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.


The Feldenkrais Project's 52 free lessons, including the one below, are a crowd-funded labor of love. We are proud to be ad-free and 100% funded by our listeners. Please donate to support our vision!

In addition to Nick’s 15+ hours per week, it takes about $25,000/year to pay for technology and part-time staff to maintain our website, add new lessons and features, connect with our users, and spread the word. Your support really matters.

Become a Patron for $21/month or less and access 70 more lessons, all for about what you'd pay for a single in-person Feldenkrais class! Or become a Member for as little as $3/month. Learn more

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 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 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 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 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 – 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.

Browser/device size and audio player

Tech tip: On mobile? Depending on screen size, the audio player appears differently. Try landscape mode or start playback then use your phone’s audio controls.

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.

  • 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.

Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

Tried It? Liked It?

If you like what you heard...

  1. Join the Project! You’ll support our free lessons while enjoying awesome donor benefits
  2. Sign up for our twice monthly newsletter for featured free lessons and new lessons
  3. Spread the word: Simply copy this page's web address to share this free lesson

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.



  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.

Leave a Comment