Refining the Shoulders and Hips (45 min, Patrons)

Back-lying, sometimes knees bent. Explore small, precise movements of the shoulders and hips, and the fine relationships between them, with an intention toward reducing unnecessary efforts in the torso and improving walking.

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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Tech tip: On mobile or tablet? Once you start playing the audio, your device’s native playback controls should work well.

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 – 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 – Join!

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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!

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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 – 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 – 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 – 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 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 – 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 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.

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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 – Comments

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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

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The configurations for resting and home positions for moving are precisely defined in this lesson, but as always self-care comes first. Try it as described, then make changes or take rests as needed.

In this lesson you’re asked not to create movements of the pelvis by pressing one or both feet into the ground. This is unusual compared to many Feldenkrais Project lessons! Take care to observe this, as the difference creates unique learning opportunities in this lesson.

On a subsequent listening this is a great lesson for reversing all the lefts and rights. While both sides are explored, by design the lesson uses an asymmetrical emphasis of time spent on each side.

This lesson is found in Patrons Monthly, our always-growing collection of lessons (one or more added every month) for Feldenkrais Project Patron-level donors.

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

It’s audio from the lesson I taught in the June 2020 live video conference for Patrons.

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. Alison Sbrana on July 24, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    I really enjoyed this lesson. It helped me recognize a lot of unnecessary holding patterns in my torso and neck. I’ve been struggling with neck pain and spasms a lot the last few days and this finally brought me some relief. Thank you!

  2. Lorraine on November 27, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    A really useful lesson. Decreased some pain and increased my awareness. I have a resistance to crossing the mid-line and I seem to have been able to connect my diagonals in this lesson and carry it into walking without having to work hard to retain the idea.

  3. Lorraine on February 20, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    I had a very different experience of this lesson the second time I did it, but once again the learning has increased my awareness of what I do in walking without the need to work at it.

  4. Lorraine on March 30, 2021 at 9:05 am

    Today I tried this lesson for the third time. My main impression this time, was how difficult it can be to access small movements and how difficult I find it to do small movements without excess effort.

  5. Lorraine on April 1, 2021 at 3:19 pm

    Finally, I was thinking about this lesson as I was walking and felt the diagonal connection as I walked. This movement was so difficult for me but I think it will be integrated into walking eventually.

  6. Sara Firman on December 31, 2021 at 6:11 am

    Very helpful insights into how using my four limbs affects my neck. At the end of this session my neck felt so much freer. Will do this as suggested with emphasis on the other side. Thank you!

  7. Lorraine on January 26, 2023 at 5:42 pm

    I have been a donor since 2017. It is the best value for money – so much benefit for so little cost.

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on January 27, 2023 at 7:23 am

      We certainly think so, but it’s awesome to hear that from you, a Patron! Thanks so much for your long term support. The steadiness of funding from our Members and Patrons allows us to keep adding lessons and improving our whole website. We’re also grateful for how you share your study experience in these comments sections – it helps other users to get a sense of the learning process!

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