Hip and Shoulder Diagonals for Better Walking (Patrons)

Back-lying, framed by brief standing and walking explorations. Develop the diagonal connections across your torso and limbs through gentle movements and creative imagery. Expand the scope of your learning through references to the pelvic floor, breathing with length, and the freedom of your head.

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 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.

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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 – 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 – 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 – 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 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 – 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 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.

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Tip 1 – Interrupted?

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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

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It’s important that your head is very free to roll in this lesson. If you need head support to be comfortable when lying on your back, make sure it’s smooth and level, like a few layers of folded bath towel.

Mentioned in the recording but worth repeating: when you lift a shoulder away from the floor, don’t also lift your elbow or whole arm. The elbow and forearm may shift, but they remain relaxed, resting on the floor.

On a second listening you might change the shoulder and hip walking references at the beginning and end of the lesson to sensing when they move backward, instead of forward. This will help you also develop the across-your-back diagonal connections while you walk.

This lesson is found in Patrons Monthly, our collection of lessons exclusively for Feldenkrais Project Patron-level donors.

It also appears in our Pelvic Floor: Less Is More course. The “last two weeks’ lessons” mentioned are lessons in the yellow box of that course.

This lesson works well on its own, but if you’re coming to it in the context of the pelvic floor course, you could expand upon the brief pelvic floor references that serve to connect this lesson to those lessons. Any time you’re lifting or pressing a hip, you might explore something suggested shortly after beginning to lift your hip the first time: consider the activity of the pelvic floor, noticing if you can detect any change in its activity or sensations in relationship to the hip movements.

This lesson was recorded in a FP Weekly Zoom class on May 24, 2022, then edited to improve flow, clarity, and audio quality.

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2 Comments

  1. Sara Firman on August 12, 2023 at 1:46 pm

    I love the ‘Lifting and Pressing’ lesson and have now found something that progresses it further. Really extraordinary enlivening of deep torso connections. I notice you don’t link these two as Related Lessons but perhaps you could?

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on August 14, 2023 at 12:07 pm

      Great observation! I totally agree. I’ve added this to the Related Lessons tab and cross-referenced it back from that lesson, too. Thanks.

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