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Easier Sitting Workshop Lesson 1

For Part 2 of the workshop, click here.

Chair-seated, with a middle portion in back-lying. Identifying the sitbones and enriching your awareness of them, then developing the relationships between the head, sitbones, and spine as they relate to plumb (the line of gravity through the vertical skeleton). Introduces the classic Feldenkrais pelvic clock image as a way to refine and expand dynamic support possibilities for the sitbones, pelvis, and whole self.

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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.

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 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 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 – Technical Difficulties

Tech tip: If you have any trouble with the audio player, reboot your browser. That solves most issues. If not, please contact Nick.

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 – 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.

Tip – What’s New

Community tip: See what Nick and other Felden-fans are interested in right now. Check out What’s New at the bottom of our homepage for recent blog posts and listener comments.

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 – 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 – Comments

Project tip: Leave a lesson comment below! It’s a great way to give feedback or ask a question, and it helps google find us so we can achieve The Feldenkrais Project’s vision!

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.

Browser/device size and audio player

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

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 – Lesson names

What’s in a lesson title? Lessons are about an hour unless a shorter duration is shown in the title. Thanks to our donors they’re freely offered unless marked “Patrons” – those are how we thank our Patron-level donors.

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.

You’ll need a firm or lightly-upholstered chair with a level surface, preferably without armrests, and a place to lie down on the floor on a mat or carpet. The height of the chair should allow you to sit near the front of it with your hips level with or slightly above your knees, and your feet on the ground, directly under your knees. Use folded towels underneath your bottom or large books under your feet to get the height just right.

This recording picks up immediately after a five minute intro talk which includes other tips for comfort.

Students received a handout in the live workshop with the following two graphics:

sit bones sitting

Here’s an illustration from Alexander Technique London to help you find your sitbones! Click on it to visit and read a post I can recommend called “Stand on your bottom, what?!” Sometimes people are surprised by how relatively close to their midline the sitbones are.

This lesson is found in our Easier Sitting collection. Please visit the collection page to find the brief talks and written information that introduced and followed this lesson, and to progress on to the final lesson of the workshop.

Information emailed to participants after the live workshop is available here. This written material was designed to add more intellectual understanding to the experiential learning of the workshop, so perhaps continue through the audio first.

This lesson also appears in our Pelvic Clock “Primer” and our Better Balance Deep Dive.

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Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

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Got a question for Nick, or a thought about this lesson?

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10 Comments

  1. Maria on January 7, 2019 at 9:59 am

    I have been using some of your lessons for months now. Thank you. I am a freelance artist, and after my next job I will thank you by donating. Keep up the good work.

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on January 7, 2019 at 10:09 am

      Thanks! I’m grateful for your interest and I’ll value your future contributions when they become possible. I like to say listener support is just like the movement instructions in a lesson: participate financially within your comfort, and not so much that it’s a strain!

  2. Andrea on April 1, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    for constantly tight right SCM muscle during computer work and driving, which is the best lesson to focus on

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on April 2, 2020 at 11:07 am

      Hard to say from a distance, but generally speaking gently folding into the tightness, as if creating slack and then moving comfortably within that slack, is better for learning to let go of tension than stretching against it. Have you worked through our Getting Oriented series? Several of them come to mind. You can read the descriptions and follow your instincts, or work through from the beginning. It’s a wide “survey course” of short lessons, so you can learn what kind of lessons help you the most.

  3. Muriel on April 19, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    Hi Nick,
    I’m in the UK and I really enjoyed your lesson about sitting and sit bones. I also listened to your tripod lesson. Brilliant! and very helpful. Wonderful project! Thank you so much

  4. Hilary on June 21, 2020 at 6:36 am

    Thank you Nick for another superb lesson. I recently came across your work on the Feldenkrais Summit. I’m 71 and discovered Feldenkrais a couple of years ago probably at a time in my life when I most needed it, physically and emotionally. I love your teaching style, your pace, your sense of humour and your clear guidance and sensitivity. I have huge respect for the fact that through the Feldenkrais Project you are making Feldenkrais available to a wider audience. Thank you. ?

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on June 22, 2020 at 12:39 pm

      Thanks, Hilary! I’m glad you’re exploring our lessons and that you totally “get it” about our intentions with the method! Enjoy your studies, and please help us pursue our vision: share our free resources as widely as you can!

  5. Boris piker on October 20, 2021 at 1:47 am

    Wow so much to say cause such a long lesson lol

    The first thing that surprised me was after sitting on my left hand with the sit bone and doing the mortar pestle thing, after I removed my hand I literally felt like my left side sank into the seat further and I felt lopsided.
    I assume my left buttock was chronically tensed and sensing the sit bone allowed it to relax.
    Sensing the other sit bone normalized both sides.

    I found some movements causes me to spontaneously rhythmically shake my knee up and down on the ball of my foot, so when that happened I just return to home position gently, pause recording and wait for shaking to gently ebb to the point I feel I can stop and continue.

    I had way less range of movement tilting head to the left ear versus the right, I sense like there is something stuck in left rip cage lol but the range improved somewhat.

    I find that it’s easier to make a smaller lighter slower movement once you feel pleasant with an inner smile and when you got the “groove” going a bit.
    Otherwise it’s easy to get pent up and too serious.

    I found it was easy to keep the head in the center when moving only up down or left right but when I moved in an arc I almost didn’t notice that I began moving my head penguin mode, I had to slow down to remain gentle while keeping the head in center.

    I definitely notice that the biggest issue for me is the arching of lower back, I feel like no matter how gentle I go there’s a sense of like molasses in my lower back resisting the arch and my lower abdomen might be chronically contracted a bit, and the tendons between the groin and thighs seem to remain kinda tight when arching.

    I think that’s what causes me the biggest problems with sitting, cause no matter how high I set the chair so my hips are noticeably over the knees, it’s easy to slouch and shifting my pelvis forward to arch and for head to lift feels like something is too tight and the pelvic area stiffens up.

    But this lesson really helped me experience the whole area pretty good, thanks nick gonna keep doing these for sure.

    I’ve even felt my left shoulder which chronically clicks start to sink left and forwards so that in the end I felt the distance between left and right shoulders weirdly larger than normal, but it felt right and relaxed too so I think my left shoulder was sliding into a healthier place.

  6. Matthew Lanzi on April 20, 2022 at 8:00 pm

    I have a very hard, if not impossible, time pressing with the left foot to raise the left sit bone. Any lesson recommendations for that?

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on April 21, 2022 at 12:51 pm

      In this one, how does it feel if you press the left foot and raise the left sit bone (make complementary movements instead of causal relationship)? Can you make a useful, harmonious whole out of doing them together? After playing with that, if you let the foot push back into the “driver’s seat” is it easier?

      One hunch I have about a lesson that may be useful is Side-Bending with Listening Hands, Connecting Legs and Head (since you’re a Patron).

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