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We're marking The FP's 5th birthday with a free online workshop called “Self Empowerment” on Feb 27. Learn more

Workshop: Access Your Axis (Patrons)

This full workshop recording presents two short talks and two related lessons on the theme of Access Your Axis. Patrons can listen to the full, uninterrupted workshop on this page. All users can access the separate, edited tracks in our Getting Oriented collection.

70m
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Before you begin read this for practical tips and your responsibilities, and check out Comfort & Configuration below.

Recorded live in a Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement (ATM) class, this lesson is copyright Nick Strauss-Klein, for personal use only.

Tip 1 – Interrupted?

Study tip: Interrupted or don’t have enough time? You can return to the lesson later today or tomorrow. Read how best to continue your learning on our FAQ page.

Tip 2 – Social Sharing

Project tip: Try the social buttons below. Please help us to achieve our vision: spreading the life-changing benefits of Feldenkrais study as widely as possible!

Tip – Technical Difficulties

Tech tip: If you have any trouble with the audio player, reboot your browser. That solves most issues. If not, please contact Nick.

Tip – LESSS is more

LESSS is more: Light, Easy, Small, Slow, & Smooth movements will ease pains and improve your underlying neuromuscular habits faster than any other kind of movement, no matter who you are or what your training is!

Tip 4 – Padding

Study tip: Comfort first! Carpeted floors usually work well, but it’s great to have an extra mat or blanket nearby in case you need a softer surface in some configurations.

Tip – what to wear

Study tip: Wear loose, comfortable clothes that are warm enough for quiet movement. Remove or avoid anything restrictive like belts or glasses.

Tip – Complete the Movement

Study tip: Complete one movement before beginning the next. You’ll improve faster if there’s enough time between movements that you feel fully at rest.

Tip 5 – Discomfort

Study tip: If a configuration or movement causes any increase in discomfort, or you feel you just don’t want to do it, don’t! Make it smaller and slower, adapt it, or rest and imagine.

Tip – Pause the recording

Study tip: If you’re really enjoying a movement and want to explore longer, or you just need a break for a while, pause the recording!

Tip – Rewinding

Study tip: Many instructions are repeated. If you get a little lost, rest and listen. You’ll often find your way. Or use the rewind button on the page or your mobile device.

Tip – Lesson names

What’s in a lesson title? Lessons are about an hour unless a shorter duration is shown in the title. Thanks to our donors they’re freely offered unless marked “Patrons” – those are how we thank our Patron-level donors.

Tip – skip a lesson

Study tip: If you can’t find a comfortable way to do the initial movements or configuration of a lesson, it’s ok to skip it for now and go on to another lesson.

Tip 3 – Head Support

Study tip: It helps to have a large bath towel nearby when you start a lesson. You can fold it differently for comfortable head support in any configuration.

Tip – Comments

Project tip: Leave a lesson comment below! It’s a great way to give feedback or ask a question, and it helps google find us so we can achieve The Feldenkrais Project’s vision!

Browser/device size and audio player

Tech tip: On mobile or tablet? Once you start playing the audio, your device’s native playback controls should work well.

Tip – Join!

Join the Project! If you already have, thank you for your support! Members and Patrons see streamlined lesson pages, and can access the Related Lessons and Source tabs below.

Tip – Directions are Relative

Study tip: Directions are always relative to your body. For example, if you’re lying on your back “up” is toward your head, and “forward” is toward the ceiling.

We offer over 50 free lessons, but this one's just for our Patron-level donors. You can learn about it in the free lesson notes and comments below, but to access the audio you’ll need to join The FP as a Patron. Learn more

If you are a Patron, please log in:

Lesson 1 (back-lying): Whenever your knees are bent and feet are standing, let them be about the width of your hips and your knees quite bent (if your knees allow that comfortably) so that your lower legs are “standing” near vertical. If you find the movements of the lesson cause your feet to slip frequently, you might find a way to increase the friction under them so you don’t have to work to keep them in place.

Lesson 2: You’ll need a simple, level chair, with a firm or lightly upholstered surface. Find or alter a chair so that’s an appropriate height for you: when you’re seated at the front of the chair your knees are slightly lower than the height of your hips. Knees are bent simply, comfortable space between them, with your feet standing on the ground underneath them. Stack something firm under your feet if your feet don’t reach the floor easily, or under your bottom if your knees are above the height of your hips.

In the opening talk I mention that we named the spine after the Latin word “vertere,” “to turn.” It would have been a bit clearer to say that we named “vertebrae” after that word!

In the talk and lessons I make reference to “celestial gravity.” I’m indebted to Feldenkrais Trainer and master Zen teacher Russell Delman for this beautiful image, which I was introduced to in his Embodied Life II collection of lessons, available for public purchase. Terrestrial gravity is the center-of-the-earth gravity we think of usually. Celestial gravity refers to all the many aspects of being human that call us heavenward, including our evolutionary journey rising away from ground-level living! Finding ourselves more and more often at our maximum skeletal height, elegantly suspended between terrestrial and celestial gravity, has a profound influence on our joy, our ease of movement, and the effectiveness with which we function. Finding this graceful length more often is one of the many goals of Feldenkrais study.

To learn more about the planes of movement mentioned in the second lesson and some healthy guidelines for sitting, check out About Dynamic Sitting.

This audio recording is found in Legacy and Alternate Lessons, which features other versions of some of our recordings, available exclusively to our Patrons.

All users can access this workshop’s separate, edited tracks in our Getting Oriented collection.

This recording was made in a workshop I called Move Smarter, Safer, and Stronger with Feldenkrais: Access Your Axis.

Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

Got a question for Nick, or a thought about this lesson?

Use the comments section below! Public comments build our community and help search engines find us.

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2 Comments

  1. Pam Patterson on January 30, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    I love this lesson. So subtle but so profound. Truly understood the delicacy found in spinal movement for the first time after decades of ATM ! How interesting that there is ALWAYS something new to discover.

  2. Luisa on January 29, 2023 at 11:08 pm

    I found the lessons under Access Your Axis are drivers of well-being, good posture and graceful walking. Thank you!

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