Spatial Relationships as a Means to Coordinated Action (Patrons)

Floor-seated, with back-lying rests. Guided asymmetrical attention and imagination tasks are applied to symmetrical movements, powerfully demonstrating your nervous system's ability to change and improve your body, movement, and awareness based simply on what you pay attention to. See the Curiosities tab for a post-lesson discussion.

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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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 – 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!

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Tip – Technical Difficulties

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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.

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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 – 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 – 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 – 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 1 – Interrupted?

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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.

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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 movements of this lesson are intended to be done in a particular position: floor-seated, knees apart (legs crossed or otherwise), leaning back on your hands. The lesson’s rests are best experienced lying down on your back.

Alterations: If floor-sitting or leaning on your hands is difficult you could do this lesson seated toward the front of a simple, level, non-rolling chair. During the movement explorations it is important that your postural muscles are engaged, so if you’re in a chair please sit upright. Don’t lean back in the chair unless you’re resting. Better yet for the rests: you could lie down on a bed if the transition from chair to floor is difficult.

The nose circles are clockwise until you hear a change. Each change of direction is made explicit, so if you’re not sure which way to go just use the most recent direction you remember.

This is a perfect lesson for reversing all the lefts and rights on a subsequent listening, on another day.

There’s a wonderful post-lesson discussion available to Patrons that unpacks the purpose and effects of this lesson, recorded immediately after this audio was recorded. Patrons can dive right in at the point of discussion, or access the full event recording (audio and video options) and participant comments here.

This lesson is one of 12 in Moshe Feldenkrais’s 1972 book Awareness Through Movement. The Feldenkrais Project has a collection of lessons from this source.

It was recorded during our quarterly Patrons video call on January 27, 2022. We recommend studying from this audio version which has been edited for better sound quality, flow, and clarity. Patrons can also view the unedited Zoom recording that includes some discussion with students before and after the lesson. Find it here.

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While taught in my own words, this lesson comes directly from Moshe Feldenkrais’s 1972 book Awareness Through Movement. Members and Patrons can access more information on other sources I used, and changes I made.

Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

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

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  1. Nick Strauss-Klein on March 11, 2022 at 9:55 am

    Don’t miss the after-lesson discussion with Patrons who were present! It’s linked in the Curiosities tab.

    There are also some interesting written comments from Patrons who were on the Zoom. See them here.

    But please make your own comments below, right here on this permanent audio lesson page.

  2. Lorraine on March 13, 2022 at 12:34 am

    Wow! And I thought learning to play drums was a challenge to my attention!

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on March 14, 2022 at 3:47 pm

      I experience attention overload many times when I do this lesson. I have to rest from even imagining the movements sometimes! It’s remarkable how difficult some attentional tasks are. It also helps explain why they are so impactful for our nervous system and learning.

  3. Lorraine on March 16, 2022 at 3:25 pm

    Difficult but so worth it

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