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The Buttocks

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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An optional, more advanced lesson. Lying on the back and front, and various kneeling and standing positions. Exploring the use and refining the awareness of the buttocks in relationship to the pelvis, legs, feet, belly, and spine. Once students are ready for this lesson, it's a profoundly important one for standing, walking, and running.
  • At the beginning of the lesson you’re invited to sit in a chair if you prefer. Even if you’re perfectly comfortable sitting on the floor, you may wish to have a chair nearby for stability in later parts of the lesson. In all the kneeling and standing positions, it is perfectly appropriate to rest one or both hands on a chair for stability and safety.
  • During the kneeling parts of the lesson (standing on your knees, or one knee and one foot), several adaptations are mentioned if kneeling is not available for you. Standing on your feet is one possibility. Lying down and working in your imagination is another. Resting out of kneeling more frequently than the lesson requests is great too.

There are a few rests that are longer and quieter than usual, because of the physical intensity of the lesson. Enjoy yourself! (The streaming audio probably didn’t stop.)

  • The book mentioned in the lesson is The Brain’s Way of Healing, by Norman Doidge.
  • The Pelvic Clock lesson, mentioned by a student at the end, is a very well-known Feldenkrais lesson used to build awareness of movements of the pelvis and integrate them with the whole self. There’s a version of it in the same Standing, Walking, and Running collection as this lesson. It’s called Your Navigational Pelvis.

This lesson is found in the Standing, Walking, and Running collection.

Like most of our lessons, this one can be studied out of context, but you may find additional learning value by approaching it in the order of the collection it’s in. #3, Activating the Arches, is a great prelude to this lesson.


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 Nick’s comments about sources he used while developing this lesson.


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

Comfort & Configuration
  • At the beginning of the lesson you’re invited to sit in a chair if you prefer. Even if you’re perfectly comfortable sitting on the floor, you may wish to have a chair nearby for stability in later parts of the lesson. In all the kneeling and standing positions, it is perfectly appropriate to rest one or both hands on a chair for stability and safety.
  • During the kneeling parts of the lesson (standing on your knees, or one knee and one foot), several adaptations are mentioned if kneeling is not available for you. Standing on your feet is one possibility. Lying down and working in your imagination is another. Resting out of kneeling more frequently than the lesson requests is great too.
Clarifications

There are a few rests that are longer and quieter than usual, because of the physical intensity of the lesson. Enjoy yourself! (The streaming audio probably didn’t stop.)

Curiosities
  • The book mentioned in the lesson is The Brain’s Way of Healing, by Norman Doidge.
  • The Pelvic Clock lesson, mentioned by a student at the end, is a very well-known Feldenkrais lesson used to build awareness of movements of the pelvis and integrate them with the whole self. There’s a version of it in the same Standing, Walking, and Running collection as this lesson. It’s called Your Navigational Pelvis.
Context

This lesson is found in the Standing, Walking, and Running collection.

Like most of our lessons, this one can be studied out of context, but you may find additional learning value by approaching it in the order of the collection it’s in. #3, Activating the Arches, is a great prelude to this lesson.

Download

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

Source

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

Related Lessons

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

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12 Comments. Leave new

  • Certainly one of the most important lessons I came across so far. I teach it in every beginners class (at least parts of it). It’s such a great gift to discover the power of the big buttocks muscles, asymmetries, and how to get aware of how to use them. Too many people are having the so called “crossed pelvis syndrome” (coined by Dr. Vladimir Janda), where they use the back to do tasks the buttocks are meant for, and therefore develop back pain and hip pains, to the point they need surgery and hip replacement. This lesson certainly has the power to change that (if used as complimentary treatment). 🙂

    Reply
  • I was glad that you mentioned the emotional component of learning to use these muscles more effectively. I was surprised to feel some sadness come up and felt more at ease with my emotions when you said that it’s not uncommon for them to come up.

    Reply
    • Nick Strauss-Klein
      Nick Strauss-Klein
      May 13, 2018 11:00 am

      Thanks for posting this comment. After 18 years of Feldenkrais I still feel similar surprising connections regularly. Isn’t it amazing? In the end our whole self is one embodied nervous system, with no ability to isolate the different “parts” of ourselves — mind and body. When any one aspect changes the whole pattern of self shifts. Still humbling and wonderful to me after all this time. Thanks for listening.

