Buttocks Organizing the Spine (Patrons)

Mostly front-lying. Exploring and integrating contractions of the buttocks with different movements and configurations of the axis (pelvis, spine, and head).

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.

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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 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 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 – 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.

Tip – Technical Difficulties

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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 – 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 – 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 – 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.

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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 it helps for your comfort while lying on your front, please have a towel and/or small pillows available for support under a shoulder, or under your chest, your lower abdomen and hips, etc.

Early on I say to “gently but strongly” contract your buttocks, which is confusing. I mean gradually contract, and gradually let go.

This lesson is found in Patrons Monthly, our collection of lessons exclusively for Feldenkrais Project Patron-level donors, with one or more new lessons added every month.

It can also be found in our Deep Dives called Free While Constrained and Supple Feet, Powerful Legs.

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?

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  1. Judy on October 9, 2020 at 8:12 pm

    Thankyou for this and your other class on the buttocks which has made me feel stronger in walking. When lying on my stomach my heels naturally turn away from each other and the top of my feet and toes turn inwards. I find that clenching the buttocks seems to engage the arches of my feet which are inclined to cramp. Could you please suggest a class or another way of reducing the cramping of the feet?

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on October 11, 2020 at 5:38 pm

      The buttocks and the arches are definitely closely related. In the Related Lessons tab above you’ll find that Activating the Arches is a good lesson to explore this. Also try out Supple Ankles, Shifting Pelvis (32 minutes, Patrons). See the Related Lessons tabs in those lessons for more threads to follow. Length without Effort in our Getting Oriented collection may also be useful.

  2. Judy on October 11, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    Thankyou so much Nick. Feldenkrais is truly miraculous and your teaching is wonderfully clear, kind and playful. I encourage everyone I know to explore the Feldenkrais Project.

  3. Pam Merten on February 1, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    This lesson and all the lessons on the pelvic clock/navigational pelvis have helped me to manage Level 1 Spondylolisthesis. I am grateful for your work, Nick.

  4. Fredereka Johnston-Burns on December 5, 2023 at 2:58 am

    This lesson was so organising for my system and left me with a lovely bouncy spring in my step, thank you!

  5. Julie Turner on February 25, 2024 at 2:44 pm

    I went into a really deep, deep state of relaxation after this session, in which the whole of my back was softened evenly into the earth.
    I loved it.
    Someone above mentioned cramp in the arches of the feet this is something I get a lot and I can feel permanent tension in my (high) arches. I did the suggested session Supple Ankles etc which was very helpful and then did this one straight after.
    I am looking forward to discovering more about the relationship between the buttocks and the feet and intend to spend a couple of weeks or more just on this deep dive.

    Thanks enormously for these sessions Nick, they have become a big part of my life over the last year.

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