“Generalize Your Skills” (Patrons)

This lesson is #11 in Moshe Feldenkrais’s ATM book, where it’s called Becoming Aware of Parts of Which We Are Not Conscious with the Help of Those of Which We Are Conscious

Front-lying. Become more skillful in everyday and high-performance actions by expanding your perception of the diagonals of the back of your body, with the help of an imaginary ball gradually rolling over you. Begins with a 5-minute talk about principles at work in this lesson.


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 – 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 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 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.

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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.

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 – 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 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.

While we offer 52 free lessons, this one's just for our Patron-level donors. You can preview the lesson notes and comments below, but to access the audio you’ll need to join The FP as a Patron. Learn more

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This lesson is recommended for Felden-fans who are able to rest comfortably in front-lying, and the recording begins with some ideas for props you might find useful.

If you struggle with front-lying, perhaps try first The Power of Prone. It’s our best “intro” for folks not yet at ease in this configuration.

To the best of your ability the imaginary metal ball always rolls smoothly and gradually. If you have the sense that it rolls off you, gets stuck, or your imagination gets fuzzy, simply place the ball somewhere on your body where you can more clearly conjure its perceived location and weight, then continue.

There’s an interesting post-lesson discussion with the students who were present. We talk about diagonals, movements of the eyes, adapting the lesson and listening to yourself, scoliosis and asymmetries, and more.

Patrons: for the full event recording, or to jump to the discussion, click here (audio and video options).

This lesson is one of 12 in Moshe Feldenkrais’s 1972 book Awareness Through Movement. The Feldenkrais Project has a collection of lessons from this source.

It was recorded during our Patrons Quarterly video call on April 14, 2022, but we recommend studying from the audio version above since it’s been edited for better sound quality, flow, and clarity.

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While taught in my own words, this lesson comes directly from Moshe Feldenkrais’s 1972 book Awareness Through Movement. Members and Patrons can access more information on other sources I used, and changes I made.

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  1. Ileana Vogelaar on May 26, 2022 at 4:57 pm

    Advanced awareness lesson.

    I had to have my ball roll in a wooden open tunnel Ball was wooden too..So I ca feel more the trajectory.

    Too bad my week hammy cramped badly on the last version. Old dehydrated body..

    Thank you Nick, for this great lesson.

  2. Tara Mahapatra on June 7, 2022 at 9:11 am

    This lesson is very very interesting- the most challenging lesson for me so far, and the most surprising and rewarding.

    It took some practice to imagine the ball- it seemed more difficult than normally. An uncharted territory back there. The hint with the finger pressing first for every new line was helpful, then the ball could follow. The caterpillar-image was also very helpful. Unable to grasp it at first, it seemed like a miracle, when suddenly these subtle moves for helping the ball roll produced a wave-sensation flowing through the entire body – very pleasant. Lying on the back again, it felt like a new kind of spacious, thick, active, alive, and conscious back – a stable base. Walking after the lesson I could still feel the waves, moving upwards and downwards along the diagonals from the center point. Fascinating. I’m looking forward to repeating this lesson.

    Thank you, Nick, for preparing these unusual lessons from Moshe’s book for us.

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on June 9, 2022 at 3:37 pm

      Thanks for your detailed description. I think it’s good for others to hear about the challenge and the rewards. It is a demanding lesson but I really resonate with a lot of what you experience. I hope you and many others experience this one many times!

  3. Jody Dixon on April 3, 2023 at 11:46 am

    Absolutely amazing lesson.

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