Breathing for Liftoff (35m + 25m, Patrons)

This pair of short lessons is designed to be completed together the first time, or with a short break between them.

  • Lesson 1 - Reduce tension and anxiety and free your breath by sensing the details of how you hold and release it, then explore a new image of exchanging air with the environment.
  • Lesson 2 (begin at 34:00) - Experiment with the elasticity of both the ground and your breathing apparatus, and directly experience what physicists call ground reaction forces.

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 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 2 – Social Sharing

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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 – 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 – Comments

Project tip: Leave a lesson comment below! It’s a great way to give feedback or ask a question, and it helps google find us so we can achieve The Feldenkrais Project’s vision!

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 – 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.

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 – 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 – 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 – 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.

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:

Lesson 1 begins in back-lying. You can have your legs long or your knees bent, feet standing. Make yourself comfortable and change your legs whenever you like.

The walking experiments at 34:00 are both the end of the first lesson and the beginning of the second.

For both lessons, take your time to get very comfortable in each position, and make personal adjustments so you’re at ease as you sense the fine details of breathing.

In front-lying near the end of the second lesson…

  • You may position your head and hands any way that is comfortable. “Palms stacked up” is suggested, meaning you could rest your forehead on the back of your stacked hands.
  • Soon after that, if you have trouble finding a way to press the ground with your lower ribs while exhaling, try laughing! The movements of the diaphragm have a funny way of waking up this otherwise unusual action. Then explore again the slow push of your lower ribs into the ground as you exhale.
  • Finally, you’ll hear we were a little short on time in the live class. When asked to stand, you could pause the recording and rest on your back first, sensing yourself in supine one more time.

Animated breathing illustrations are included in Thinking and Breathing (Patrons) below the lesson notes. They may help you picture the movements of your ribs and diaphragm as you explore the unusual image of exchanging air with the environment.

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

It also appears in our Deep Dives called Breathing with Vitality and Grounding for Liftoff.

It was recorded in The FP Weekly Zoom class on Dec 19, 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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1 Comments

  1. Nick Strauss-Klein on April 21, 2024 at 10:31 am

    Sharing two comments from the Zoom text chat after this lesson was recorded:

    This lesson has done wonders for interrupting my anxiety pattern, which involves holding my breath.

    I loved this lesson – fascinating. The floor pushing back up created lots of new space in all variations. Really interesting. The room breathing while I’m breathing was intense and strange. I will definitely repeat this lesson and explore further. Thank you, Nick!

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