Arms in a Hoop, with Continuous Ground Support (Patrons)

Back-lying, feet standing. Explore turning and twisting movements of the shoulders, pelvis, head, and eyes with arms held in a loose hoop in front of you, and find a flowing sense of ground support through your feet and back. Framed by detailed experiments in standing which connect your mat learning to upright life.

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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 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 – 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!

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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 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 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.

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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If you need head support while lying on your back, be sure that it is smooth and level, and no more than you need for comfort.

Once the lying down variations begin, experiment with the most comfortable things to let your head and eyes do as you learn to turn your shoulders and pelvis. Just let them move freely. It’s usually best to let your eyes be closed. Later in the lesson you’ll explore specific coordinations.

As the complexity increases near the end of the lesson do not be concerned if you get confused or need to “start over” frequently with some variations. This lesson takes you far outside of habitual ways of turning. Simply intending to do something very unusual, and listening carefully to what you actually do, is what will help you break down habits and reintegrate better ways of functioning. It’s not about “getting it right.”

This lesson examines how we are always interacting with the ground, no matter what we are doing. The specificity of that interaction, the precision of how we support ourselves, has a profound effect on our skillfulness and sense of freedom in whatever we’re doing.

“Homework,” for after you’ve done the lesson:

  • Track the sensory details of your feet relating to the floor in everyday standing activities.
  • What happens if you imagine that the floor itself is generating those actions?
  • Can you stay connected to the ground through the outside aspects of each foot, even as you turn and/or shift away from it?
  • How does the quality of your action change when you do this?
  • Spiraling away from the heels was introduced at the very end of the lesson. Can you find this in regular life activities when you’re standing and turning?

This lesson is found in Patrons Monthly, our collection of lessons exclusively for Feldenkrais Project Patron-level donors.

It was recorded in The FP Weekly Zoom class on Nov 21, 2023 then edited to improve flow, clarity, and sound quality in this permanent audio version.

Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

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