Donor Benefits (login)   |   Join the Project (new donor account)   |   I'm not sure (account help)
Join our email list and download free lessons

Secrets of the Seated Twist

Recorded live in a Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement (ATM) class, the lesson below is copyright Nick Strauss-Klein, for personal use only. This and all our audio lessons are 100% donor-supported. Read this before you begin for practical tips and your responsibilities, and check out Comfort & Configuration below. Click the other lesson note tabs if you’re curious.

Tried it, liked it? Join the Project as a Member or Patron! You’ll ensure the sustainability of this site while enjoying our donor benefits. To keep up with new and featured free lessons and other Feldenkrais Project news join our email list.

MEMBERS & PATRONS: To access the Source and Related Lessons tabs below, please login then use your browser’s back and refresh buttons.

Side-sitting, back-lying, and side-lying. Beginning and ending with classic Feldenkrais explorations of twisting while side-sitting on the floor, this lesson is designed to make side-sitting more accessible, and to free your torso and hips. Alterations – including chair-seated – are discussed, and long lying down portions of the lesson reveal how folding and arching can improve turning and twisting.

Please limit your twisting movements carefully. “As far as is comfortable” is always implied even when you’re asked to twist as far as you can.

This position is called left side-sitting

Dead Bird photo

Note that the thighs are separated, with one foot near the other knee, the other foot somewhat behind.

You can sit on a few inches of folded bath towel if needed, to make side-sitting easier for your hips, pelvis, and back. You might also wish to add height under your support hand if needed. You could also lean on your fist at any time instead of your palm.

While everyone experiences differences between their sides, if side-sitting one way is particularly challenging you can always choose to reverse my lefts and rights, or stay on the same side when I ask you to switch, or lie down and imagine the more difficult side.

Chair option: If necessary it is also possible to do all the seated portions of this lesson sitting near the front of a firm, level chair, with the knees and feet comfortably wide apart, tipping the knees to the side you are turning to, and shifting the weight onto that side’s sitbone while you twist in that direction.

Rarely mentioned in the recording: it’s normal that in side-sitting you’ll find your weight on one buttock and sit-bone and not the other, and that your pelvis and hips will shift noticeably turning each twist. Enjoy and use this weight shifting!

Except for rests, when you’re side-sitting please lean on your hand like in the photo, with a comfortably straight arm. It’s your left if your knees are to the left, and vice versa. You can experiment with where to put your hand on the floor, but keep leaning on it as you twist, and don’t bend your elbow. Reduce the size of the movement until it’s easy.

In unrecorded discussion after this class one student expressed surprise at how much this lesson improved her hips, despite how little they were mentioned. Moshe Feldenkrais – and our learning brains– are clever: we’re never just working on what we’re talking and consciously thinking about!

There is a bit more exploring in left side-sitting than right. Try reversing all rights and lefts on a subsequent listen if you have curiosities about how this relates to you.

This lesson is found in the collection called Learning the Limbs, from the Center. Like most of our lessons, this one can be studied out of context, but you may find additional learning value by approaching it in the order of the collection it’s in.

It was recorded during a during a Zoom class on April 27, 2021, then edited to enhance flow, clarity, and audio quality.


Members and Patrons only. Please login or join the Project to download this lesson’s MP3 file.


Members and Patrons only. Please login or join the Project to view Nick’s comments about sources he used while developing this lesson.


Members and Patrons only. Please login or join the Project to view related lesson titles and links.

Comfort & Configuration

Please limit your twisting movements carefully. “As far as is comfortable” is always implied even when you’re asked to twist as far as you can.

This position is called left side-sitting

Dead Bird photo

Note that the thighs are separated, with one foot near the other knee, the other foot somewhat behind.

You can sit on a few inches of folded bath towel if needed, to make side-sitting easier for your hips, pelvis, and back. You might also wish to add height under your support hand if needed. You could also lean on your fist at any time instead of your palm.

While everyone experiences differences between their sides, if side-sitting one way is particularly challenging you can always choose to reverse my lefts and rights, or stay on the same side when I ask you to switch, or lie down and imagine the more difficult side.

Chair option: If necessary it is also possible to do all the seated portions of this lesson sitting near the front of a firm, level chair, with the knees and feet comfortably wide apart, tipping the knees to the side you are turning to, and shifting the weight onto that side’s sitbone while you twist in that direction.

