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Simple Self-Hug (31 min)


Recorded live in a Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement (ATM) class, the lesson below is copyright Nick Strauss-Klein, for personal use only. All our audio lessons are ad-free and 100% donor-supported.

Before you begin read this  for practical tips and your responsibilities, and check out Comfort & Configuration below. Click the other lesson note tabs if you’re curious.

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Back-lying, one or both knees bent. Embrace and gently cradle yourself in our simplest version of this beloved ATM lesson. Melt tension and find more ease and comfort for your shoulders, chest, neck, spine, pelvis, and breathing.

Please follow the directions given for the first embrace throughout the lesson: always hug yourself gently, in a way that’s comfortable for your shoulders.

If hugging closely enough to reach your shoulder blades causes any strain, loosen your embrace. It’s ok if one arm needs to hug much more loosely than the other.

Don’t worry if you have moments of left/right confusion, especially when beginning this for lesson the first time. The hugging and cradling movements will soon make sense.

For most of the lesson you’ll have one knee bent, foot standing on the floor. Though your knee may sway a little from side to side as you roll your shoulders and chest, don’t tip it far or push the floor with your foot.

“Scapula” is used interchangeably with “shoulder blade.”

This audio recording is found in Getting Oriented, our introductory collection of Feldenkrais basics for newcomers (and longtimers looking for a “tune-up”).

It also kicks off our Rock & Roll (and Rotate) Deep Dive.

Cross-references to other related lessons in our freely offered and Patrons-only collections are a “thank you” benefit for Members and Patrons. Please login or join the Project to view related lesson titles, links, and discussion.

Nick’s discussion of his lesson sources are a “thank you” benefit for Members and Patrons. Please login or join the Project to view them.


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

Comfort & Configuration

Please follow the directions given for the first embrace throughout the lesson: always hug yourself gently, in a way that’s comfortable for your shoulders.

If hugging closely enough to reach your shoulder blades causes any strain, loosen your embrace. It’s ok if one arm needs to hug much more loosely than the other.

Don’t worry if you have moments of left/right confusion, especially when beginning this for lesson the first time. The hugging and cradling movements will soon make sense.

Clarifications

For most of the lesson you’ll have one knee bent, foot standing on the floor. Though your knee may sway a little from side to side as you roll your shoulders and chest, don’t tip it far or push the floor with your foot.

“Scapula” is used interchangeably with “shoulder blade.”

Context

This audio recording is found in Getting Oriented, our introductory collection of Feldenkrais basics for newcomers (and longtimers looking for a “tune-up”).

It also kicks off our Rock & Roll (and Rotate) Deep Dive.

Related Lessons
Cross-references to other related lessons in our freely offered and Patrons-only collections are a “thank you” benefit for Members and Patrons. Please login or join the Project to view related lesson titles, links, and discussion.

Source

Nick’s discussion of his lesson sources are a “thank you” benefit for Members and Patrons. Please login or join the Project to view them.

Download

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

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Thank you so much for adding this short version … definitely a ‘go to’.

    Reply
  • Pauline donohoe
    December 22, 2022 5:47 pm

    Hi Nick. Thank you once again for this lesson. I really like this shorter version. I’ve noticed with the feldenkrais lessons lots of changes in my posture. My shoulders used to turn in, in a sort of crouched over position. Now they are straight for the first time ever. I’m 70 years now. I had a short walk to our local park after this lesson and found I’m not waddling or having to lean forward. This is a real blessing. Thank you

    Reply
    • Nick Strauss-Klein
      December 23, 2022 8:49 am

      That’s an amazing story! It’s such a pleasure to share this method and hear back from listeners about changes in lifelong habits. Follow those new pleasures closely, and they’ll keep growing!

      My personal “ah-ha!” realization after I got familiar with Feldenkrais 20 years ago was what I call the “positive snowball effect”: when a new way of moving feels pleasurable and free, simply making time and quiet in my life to notice, enjoy, and play with it often leads to unlocking the same ease and skill in more and more activities.

      Reply
  • Pauline Donohoe
    December 23, 2022 3:33 pm

    Hi Nick. Thank you for your encouraging reply. I like the way you describe the unlocking the same ease in other activities. Awareness and discernment is so important of how we move through life. Thank you. I’m looking forward to mdoing my next lesson today. Warm regards Pauline

    Reply

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