Side-lying Twist, and Rolling Recap (Patrons)

Back-lying, side-lying, transitioning, and eventually circling the arm. Recorded as the third in a series (see the Related Lessons tab). With plenty of room for improvisation, this lesson builds on recent classes and discussions with students about encountering difficulty in Feldenkrais study. Starts and ends with three-minute talks.

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 – 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.

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 – 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.

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 – 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 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 – 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 – What’s New

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Tip 1 – Interrupted?

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Tip – Comments

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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 – 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.

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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In the side-lying steps of this lesson you may find your need for head support diminishes over time, and it is usually easier to roll freely with less under your head.

The side-lying home position configurations are always the same, but I leave out a few details as the lesson goes on. For clarity:

  • Legs are comfortably bent, with the ceiling-side knee, calf, and foot on the floor in front of the floor-side leg, which is behind. This means your lower body is turned a little more forward into the ground (not the more common knee-stacked-on-top-of-knee position).
  • Arms are always loosely long, pointed toward the wall in front of you directly in front of your shoulders, palm stacked on top of palm. This changes slightly at the very end of the lesson.

We’ve including in this lesson some brief talks I gave before and after class. For privacy the student questions I was answering in the after class talk are edited out.

This lesson is found in Patrons Monthly, our growing collection of new lessons for Feldenkrais Project Patron-level donors, one or more added every month. It also appears in our Rock & Roll! (and Rotate) Deep Dive.

Audio was captured during a live Zoom lesson on May 19, 2020, then edited for flow and clarity.

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Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

Got a question for Nick, or a thought about this lesson?

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  1. Chris Sigurdson on September 3, 2020 at 9:08 am

    This is my new favorite lesson. It combined everything I need for more flexibility and range but in such a gentle and flowing way that it was all play and no sense of stretching or forcing.

  2. Lorraine on October 18, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    My understanding of the Feldenkrais method is that we can try difficult things (making the impossible possible and the difficult easy.) It’s just that we need to approach them in a Feldenkrais way. That is in ease and comfort, within a comfortable range, with as little effort as possible. It is not so much what we do as how we do it.

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on October 19, 2020 at 10:00 am

      Fantastic understanding! Yes! It’s living our lives in satisfaction and safety, effectively and efficiently and sustainably pursuing our dreams while in awareness of who and what we are….

  3. John Naughton on November 15, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    I really Liked the dynamic diagonal and also the first one ,this one I like but for me the way it is presented is too abrupt . I think it needs developing more gradually if you are then going to bring the arm around in the full circle

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on November 22, 2020 at 2:04 pm

      Thanks for the feedback. If you haven’t yet, try the circling the arm that’s introduced in the Related Lessons: Connecting the Shoulders and Hips Part 2, but you may want to start with Part 1.

  4. on April 6, 2021 at 12:26 pm

    Terrific lesson! Thank you Nick! The noticings about the ribs, the shoulder blades, the individual movement of the vertebrae, and the weight shift were especially appreciated. I also liked very much at the end during the symmetrical knee circles when prompted us to become aware of when the knees took over the direction of the movement and when the arms took over.


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