Free Your Torso for Better Posture, Walking, and Running

Mostly side-lying, framed by standing and walking explorations. Using your sternum as a reference point, free your shoulders, hips, chest, and back for better posture and upright movement. Experience how different organizations of your torso affect your ability to move with freedom and confidence. Ends with a 2-minute talk from the after class discussion.

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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 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 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 – Technical Difficulties

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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 – 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.

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!

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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.

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!

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 – 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.

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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.

Please have a bath towel nearby to fold to a comfortable height for side-lying head support. A smooth, level surface will allow your head to shift and roll.

If your mat feels too hard for comfortable side-lying, lay a smooth blanket or two on it.

Directions are always relative to your body. When you’re lying on your side, forward is toward the side wall of your room, and upward is toward the place on the wall directly above the crown of your head. Up is not toward the ceiling unless you’re standing.

This lesson has an asymmetric structure: each time you switch to lying on the other side, you’re asked to explore a little more, or a little differently.

This makes it a great for reversing all the lefts and rights on a second listening. It’s pretty easy to do with this lesson, and may help you make further discoveries about yourself.

This lesson is #1 in our free collection called Lying Down Lessons for Better Posture, Walking, and Running.

It also appears in our Deep Dive called Shoulder Cloak, Rib Basket, Sliding Sternum.

And it’s lesson #1 one in a “little dip” of three free lessons (plus two more for Patrons) called Reflection and Lessons: We Evolved for Easy Walking.

It was originally recorded in an open house Zoom event in June, 2023 called Feldenkrais for Walking.

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Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

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4 Comments

  1. richard on October 6, 2023 at 6:02 pm

    I’ve done this one twice. I found it deeply pleasurable -the mental pleasure of untying “the riddle”, the physical pleasure from the resulting effortless amplitude of movement, and the pleasure of finding this ATM influencing my gait the next day..

  2. Sheila on October 10, 2023 at 5:35 pm

    I loved this. Thanks. I felt I went from “gentle” walking to “proud” walking – fascinating 🙂

  3. Sharon on December 24, 2023 at 6:13 pm

    Thanks very much for this lesson. I had been sitting while on my laptop and was feeling fatigued before taking this lesson. I felt energized afterward, less anxious and more relaxed. I appreciated the prompts throughout the lesson to adjust to “our own body’s needs” and the positive feedback felt truly supportive.

  4. Miriam Arond on June 4, 2024 at 9:14 pm

    Excellent lesson. It’s fascinating to focus on the sternum while walking!

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