Basic Arching and Folding (Patrons)

Front-lying, improving the organization of the extensor muscles of the back and distributing their efforts. Learning to lift the head and one arm – and later, one leg – away from the ground together. Integrating the eyes with these arching movements. Alternates with back-lying, knees bent, feet standing, basic folding (flexion) movements, as the brain is always coordinating the major flexors and extensors of the body with each other.

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 – 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 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 – 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 – 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 – 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!

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 – 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.

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 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.

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 – What’s New

Community tip: See what Nick and other Felden-fans are interested in right now. Check out What’s New at the bottom of our homepage for recent blog posts and listener comments.

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 – Join!

Join the Project! Members and Patrons see streamlined lesson pages, and can access My Journey (the and above), and the Related Lessons tab below.

Browser/device size and audio player

Tech tip: On mobile or tablet? Once you start playing the audio, your device’s native playback controls should work well.

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.

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.

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

If you are a Patron, please log in:

  • You’ll be lying on your belly much of the time, so please have props, pillows, or perhaps a clean towel to place under your face to make that position as comfortable as possible.
  • There’s ample time to rest on your belly in whatever configuration is best for you, or you can roll to another position for rest any time.
  • I often mention resting your cheek on the back of your hand, but you may rest your turned head on the back of your hand in whatever way is most comfortable for you. For example, your hand might be closer to your temple than your cheek.

A useful cue that I’d like to have incorporated more is to think of lengthening your leg each time you lift it. Many people find this image of length a powerful organizer that eases and distributes the work of the back, especially the lower back, while lifting a leg.

This lesson is found in Patrons Monthly, our growing collection of new lessons (one or more added every month) for Feldenkrais Project Patrons.

Audio edits are more minimal in this collection, but I may edit it down further in the future based on your feedback.

Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

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. on March 24, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    Great lesson! Afterwards I felt so upright and light and I am more aware of my upper back, thank you Nick for sharing this lesson with us.

  2. Rachel Shaw on February 20, 2022 at 10:53 am

    I LOVE this lesson, thank you. Just done it for the second time, my range of extension as I follow the critter up the wall increases vastly and my breath has so much more space to fill. I finish with a very different body to that which I started in. Thanks very much ????

  3. Ileana Vogelaar on July 2, 2022 at 5:03 pm

    Wonderful going to basics of flexion extension for now .Feeling tall and light in standing. Thank you Nick and Happy 4th weekend!

Leave a Comment