Advanced Twisting Part 1

Back-lying, tilting the crossed legs to organize the flexors and extensors, and eventually using the tilted crossed legs as a constraint to help learn more suppleness of the spine, chest, shoulders, and neck.

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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.

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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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  • It’s important to note that once the legs-crossed configuration starts, the tilting movement of the legs may be very small as you figure out what’s comfortable for you. Your knees may move a few inches, a few millimeters, or a few feet, whatever is most comfortable at the time. When you’re instructed to leave the legs tilted, you don’t need to be far from balanced. It’s likely the range will increase during the lesson, but that isn’t the goal of the lesson, so don’t be ambitious!
  • It’s helpful to have a very secure place for the foot stand when the legs are crossed closely together. Consider options to create more friction.
  • If you still struggle with the legs crossed, knees tilting configuration and movements, you might instead do one of these first: Legs as Free as a Baby’s, or Folding, Foundation, and Feet, or The Hip Joints: Moving Proximal Around Distal.

The legs-crossed, tilting (or sustained tilted) configuration is not about flexibility, though that will likely improve. It’s about the learning opportunities that can be created elsewhere while in this constraining configuration.

ATM lessons often use what Feldenkrais Practitioners call “constraints”: configurations or instructions which prevent some movement possibilities and require you to learn others.

This lesson is found in the collection called Freeing the Spine, Chest, Shoulders, and Neck. It has two recommended prerequisite lessons:

Or you can approach this lesson in another context: it’s also in our Free While Constrained Deep Dive.

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4 Comments

  1. Jan on July 13, 2015 at 7:43 am

    This is going to be my “go to” lesson when I feel like renewing my awareness, feeling out of touch with my flexibility or when I am unable to attend class. Thanks Nick. The delivery on the tape is excellent.

  2. Nick Strauss-Klein on July 19, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Here’s another comment/email thread I turned into a blog post about difficult ATM lessons back at our old website. (This is about the same lesson above, it just has a different name now.)

    • Sigurdson Chris on December 12, 2017 at 5:33 pm

      A wonderful lesson. Maybe my favorite. Initially the clear directions make the movements long and luscious and really accessible. A bit of challenge (for me) at the end is helpful to tie it all together. Thank you!

  3. cj on July 22, 2017 at 3:34 am

    Another fantastic lesson Nick. I really felt my chest relax and open to take in more air. Also noticed it was much easier, almost reflexive to breath deeper in to my lower abdomen.

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