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.
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.
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.
This lesson is an alternate teaching of an older Feldenkrais Project lesson called Bending Sideways, from our Freeing the Spine, Chest, Shoulders, and Neck collection. I’m considering replacing the older one with this one, if listeners like it. I’d love your feedback about which version of this lesson you prefer!
Nick: In response to your comment above, I haven’t made my way to the Bending Sideways lesson but I really like this one. I clearly sensed the connection between my hip bones and cervical spine (which is arthritic) and found it easier to turn my neck more fully left and right after the lesson by using more of my spine and skeleton. This has great implications for merging left while driving a car. In fact, I’m practicing in my chair right now: “Shorten my left hip, push on my right heel, twist from my right hip, slide the rib basket and shoulder blades.” Thank you!
I don’t exactly remember all the parts of the other version, but i really liked the standing intro and ending of the lesson.
Great. The other one has a different version of the standing frame for the lying down lesson. If you try it sometime, let me know how you like it!
Hi Nick, I am delighted with this lesson and am enjoying bending sideways too. So both are good for me! I had been having trouble with side bending in the side lying position, my side ribs don’t like being called into action to support but they’re getting the idea now. I wonder if you have a lesson leading into side to side rolling which builds on these lessons? Thanks very much for your excellent project.
Glad to hear you’re enjoying the Feldenkrais Project! Members and Patrons can see Related Lessons, in the blue tabs above, which has lessons directly related to your question. Please consider joining the Project!
There’s also some nice inclusion of side-lying, limbs-calling-on-ribs, in Connecting Shoulders and Hips, Parts 1 & 2, in our Learning the Limbs, from the Center collection.
Thanks to your comment I’ve added these lessons to our to our Related Lessons tab. Your question has improved this study resource!
Nick, I haven’t done the Bending Sideways lesson, but will do that to compare and leave feedback. Some comments on this lesson: 1) I loved visualizing the bend initiated by one side of the spine, and moving from there. I’ve never thought of/experienced bending that way, and I think it added fluidity to my movement. 2) I had a lot of difficulty understanding the instructions while standing, both before and after the lesson. Still, it was a wonderful lesson, I did it to ease my back after a spell of gardening, and it sure brought relief and ease. Thank you, Nick.
I did both lessons in two days. I did bending sideways first and then this lesson.
I had done lessons similar to the Bending Sideways before but still found it challenging. I made many changes during this lesson and found it really made me aware of what I was doing in walking.
Later the same day I did about half of this , Spine Bending lesson. I finished it the next morning. When I began the second half of the lesson I began in standing and tested shifting my weight from one foot to the other. The movement had become really clear and without effort, either physically or in my thinking.
I really got great benefits from both and would like access to both. They complemented each other very well.
Thanks for this feedback! I’ve received a few similar emails but I’m glad for your public comment so others can see. I’ll be keeping both lessons, and recommending them together!
This is a great way to present two wonderful lessons.
That was great Nick! my “central body” feels so much freer to move and breath! thank you!
I have been doing Feldenkrais lessons for about a year, with very good results.
Is it advisable to do strength exercises, such as lifting weights, or is it preferable to abstain from such activities when following a Feldenkrais program.
Just be sure to put a few hours between your ATM studies and weight lifting, both before and after the ATM. This allows you to be sensitive enough to maximize benefits of ATM study (heavier efforts make us less sensitive). Strength training, while paying attention with a focus on the “how” of the movement (just like in ATM lessons) is great if it works for you, especially free weights or moving your own bodyweight: pushups, pull-ups, TRX kinds of things. I’m not a fan of machines for strength training. They decide your mechanics for you, and there’s not enough variability in the repetitions.