Rotating, Interlacing, and Integrating the Hands, into Palms Lengthening Overhead (Patrons)

See the Clarifications tab for a photo of the hand position described near the beginning of the lesson.

Reduce anxiety and organize your nervous system by refining simple, pleasurable actions of your hands, arms, and shoulders. Integrate them better with your head and eyes. Eventually expands into lengthening your whole self, with surprising effects on stability. Framed by brief explorations in standing.

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 – 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 – 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 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 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 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 – 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 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 – 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 – 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.

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 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 – 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 – 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.

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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If you need head support while lying on your back, be sure that it is smooth and level, and no more than you need for comfort.

You are welcome to have your legs long or knees bent, changing as you wish. Later in the lesson leg positions will be specified.

Moshe Feldenkrais’s work, as he said, is taught to “make the impossible possible, the possible easy, and the easy esthetically pleasing to oneself.”

Though you may be surprised by how easy most or all of the movements of this lesson are, they create a very potent learning opportunity. Focus on moving beautifully, and enjoy the rich sensory world that emerges when you attend the fine perceptual details of easy actions.

Keep your attention wide and curious. Seek little movement pleasures in places far away from the parts of yourself you’re instructed to move.

Lying on your back, when you’re first asked to stand up your forearm and hand, it’s like in this photo: plumb with gravity, wrist loosely straight, fingers pointing loosely at ceiling, palm relaxed. The elbow is bent 90 degrees and rests on the ground. As the forearm rotates on its axis the palm will face different walls of your room.

It resembles the movement of the arm you might make to open a doorknob, but the hand is in a more neutral position.

Our hands are often buzzing with busyness. We rarely slow down enough to explore how we can better support their actions with our whole being.

I designed and taught this lesson one December when students were talking about their anxiety building during a holiday rush.

Working gently and inquisitively with the hands is a great way to quiet your nervous system. Since they are such a large part of how we interact with the world, improving their integration can have a huge positive effect on our mind and all our actions. Read my post called Lessons for Anxiety for more on how this works.

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

It’s also in our Lessons for Anxiety “little dip”.

It was recorded in The FP Weekly Zoom class on Dec 12, 2023 then edited to improve flow, clarity, and sound quality in this permanent audio version.

Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

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2 Comments

  1. Lynne Burson on June 21, 2024 at 5:35 pm

    This was super fun. I could move my shoulders much better and smoother than I thought I could.
    I am trying to do an hour a day of one of your lessons. I want to see what changes I can feel throughout my body after this intense 21 day exploration.

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on June 23, 2024 at 1:33 pm

      Exciting! Please let us know in additional comments what you discover as you go through this intensive you’ve created! I’m also on a daily ATM journey right now of 1-2 lessons every day, and I’m struck by how powerful the experience is.

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