Advanced Folding (Patrons)

Back-lying, knees bent, drawing the head, elbows, and knees toward each other in different combinations, followed by more advanced variations. Improve the folding and unfolding of the body through refining coordination of the flexor muscles with the simultaneously lengthening extensors. Includes detailed work with the hips and eventually lengthening the hamstrings while flexing elsewhere. (A prerequisite lesson may be recommended; see Comfort & Configuration in the lesson notes.)

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 – 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.

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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 – 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 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 – 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.

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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.

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 – 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.

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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 – 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.

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

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– This lesson includes many advanced variations, so if you aren’t yet familiar with back-lying flexion Feldenkrais lessons, it’s recommended to study the lesson called Folding, Foundation, and Feet before this more challenging lesson. The Comfort & Configuration notes for that lesson are also applicable, and more thorough (useful if you’re new to this kind of lesson).

– Experiment with how you hold your head with your interlaced hands to find the most comfortable way. You may want to hold a lot of your neck along with the base of your skull.

– As you let go of the more “pretzel-like” configurations, come out of them slowly and gently.

There’s a very brief confusing moment near the end as I whole-heartedly get my lefts and rights mixed up for a few seconds.

Go gently, and do less, and you will improve! It’s tremendously easy to fall into cultural pitfalls of stretch, strain, and effort as we attempt to figure out difficult variations in lessons like this one. I can’t overstate how important for your learning and improvement it is to sidestep that inclination whenever you have it. Instead, if you are experiencing any discomfort, please simply and gracefully fail to “do” what you think I’m asking in physicalized movement. Instead reduce the effort and size of the movement, even to the point of only imagining it.

Completely surrender to your current limits. Just playing with what you can experience comfortably right now (even only moving in your imagination) will expand your abilities faster than you think!

This lesson is found in Patrons Monthly, our growing collection of new lessons (one or more added every month) for Feldenkrais Project Patron-level donors.

Audio edits are more minimal in this collection. I may edit this lesson down further in the future based on your feedback.

Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

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  1. Paula Picard on August 23, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    I so enjoyed this lesson
    Thank you so much.

  2. Ellen A. on August 24, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    I’ve done the Folding, Foundation, and Feet lesson twice, so was quite curious to do this new lesson. I have had multiple injuries over the years (knee ligament reconstruction surgery after a fall, and rib and rotator cuff injuries most recently) and have found my Feldenkrais lessons with you to be most helpful, now that I have done the various therapies as far as they can take me. Today, I had “twitches” in my back that made back lying less than comfortable. I always find that doing less is my challenge so I tried to pay attention to that. As with previous lessons, I was much more comfortable by the end, and, most importantly, my back feels much freer as I move around in my normal morning life; no twitches/spasms in my back muscles now, yay. Thanks for these lessons, Nick. You are a gifted teacher and very clear (even with lefts and rights get confusing!).

  3. Rudy Torres on August 26, 2019 at 7:39 am

    Was really enjoying this one yesterday until my wife interrupted me at around the 42 min mark. Was really getting into some areas of my thoracic spine that badly need some attention. Just based off the partial lesson my reaction is WOW! Getting back to it this morning and will report back. Thanks Nick for graciously sharing these invaluable resources!

  4. Chris on August 26, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    Doing this gently was actually very relaxing and enjoyable. Felt great

  5. Rudy Torres on August 27, 2019 at 11:14 am

    Was able to complete the lesson yesterday morning and it was amazing for me. Some of the later variations were a bit challenging but the rewards were great for me. Got some awareness and relaxation of the extensors in my upper back which have been giving me trouble sin a whiplash injury last year. Feel about 5 years younger today. Thanks Nick for these incredible lessons!

  6. Vanessa on August 28, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    This lesson is so much fun, I like the balance of relaxation and flexibility. After doing it, later in the day, I asked myself why I felt so good and remembered it was definitely this lesson. Thank you Nick

  7. Gail Fishman on August 28, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    Very challenging but my chest and hips are so free at the end!

  8. Luisa on January 12, 2023 at 10:23 pm

    Thank you Nick!

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