Advanced Twisting Part 2

Prerequisite lesson: Advanced Twisting Part 1. Back-lying, using the tilted crossed legs as a constraint to help learn more suppleness and better upright organization of the spine, chest, shoulders, and neck, with awareness of and sensitivity to one's own biases.

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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 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 – 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 – 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 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 – 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 – 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 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 – 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.

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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.

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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.

It is important that you do part 1 of this lesson before you do this follow-up lesson. The Comfort & Configuration notes for part 1 are all applicable to part 2.

This lesson involves many complex simultaneous uses of the left and right sides of the body. If you get confused, don’t worry, just continue onward. All of the variations are explored on both sides. The many variations are designed to create a very thorough exploration, and it’s ok to miss a step here and there.

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 three recommended prerequisite lessons, which are best studied in this order (or just progress through the whole collection in order).

Or you can approach these Advanced Twisting lessons in another context: they’re also in our Free While Constrained Deep Dive.

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  1. Chris Sigurdson on December 17, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Whoa! Interesting. More difficult than previously because of small movements in constrained positions. But the clear instructions make it doable and despite wondering at times if I was “ doing it right”, the result was really interesting. Very different and lovely sense of my torso as I walked. Freedom and space.

    • Chris Sigurdson on February 19, 2018 at 5:44 pm

      Easier the second time with more confidence about small movements and thus more relaxed. Similar fullness in my torso as a result and some relief if a neck issue.

  2. Lorraine on October 8, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    Thank you for this lesson and for the repeat button!

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on October 9, 2020 at 10:18 am

      Love that you called out our 10 seconds back button! It was surprisingly hard to implement – makes me smile to know it’s getting used.

      • Matthew Lanzi on October 23, 2020 at 5:37 pm

        I use it ALL THE TIME. Very grateful you went through the effort of implementing it!

  3. Lorraine on May 18, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    I didn’t need the repeat button the second time I did this lesson, and I felt more free to do less and feel more.

  4. J Jordan on December 26, 2022 at 6:42 am

    Very nice lesson, thank you from my ribs and spine

  5. Sara on January 19, 2024 at 11:38 am

    Head rolling while in the twist right at the end of the session was so freeing, a profound dimension for me.

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