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Driving and Dynamic Sitting 1

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.

Read this before you begin  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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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.
  • 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 on the floor once you’re invited to lie down on your mat, you could skip ahead to the next lesson, Driving and Dynamic Sitting 2 and come back to this one later.
  • Safety first: if you work on how you sit and move in your car seat, please practice only when the car is parked.
  • 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 an obvious variation 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 2 which explores closely related principles in a chair-seated position.


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
  • 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 on the floor once you’re invited to lie down on your mat, you could skip ahead to the next lesson, Driving and Dynamic Sitting 2 and come back to this one later.
  • Safety first: if you work on how you sit and move in your car seat, please practice only when the car is parked.
Clarifications
  • 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.

Curiosities
  • 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 an obvious variation 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.
Context

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 2 which explores closely related principles in a chair-seated position.

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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6 Comments. Leave new

  • 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

    Reply
    • Nick Strauss-Klein
      January 30, 2018 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!

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

    Reply
  • 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!

    Reply
  • Taro Iwamoto
    March 19, 2019 4:05 pm

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

    Reply
  • 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.

    Reply

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