Clarifications

Rarely mentioned in the recording: it’s normal that in side-sitting you’ll find your weight on one buttock and sit-bone and not the other, and that your pelvis and hips will shift noticeably turning each twist. Enjoy and use this weight shifting!

Except for rests, when you’re side-sitting please lean on your hand like in the photo, with a comfortably straight arm. It’s your left if your knees are to the left, and vice versa. You can experiment with where to put your hand on the floor, but keep leaning on it as you twist, and don’t bend your elbow. Reduce the size of the movement until it’s easy.

Curiosities

In unrecorded discussion after this class one student expressed surprise at how much this lesson improved her hips, despite how little they were mentioned. Moshe Feldenkrais – and our learning brains– are clever: we’re never just working on what we’re talking and consciously thinking about!

There is a bit more exploring in left side-sitting than right. Try reversing all rights and lefts on a subsequent listen if you have curiosities about how this relates to you.

Context

This lesson is found in the collection called Learning the Limbs, from the Center. Like most of our lessons, this one can be studied out of context, but you may find additional learning value by approaching it in the order of the collection it’s in.

It was recorded during a during a Zoom class on April 27, 2021, then edited to enhance flow, clarity, and audio quality.

Download

Members and Patrons only. Please login or join the Project to download this lesson’s MP3 file.

Source

Members and Patrons only. Please login or join the Project to view Nick’s comments about sources he used while developing this lesson.

Related Lessons

Members and Patrons only. Please login or join the Project to view related lesson titles and links.

We all thrive when more people are doing more Feldenkrais. Please share this resource!

5 Comments. Leave new

  • Hello, I so enJoyed this lesson! ThankYou! I did one half last nite (didn’t have time or energy to complete it;) and then tonite did an ‘abbreviated’ first half again and finished it all.
    Was Wondrous!
    Almost always feel good (+’better’) after a ‘Feldy sessh’—but it doesn’t seem (seem being key word perhaps?) to affect my daily life+movements+feelings of ‘freedom’+grace’ and the like—but maybe I just don’t notice the ‘effects’ ?? (Also, wish lessons could be shorter in general—why are Feldnkrs lessons always so long ??
    (Also, I appreciate the free lessons as I cannot afford to pay yet) Thnx again!!

    Reply
    • Nick Strauss-Klein
      January 11, 2022 2:09 pm

      Thanks for commenting! We intend there to be ample free lessons for a rich education for all – that’s our vision. To answer your questions:
      • Regarding length, something happens neurologically around 45 minutes into Feldenkrais study that’s very potent for learning, so I tend to prefer long form classes. But shorter study is great too, and of course you can break up lessons like you have. You probably saw the shorter free lessons in Getting Oriented. There are a bunch more you can preview in Patrons Monthly, should you decide to become a Patron sometime.
      • Regarding how long lessons “last”, it sometimes takes a fair amount of experience with the work to sense yourself making different, easier choices in your life’s movements spontaneously. If you’re already experienced, then more conscious engagement with this quality of movement and attention in day-to-day activities may be useful: light housework like doing the dishes, laundry, etc. are my favorite activities for “making a lesson out of life”. Another thought: doing two or more lessons per week, or at least improvising/practicing from memory a little bit every day or two in between weekly full-length lessons should help. Finally the sequences in many of the collections can help, as often each lesson builds pretty directly on the next.

      Reply
  • A lovely gentle lesson.On my first twist I felt I reached a barrier,but on the final twist I floated off towards the horizon feeling a remarkable amount of movement throughout my whole body.
    Ann Thomson

    Reply
  • What a brilliant lesson Nick! I had spent the day redecorating my studio and painting the walls, so hard work and my body was feeling quite exhausted and stiff by the end of the day. Then I did your lesson, and it was like having a massage: it gently eased my chest, arms, and hips till they were once again supple and stress-free. It was so beneficial, I listened again the following day! Thank you so much!

    Reply
  • I really enjoyed this lesson, thank you Nick. I like the longer lessons 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.

 

Menu

NOTE: Due to a technology change emails sent to us between June 30 & July 2 may not have been received. Contact us to resend.