Finding and Using Your Spinal Bias to Step Down (33 min, Patrons)

Framed by brief explorations in standing, this mostly side-lying lesson helps you discover your primary spinal bias. You’ll explore how a refined awareness and conscious use of your spine’s natural bias can improve how you send your foot out into the world in all upright activities.

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 – 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 2 – Social Sharing

Project tip: Try the social buttons below. Please help us to achieve our vision: spreading the life-changing benefits of Feldenkrais study as widely as possible!

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 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.

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 – 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 – Join!

Join the Project! Members and Patrons see streamlined lesson pages, and can access My Journey (the and above), and the Related Lessons tab below.

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.

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 – 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 – 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 – 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.

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 – 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.

We offer over 50 free lessons, but this one's just for our Patron-level donors. You can learn about it in the free lesson notes and comments below, but to access the audio you’ll need to join The FP as a Patron. Learn more

If you are a Patron, please log in:

The lesson starts in standing, then back-lying, then settles into side-lying. Even if you don’t require head support for side-lying, it may be useful in this lesson: experiencing some slack in your spine may make some sensations more accessible than dangling your head over your shoulder down to the ground.

At around the 9:40 mark, if you’ve noticed and chosen a left spinal bias so far in the lesson you may notice a mistake which takes me about a minute to correct: I had invited you to make a movement of lengthening the arm on your preferred side, but I accidentally start referring to everyone’s right side. If you have chosen your left, please use your left at 9:40.

If you repeat this lesson, it may be an interesting experiment to see if my choice for which side to explore first affected your detection of your bias. So, in the standing start of the lesson, begin by sliding your left hand down your left thigh, instead of the way I cue it with your right.

This lesson is found in Patrons Monthly and in our Walking from Your Spine Deep Dive. Video of this lesson is also archived in Patrons quarterly video meetup format. Audio quality is a little lower than most lessons on this site due to different equipment and cloud recording.

Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

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

Use the comments section below! Public comments build our community and help search engines find us.



  1. Lorraine on October 31, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    In most ATM’s I feel as though I’m discovering a movement that is already in my nervous system. Even though I did this gently, and from the outside I’m sure it looks pretty natural, it feels pretty imposed.
    So I’ll sit with it for a while and later on do it all on the other side, with less doing and more feeling and hope that it comes together.
    I really enjoyed this exploration and am thinking that my initial difficulties will eventually lead to more learning.

Leave a Comment