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Connecting Arms and Legs

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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Side-lying, integrating movements of the arms, shoulders, head, and torso as you learn to sense and hinge bodyweight in relation to the ground, and between the knees and feet. A great place to start if you can't lie on your back comfortably.
  • This lesson begins in standing.
  • For all lessons, especially side-lying ones, it’s helpful to have a large bath towel nearby to fold as desired for head support. Not everyone needs it, but most people do.
  • Take the time you need as you get into each new configuration to make the folded towel height an amount that’s comfortable in that position. Usually your back-lying head support will be less than what you want for side-lying.
  • Also for side-lying, make sure the surface you’re lying on is soft enough for your hips and shoulders to be comfortable as you shift and roll your body forward and backward.

Later in this lesson we begin using a strategy of leveraging the body against the floor, “moving” parts that can’t move because they’re on the floor, in order to propel the rest of ourselves. This fascinating concept comes out of Moshe Feldenkrais’s martial arts background, where he trained to be tremendously efficient using his body in combination with the support surface, in order to nearly effortlessly throw his Judo opponents. He later discovered that we can use the same concept in the quiet, ordinary movements of everyday life and reduce effort and strain.

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

The lesson referenced “last week” was Activating the Arches.


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
  • This lesson begins in standing.
  • For all lessons, especially side-lying ones, it’s helpful to have a large bath towel nearby to fold as desired for head support. Not everyone needs it, but most people do.
  • Take the time you need as you get into each new configuration to make the folded towel height an amount that’s comfortable in that position. Usually your back-lying head support will be less than what you want for side-lying.
  • Also for side-lying, make sure the surface you’re lying on is soft enough for your hips and shoulders to be comfortable as you shift and roll your body forward and backward.
Curiosities

Later in this lesson we begin using a strategy of leveraging the body against the floor, “moving” parts that can’t move because they’re on the floor, in order to propel the rest of ourselves. This fascinating concept comes out of Moshe Feldenkrais’s martial arts background, where he trained to be tremendously efficient using his body in combination with the support surface, in order to nearly effortlessly throw his Judo opponents. He later discovered that we can use the same concept in the quiet, ordinary movements of everyday life and reduce effort and strain.

Context

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

The lesson referenced “last week” was Activating the Arches.

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.

We all thrive when more people are doing more Feldenkrais. Please share this resource!

4 Comments. Leave new

  • Just wanted to say thanks again and keep up the wonderful work. I was just working on the ‘integrating the legs’ session, and the recording, like so many others of yours, is so in tune with the struggles and sensations one has in doing the exercises, that even without being visually or actually present, it’s like being in a real ATM class! And the benefits have been outstanding. Much appreciated.

    Reply
    • Nick Strauss-Klein
      Nick Strauss-Klein
      April 25, 2018 9:19 am

      This is music to my ears — great reassurance that I’m doing what I intend to do! So glad you’re finding value, and thanks also for the donation!

      Reply
  • I really reiterate what Mike said, above. I love your work, Nick! I appreciate the depth of understanding you have of the Fkrs method, and your guidance in the ATMs. I’ve been doing lessons with various (good!) people, for over 30 years, and i am finding LOTS new in my body from your lessons. (I am 69, have had 2 hip replacements, and basically function pretty well for my age. I ride my horse at a professional level 5 times a week.) Some bits of me want to stiffen up, but these lessons are helping me improve my function, even at my advanced age. I know i’m improving, because “my horse is my mirror” (to use a phrase that has been used before!), and the better i sit and differentiate my body, the smoother and more “beautifully” my mare moves!

    Reply
    • Nick Strauss-Klein
      Nick Strauss-Klein
      November 4, 2019 9:51 am

      This is all so lovely to hear – thanks for sharing your experience! “My horse is my mirror” is somehow a line I haven’t picked up yet from all the equestrians I’ve had the privilege of working with, but I love it. It really summarizes the beautiful sensitivity I’ve experienced with them. Thanks for listening and please spread the word!

      Reply

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