      Reply
  • Often I feel powerless to find my body’s strength. This lesson brings me to a very powerful feeling, bringing me sustenance inside and out. Nick’s gentle guidance give me courage and strength

    Reply
  • I have done this lesson five times. It has helped me gain clear insights into the neuro-muscular patterns in my pelvis and low back that contribute to hip pain (Osteoarthritis). This lesson also releases psoas tension for me and has a very therapeutic effect.

    Reply
  • This lesson turbocharged my derriere, inspiring me to hike the following day! I also noticed that when I was on one knee, I could feel the contractions equally on both sides. Does that mean I have superpowers? 😉

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Matthew Lanzi
    June 26, 2020 4:59 pm

    There are several times throughout the lesson where you ask us to contract the muscles powerfully…are we not to be trying for power the whole time?

    Also, especially in kneeling i notice that when I quench the butt muscles, the lower muscles below, down to the knee feel very tight and like they’re trying to do most of the work. This makes me think I should be quenching much lighter so that I only feel the butt muscles contracting? I’m not sure if this lesson is meant to address this or if there is another lesson I should maybe try in order to work on this?

    Reply
    • Nick Strauss-Klein
      Nick Strauss-Klein
      July 2, 2020 5:21 pm

      There’s some nuance here so it’s hard to be sure from afar, but I think you’re on the right track when you consider going lighter. At times in the lesson I do invite more powerful clenching, but otherwise it sounds like you’re experiencing a lot of undifferentiated clenching in your legs – the way you describe it makes me agree that you could mostly go lighter so you feel mostly only the buttocks. I see you’re a Patron right now – thank you for your support! This means you have access to our other buttocks-focused lesson, which may help clarify these questions.

      Reply
  • Many of these lessons are reinterpretations of (inspired by and loosley based on) ATM Lessons taught by Moshe Feldenkrais at the Alexander Yanai, Esalan, San Fransisco and Amherst trainings, or other workshops. These rich and diverse set of lessons are available from the International Feldenkrais Federation or Feldenkrais Resources. These audio lessons are not reproductions of the original lessons. For the online lessons, the sources – for example the original Alexander Yanai lesson titles – are retained for scholarship purposes and to properly acknowledge the ideas and structure of the original lessons.

    Reply
    • Nick Strauss-Klein
      Nick Strauss-Klein
      October 21, 2020 11:25 am

      I appreciate you making this clear for everyone. I enjoy staying close to the structure and learning principles used in the original Moshe Feldenkrais lessons, while teaching with my own words and emphasis, and responding to the live students who were present during the recording.

      And yes, whenever I’m working from a particular source you’ll always be able to find it in the in the Related Lessons tab, available for Members and Patrons, under each lesson’s audio player. I love the scholarship of ongoing reworking of Feldenkrais’s lessons that our practitioner community enjoys, and I want to do my part to make my sources clear.

      I’m thrilled when I get emails from Feldenkrais Project listeners who have been inspired to buy the originals!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Jeanie Hutnick
    March 10, 2021 2:45 pm

    After having done this Buttocks lesson for the first time I feel it was great and I feel enervated but naturally tired and my muscles feel very fatigued. How often should I do the lesson? I am really starting from scratch when it comes to relearning to walk so I don’t get exhausted in 5 minutes. Many orthopedic surgeries and PT, “how” to walk was never the focus. It was always that I “could” walk and be happy with that. But i get soo tired after just little walking I know I my not using my body correctly.

    Reply
    • Nick Strauss-Klein
      Nick Strauss-Klein
      March 12, 2021 5:11 pm

      When repeating a lesson perhaps your biggest learning asset is actually your moment-to-moment interest and curiosity (in addition to your comfort, of course). So if you’re curious and feel that you can explore it anew and not rotely, you could repeat a lesson within as little as a day or so as many times as you wish. When it’s time for other learning environments (lessons), go on to any of the others in this collection. Almost every Feldenkrais lesson will have a positive affect on walking, since it’s one of the most basic functions we evolved for, but each of the lessons in this collection may be particularly useful.

      Reply

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