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Driving and Dynamic Sitting – Floor Practice

Mostly back-lying. Begins and ends in floor-seated. With explorations and benefits for all sitting situations, this lesson uses imagery of being in the driver's seat to promote lively, dynamic sitting and turning while negotiating the challenge of a typical "bucket" car seat. Postural expressions of rounding and arching are clarified, then used to improve the range, comfort, and awareness of whole body turning movements.

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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 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.

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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.

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.

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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 – 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!

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

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.

Safety first! If after the lesson you work on how you sit and move in your car seat, please practice only when the car is parked.

If you’re not comfortable sitting on the floor at the beginning and end of the lesson, you could try sitting on a folded mat or towel, or you can even sit on a chair at the beginning and end of the lesson if that’s an easier option for you. Either way, have your knees comfortably apart. If you’re on the floor, sitting tailor-fashion (legs crossed) works well if that’s available for you, but any other way of having the knees apart and comfortably bent is fine too.

If you do use a chair sit toward the front of the chair with your knees at least as wide as your hips, and your feet directly under them. You may sit back in the chair to rest any time. If you’re not very comfortable as the floor practice develops, go on to Driving and Dynamic Sitting – Chair Practice and come back to this lesson later.

I say “parked” playfully because of the driving imagery, but I’m talking about how we often get our bodies stuck and static in one position.

Near the beginning of the movement experiments I say to move your head “forward” to imply rounding or front-folding of the body. “Downward” is perhaps more helpful: each time you go into the light “slump,” you can let your head, face, and eyes look downward into your lap. Your middle back pushes backward.

I often use another name for the horizontal plane, the plane of turning movements. It’s the second one in this graphic. You’ll hear me call it the transverse plane.

Click here to read About Dynamic Sitting in which I discuss the origin and intended use of these Driving and Dynamic Sitting lessons. It’s got information about the planes of movement discussed in the recording.

Class was running a little long and we had to skip a reference movement at the final seated part of the lesson. Just as we did at the end of back-lying, in seated you could create a sustainable sagittal expression of your whole self (make a slightly arched or slightly rounded shape) and then turn from side to side, and see how that affects your turning.

This lesson is in our Easier Sitting collection.

Like most of our lessons, this one can be studied out of context, but you may find additional learning value by following it with Driving and Dynamic Sitting – Chair Practice which explores closely related principles in a chair-seated position.

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7 Comments

  1. Yoni Luxford on January 29, 2018 at 10:50 pm

    Hey Nick. Thanks for this wonderful lesson. Driving 1. I’m in process of preparing for hip replacement surgery and managing quite a deal of pain and instability. This lesson allowed me the freedom of imagining fluidity of movement I haven’t felt for a while. Thank you. I’ve a long drive tomorrow to see my acupuncturist so very timely to do it. Got off the floor feeling like a revitalised woman.
    I’m so appreciative of the work you do, and link often others to your site.
    Warm regards and blessings on your generosity.
    Yoni

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on January 30, 2018 at 3:12 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words, and for sharing this application of the lesson. There’s such a beautiful wisdom in acknowledging “the freedom of imagining fluidity of movement I haven’t felt in a while.” Imagination is unfortunately often under-utilized in healing. Thanks for sharing your experience and spreading the word about my lessons!

  2. cj on February 1, 2018 at 4:49 am

    That was a great lesson Nick. Can’t wait for my next long distance flight to see what difference it makes
    Best wishes

  3. Wendy on November 3, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Wonderful lesson! I’ve often wondered about the design of the bucket seat and find that I am more comfortable but they small pillow behind my lumbar spine . In the lesson, I found that I had a much greater range and ease of movement when I avoided the bucket seat position explaining why I am so much more comfortable on long drives with my pillow!

  4. Taro Iwamoto on March 19, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    I really like your guidance with invitation to explore different movement options!

  5. shan on May 31, 2019 at 3:17 am

    I love your lessons, Nick! I have been doing Feldenkrais for more than 30 years (it has kept me going through a “sensitive” back and 2 hip replacements; I’m 69 and still riding my horse well!!!). I’m very familiar with many of the lessons, but I find your approach and guidance is fresh and clear. They make me feel wonderful! Thank you.

  6. Sheila on November 13, 2023 at 6:23 pm

    Thank you. That was quite delightful. I love the imagary of ‘nodding’ chin and pelvis towards and then away from each other. I feel taller and ‘freer’. I really appreciate the way you cue us through the lessons. Best wishes.

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