Whole Body Arms (Patrons)

Side-lying. Learn to reach, roll, twist, and circle your arms with better whole body support from your shoulders, chest, and all the rest. Framed by standing explorations designed to demonstrate how the freedom of the neck, shoulders, chest, and pelvis benefits balance.

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 – 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!

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 – What’s New

Community tip: See what Nick and other Felden-fans are interested in right now. Check out What’s New at the bottom of our homepage for recent blog posts and listener comments.

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.

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.

Tip – Join!

Join the Project! Members and Patrons see streamlined lesson pages, and can access My Journey (the and above), and the Related Lessons tab below.

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 – 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 2 – Social Sharing

Project tip: Try the social buttons below. Please help us to achieve our vision: spreading the life-changing benefits of Feldenkrais study as widely as possible!

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 1 – Interrupted?

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.

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 – 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 – Lesson names

What’s in a lesson title? Lessons are about an hour unless a shorter duration is shown in the title. Thanks to our donors they’re freely offered unless marked “Patrons” – those are how we thank our Patron-level donors.

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 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 – Comments

Project tip: Leave a lesson comment below! It’s a great way to give feedback or ask a question, and it helps google find us so we can achieve The Feldenkrais Project’s vision!

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

If you are a Patron, please log in:

Safety first! If you have any balance concerns please stand near the back of a heavy chair or near a wall – something you could touch for stability – during the brief standing parts of the lesson.

If it’s hard for you to lie on your side or make these movements please – as always – minimize, modify, or skip any steps or configurations that create or increase discomfort. Using a softer surface or experimenting with how you support your head throughout the lesson can help.

Another option is to start the lesson on the other side, reversing my rights and lefts. This is useful if lying on your right side is significantly easier than your left.

This lesson is found in Patrons Monthly, our collection of lessons exclusively for Feldenkrais Project Patron-level donors.

It also appears in two Deep Dives: Jaw, Neck, and Shoulders and Better Balance.

It’s an expansion of a 30-minute lesson from my Balance Myths, Facts, and Practice workshop (lesson #3 of the workshop).

It was recorded on June 21, 2022.

Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

Members and Patrons. Learn more or login:

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

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  1. Sara Firman on October 5, 2022 at 7:11 am

    Fabulous! This will be a great lesson to use before an improvisational dance session – so much fluidity and shifting weight without losing balance.

  2. Nai Annie Walter on December 10, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    Lovely lesson and title. It freed the entire body with an acute sense of weight distribution and full body participation in movement. The resulting balance on standing on one leg assisted by the lifted arm was so very enjoyable.
    Thank you for this lesson.

    • Nick Strauss-Klein on December 11, 2022 at 8:34 am

      You’re welcome! This one’s such a special pleasure to share. I love how it combines so many Felden-fan favorite genres, and how it makes a difference to balance, arms, and so much more.

      • Lisa Bingham on December 18, 2022 at 7:59 pm

        I am new to Feldenkrais (from the summit). This has helped give me hope for the range of motion in my right arm (upper area is painful) , definite difference by the end of the class , thank you so much. I’m still finding it almost impossible to keep up with all the instructions though ! (I miss out some)

        • Nick Strauss-Klein on December 19, 2022 at 7:51 am

          Don’t worry, this is normal for everyone. Even long-timers sometimes miss or misunderstand some directions. Because of the wide variety of variations you’ll still get a lot out of it, as you’re discovering. If you’re curious you can rewind a little or pause as needed, but that’s not necessary either.

          Also, this is a pretty swift-moving lesson. Have you worked through Getting Oriented, Easier Sitting, and Lessons for Standing, Walking and Running? The lessons in those collections are among our most accessible. Highly recommended for newcomers.

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