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Arms Like a Skeleton, with a Bias

Recorded live in a Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement (ATM) class, the lesson below is copyright Nick Strauss-Klein, for personal use only. This and all our audio lessons are 100% donor-supported. Before you begin, read this first for practical tips and your responsibilities, and check out Comfort & Configuration below. Click the other lesson note tabs if you’re curious.

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Back-lying. This quiet, simple presentation of a classic Feldenkrais lesson becomes the background for a potent exploration: how does seeking and sensing our natural spinal bias – and resting our attention with it or away from it – affect how we move, feel, and function? Recorded near the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown, this lesson starts with a four-minute talk about embodied equanimity, and the particular "rabbit hole" of learning we'll be heading down together.

Whenever you bend your knees and stand your feet on the floor, allow a comfortable width between your knees and feet that allows you to balance your knees effortlessly.

All vertebrates (including us) have a natural spinal bias, which means the spine can be sensed and functions a little more fluently, clearly, and as a whole on one side than the other. This isn’t something to be corrected or made symmetrical with the other side; rather we can benefit from learning to sense and harness it as integral to our identity and self-image.

Type in the word “bias” on our search page to see the other resources (several in our free public collection) that are mentioned in the recording. We’ve got a collection of valuable lessons that explore the primary spinal bias. If you’re a Member, login before searching and you’ll see even more lessons cross-referenced. Patron-level donors have access to additional “bias” lessons.

The pause button can be a learning tool: in the latter parts of the lesson when you’re asked to repeat earlier movements while thinking of the biased or other side of your spine (and seeking to be able to sense the difference) if you need more time to explore, just make more time by pausing the recording. Having a timeless sense of exploration is really helpful when developing new subtle awarenesses. One of the best things about studying from a recording (according to one of my longtime in-person students) is I’ll stop talking whenever you want me to!

This lesson is found in the collection called Learning the Limbs, from the Center. It’s also in our Free While Constrained miniseries.


Members and Patrons only. Please login or join the Project to download this lesson’s MP3 file.


Members and Patrons only. Please login or join the Project to view related lesson titles and links.


Members and Patrons only. Please login or join the Project to view Nick’s comments about sources he used while developing this lesson.

Comfort & Configuration

Whenever you bend your knees and stand your feet on the floor, allow a comfortable width between your knees and feet that allows you to balance your knees effortlessly.

Curiosities

All vertebrates (including us) have a natural spinal bias, which means the spine can be sensed and functions a little more fluently, clearly, and as a whole on one side than the other. This isn’t something to be corrected or made symmetrical with the other side; rather we can benefit from learning to sense and harness it as integral to our identity and self-image.

Type in the word “bias” on our search page to see the other resources (several in our free public collection) that are mentioned in the recording. We’ve got a collection of valuable lessons that explore the primary spinal bias. If you’re a Member, login before searching and you’ll see even more lessons cross-referenced. Patron-level donors have access to additional “bias” lessons.

The pause button can be a learning tool: in the latter parts of the lesson when you’re asked to repeat earlier movements while thinking of the biased or other side of your spine (and seeking to be able to sense the difference) if you need more time to explore, just make more time by pausing the recording. Having a timeless sense of exploration is really helpful when developing new subtle awarenesses. One of the best things about studying from a recording (according to one of my longtime in-person students) is I’ll stop talking whenever you want me to!

Context

This lesson is found in the collection called Learning the Limbs, from the Center. It’s also in our Free While Constrained miniseries.

Download

Members and Patrons only. Please login or join the Project to download this lesson’s MP3 file.

Related Lessons

Members and Patrons only. Please login or join the Project to view related lesson titles and links.

Source

Members and Patrons only. Please login or join the Project to view Nick’s comments about sources he used while developing this lesson.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Avatar
    Judith Rainey
    May 22, 2020 7:15 pm

    Thank you moved into pleasure with my present self. Enjoying your lessons.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Bettina Falk
    May 23, 2020 3:26 pm

    I liked the lesson a lot. The pacing met my systems requirements nicely. And I also was very intrigued by the wording and several times surprised by the unintrusive and friendly invitations to take care of myself. I especially enjoyed working with the bias along the sides of the spine. Very interesting! I moved much more precise, slower and I had more sense of my spine and it’s continuous length while moving shoulder and hip.
    After getting up, standing + walking was very smooth, my back softer all the way down into my hipjoints. My vision softer and more peripheral and colors seemed more intense. Thank you!

    Reply
  • This has been my go-to lesson in recovery from ‘mouse shoulder’ (computer related strain). I find that each time I practice it (many times now), different aspects and qualities of the (excellent) guidance are revealed. In other words it continues to inform my movement in fresh and interesting ways. Not all instructors are so skillful with language in conveying the profound simplicity and ease of Feldenkrias. Thank you for making this freely available.

    Reply
  • This lesson was a revelation to me.
    I have a number of injuries along the spine and my bias and awareness changes somewhat along the length of my spine. I am going to do it again, focusing my awareness on the places where my awareness goes fuzzy.

    Reply

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