• Focus on flexors.

Lesson Outline

This lesson is done lying on your back. Key movements:

  • Lift head, explore lifting/rounding small of back.
  • Interlace hands to lift head, explore bending knees at same time
  • Knee to elbow: same side, opposite elbow
  • Interlace fingers below knee, knee to chin, mouth, forehead
  • Hold knee with same hand, knee to opposite ear
  • Stand, compare turning

Focus of Moshe’s Teaching

  • If you know what you’re doing, you can do what you want. Sensing the differences in your back for each variation. Do a movement first with tricks, and then you can do it without the tricks.

Related ATMs


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Share Your Insights (ideas, principles, strategies, experiences, …)

The first six minutes of the recording are a masterful introduction to the Method of Dr. Feldenkrais.

  • He introduces first Functional Integration, then Awareness Through Movement, and then gives them a bit of introduction about how it is different from other experiences, that they may find it difficult, what the focus is and why. He relieves their anxiety about the difficulty by letting them know that by half-way through the first lesson they will have figured it out, and they will have time to judge for themselves how they are changing. 
  • He also lets them know that he will give them some theory, but first he will invite them to act so that they can evaluate the theory for themselves. And yet, even with the first step in lying down he gives them theory first, of the flexors, and extensors, and their use. So even as they are doing the first step of the lesson (and is this really the first step) they can use this rich theory to reflect on how they are moving!

It is really worth studying these first 6 or 7 minutes and then reflecting on one’s own way of introducing a series. I note that this is so rich that it is an excellent introduction for anybody, whether new to the Method or if they had done it for years.
I also find the tone of his voice and pacing very interesting… there is a sense of welcoming in his tone, inviting them to be curious, yet also an invitation to use their critical faculties.

–Rob Black, 2022-June-28.

Please sign your comments

  • Differing viewpoints are welcome and desired!

Key Ideas, Principles, and Strategies

  • Many people start this one only trying to lift head and shoulders to bring elbows to knees. Pushing down in the middle, and thinking of lengthening lower back and tipping pelvis are often major discoveries.
  • Principles:
    • Auxilliary movements
    • Focus on flexors to relax extensors
    • Counter-balance: what pushes down for something to lift up
    • Where is motion initiated
    • Movement from both directions: both elbows and knees move
  • Strategies: Auxiliary movements, balancing flexors and extensors.

Typical results

  • Lie flatter on back, reduced lumbar curve, weight more distributed.

Advice for Teaching or Turning into an FI

  • I’d include this in workshops for healthy backs.
  • Watch out for the overachievers who are more interested in touching knee to elbow – it’s easy for people to hurt themselves with this one if you don’t nip this in the bud at the beginning.
  • In FI, think of aiming for knee with different parts of face as you lift the head.

Personal Comments

After doing a lot of standing, a few minutes of the motions from this ATM helps me relax my back.IPasternack IPasternack Sep 15, 2010

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