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Easier Sitting Workshop Lesson 1


Recorded live in a Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement (ATM) class, the lesson below is copyright Nick Strauss-Klein, for personal use only. All our audio lessons are ad-free and 100% donor-supported.

Before you begin read this  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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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.

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”.


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

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.

Curiosities

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.

Context

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”.

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!

10 Comments. Leave new

  • 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.

    Reply
    • Nick Strauss-Klein
      January 7, 2019 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!

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

    Reply
    • Nick Strauss-Klein
      April 2, 2020 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.

      Reply
  • 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

    Reply
  • 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. ?

    Reply
    • Nick Strauss-Klein
      June 22, 2020 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!

      Reply
  • 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.

    Reply
  • Matthew Lanzi
    April 20, 2022 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?

    Reply
    • Nick Strauss-Klein
      April 21, 2022 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).

      Reply

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