that I choose to do is part of my daily routine never to be missed usually starting by 6am. At the age of 70 and with cox arthosis of the two hips I can live with very little pain and when I do have pain the lesson (almost any of the lessons) always helps greatly. For me it is an addiction but a good one.

    Reply
  • nick’s atm lessons are my favorite. i am an auditory person and the voice of the instructor is crucial for me to relax. my favorite time to practice these atm lessons are at noon whenb the sun enters the big window . i love basking in the sun and do the lesson. if there is no sun i use a quiet heater. a heater with a fan will irritate me cuz of the noise (very sensitive to auditory cues), i love the sun or heat to touch my feet especially. the sensation is bliss. i feel such inner joy in these conditions: nick’s warm voice with the sun /heat in the feet.
    thanks a lot Nick. getting an access to more lessons as a patron/member will lift my spirits.

    Reply
  • I like to make sure I have l created the feeling that I have uninterrupted space so as to fully give my focus and awareness to the class. I unplug the phone, unplug the humming fridge and attempt to quiet any other noises that might be distracting.
    It is fun to experiment with where and how to place the audio. If it is coming directly from my iPad, I sometimes choose to place the voice to come from my right side and other sessions will try it coming from the left. (In Norman doidges excellent book “the brains way of healing” that includes a chapter on Feldenkrais, there is also a chapter called “the bridge of sound” that discusses how hearing sound from the right ear as opposed to the left can have a very different healing response and create different neural pathways. I love playing with this in the context of the ATM lessons. In feldenkrais lessons we are invited to notice which side feels preferred or more available, and I allow myself to extend this invitation, to ask myself which side do I want to hear from today? )
    Sometimes I find that my home just has too much activity in it. And I have discovered that many community centres have an option that if no one has booked space, you can come and use it for free on the day of. I phone in and find that a room is free and take myself there for a devoted hour and a half of practise. It is interesting how the body can respond quite differently being in a large spacious room, even hearing nicks voice over a speaker system in stereo. The advantage to this also being that I can take a bit of time in the space afterwards to gently explore moving for half an hour after the class. And then walking home with the awarenesses in mind, if possible I arrive with my clothing for the class already on, so I don’t have a bag or knapsack with me and can walk home unencumbered and with free arms to swing.

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  • My tips for Feldenkrais home study….I’m glad I took a course of lessons with a teacher first just because it was good to really have it drummed into me not to do too much. I think I have that pinned now but it took a while. I like to get the room really warm because I like wearing thin clothes and using just the carpet and not a mat. This helps you feel far more. I couldn’t have done it at first but as you lose some of the tension in your body it becomes much easier to use quite hard surfaces and you get clearer feedback.
    I love this website too! It’s so generous to make all this available and means wherever I go I can have a Feldenkrais lesson.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    chris andersen
    January 30, 2020 10:53 am

    I have been doing a weekly feldenkrais class at the local rec Center. I always knew the practice held some key info for me, but in 1 1/2 years, I hadn’t really noticed a big change. Welcoming nick into my home has made feldenkrais a “doable” daily experience. This seems to be working wonders(1 month in) to calm my over sensitized nervous system. Oh, and I have heated floors, such a blessing!

    Reply

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