A continuation of the previous flexor lesson (Lower back ease), this one repeats many of the movements, and then adds rolling from lying to sitting and back again.

Lesson Outline

Lying on your back with knees bent, knee and elbow toward each other in various configurations:

  • Chin, forehead, ear
  • Turn head, hand behind opposite ear
  • Interlace fingers behind head (habitual and nonhabitual)
  • Breathing – explore both ways

Variations on transition from lying to sitting and back:

  • One hand squeezed in behind knee, other hand behind head, towards, then other way round
  • Cross both hands under knees, swing legs into air and sit up
  • Check again Head to Knees with interlaced hands behind head
  • Roll up without pulling with the hands on the knees, just keep them there softly
  • Put the hands anywhere, important is only the head stays close to the knees
  • Explore extending legs, the knees
  • Legs shoulder width (why? because of the scoliosis, and the rolling on the spine)
  • Sit soles of feet together, knees far apart, hands somewhere, roll down and up
  • Right hand to hold both feet, left hand on floor to help, then the other way round
  • Both hand hold both feet, than back and forth
  • On back, turn head to the right, left hand on right ear, with right lower arm grab both knees from behind, left ear towards knees, then rock forward/backwards, then rock left right, then other side
  • On back, grab both knees with both hands, sit up

Flexing, rocking body

Focus of Moshe’s Teaching

Observing yourself is the most important aspect of an ATM. How awareness shapes our self image: making symmetrical moves but bringing attention to one side, changes that side. Movement without awareness is of no value. Observing cross-motivational patterns such as breathing in while folding. He also talks about scoliosis and how specific movements and timing in transitioning sitting to lying can help correct this.

Related ATMs



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

  • Add your thoughts about the lesson here.
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  • Differing viewpoints are welcome and desired!

Key Ideas, Principles, and Strategies

  • Principles: Efficient, i.e. no parasitic movement; Seeing the impact of efforting; Counter-balance
  • Strategies: Balancing flexors and extensors, Increasing complexity purposely so that the original movement seems “simple” and easy afterwards.
  • In the lower functions being different to others means something is weak, or broken, or not good. In the higher functions you can be different from other people, in your thinking, writing, reading, music, painting.

Typical results

  • Flatter back, more contact thighs with ground. Back of legs and low back feels longer and looser while walking.


  • If the transition to sitting feels impossible, keep going back to the easy movements of flexing. As soon as efforting kicks in, this gets harder, so it’s a great lesson for exploring the internal world of how a person approaches a challenge. If you have a small class and can gently support the person as they do the transition, it is easier for them to approximate and then find the movements themselves.
  • Remember that the focus is on awareness, not the end movement

Personal Comments

  • I find this ATM challenging both to do and teach because of the temptation to effort, and fear due to my own previous back injury and to my first experience teaching it with students who could not do the transition and got frustrated and sore trying. Now that I have a little more experience teaching, it might be time to try this one again …. IPasternack IPasternack Sep 15, 2010
  • Why shoulder width? 29:45 on the mp3. This is one of the many benefits over other methods – Moshe Feldenkrais can explain every little move and configuration. There is no need for religious belief, because we have knowledge instead. [travelsheep]

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