Lying on your back, reaching your L hand to the ceiling to roll to the R side. (Starts in lying on R side.)

Lesson Outline

  • Lie on R side, L hand to ceiling. Turn arm around itself. (Clarifying neutral.)
    • Check hand: straighten as for karate chop, let flop and hang. Where in between would make sense? “Clap” hands together (sit up to check this out): L hand faces R.
  • Lie on R side, and lift L hand again. Where should it face? Bend knees up a bit closer; reach hand/arm towards ceiling, elbow unbending, return. Shoulder blade sliding. (Uses someone to demo.)
    • Repeat, but without moving head. Then without moving rest of body. (Just sliding shoulder blade, not rolling.)
  • Rest.
  • On R side, L arm to ceiling; take arm towards ceiling and lower so shoulder could touch the floor (eyes follow, only do it if you can without L knee lifting). With head rolling, with head still, letting head move but not moving the chest (only shoulderblade sliding)

End of morning lesson.
Beginning of afternoon lesson.

  • Lie on back. Reach L arm towards ceiling. Turn arm again around axis to find neutral again. (Discussion of neutral and more detailed exploration/demonstration of rotation of bones of forearm, and flexion/extension of wrist and fingers.)
  • Lift and shorten L arm. Point where shoulderblade “pings” on the floor. Tap quickly. Scan: L arm longer?
  • Turn head L and lift; turn head R and lift. DON’T push with foot!
  • Lie on R side. Lengthen and shorten L arm to tap shoulderblade on floor.
  • Lie on back, and lengthen L arm doing everything necessary to let it lengthen more (but don’t move feet).
  • Continue so that “your whole body cooperates in a most magnificent way”: you roll onto your R side without lifting head or pushing, thinking of skeleton, as if someone were pulling you from your arm.
  • Work on reversibility.
  • Pay attention to how legs move, coming and going. They move independently.
  • Less “well,” less attention, faster.
  • Rest and scan: how shoulder blade rests on floor, etc.
  • Lengthen L hand to ceiling; tap L shoulder blade, faster.
  • Scan: face.

Third lesson: Does R side in imagination.

  • Lift R arm to ceiling and imagine. Detail, organize self—breathe, head, chest, spine, where first…then when the pelvis; the thigh abductors must organize for the action of the pelvis/legs differentiating to lengthen the arm.
  • When/how do you turn your head?
  • Try a few times to compare: correct your imagination.
  • Rest. (Check abdomen, breathing.)
  • R arm to ceiling, tapping R shoulder blade–in imagination. Speed variations. Think of twice as fast. (Can the brain think independently of what the body can do?) Slower. Faster, using breath to time. Then think of turning to the left to lengthen the arm even farther.
  • Actually do it. Then bang shoulder. Fast.
  • Rest.
  • Both arms to ceiling: lengthen one arm. Which now feels longer? The other, alternate, compare. Rest. Then both. How do you do this? If you do it by lifting your head, your arms go down, not continuing in the same direction. So that isn’t it. The pelvis must tilt and the legs do something. Don’t press floor with head—get longer instead. Or, rather, press floor with head to see. Then without pressing the head: the stomach must engage, and therefore the pelvis tilt, and therefore the legs shift.
  • (All this in a long discussion with student about feeling or not feeling how the legs mobilize to lift the shoulders.)
  • Lift both arms, lengthen both; head hangs back. Touch floor with shoulder blades and raise head. Alternate. Gradually, the pull on the pelvis remains, but the legs can be quiet.
  • Continue, one arm and then the other longer.

Focus of Moshe’s Teaching

  • Orientation: First ATM of SF, so when you lie on the floor, how organize yourselves? Towards room, towards Moshe, in rows, not?
  • “Neutral” of arm, hand; variety among people–they already start to converge with very little exploration. Genetic inheritance; self-image, limits of learning by imitation.
  • Proper movement is movement of the skeleton–we learned to move by learning to make a living thing of the skeleton.
  • As with all Moshe’s training materials, the whole idea of “steps of the lesson” is challenged by the way that he interweaves instruction with the theory of the Method, while teaching by response to what he sees in the room.

Related ATMs

Reaching like a skeleton:


  • Recording by Lynette Reid at
  • Recording by Dennis Leri on RM1Segment 1, Year 1, ATM Lesson #04, page 5, 2006–notes as follows:
    • On back, palms together straight out in front. L arm straight forward, hand towards ceiling, turn arm around axis, leave in middle of range and reach hand/arm towards ceiling, elbow unbending, return. Pause, repeat, attn to shoulder blade sliding. Pause, repeat thinking of fingertips reaching forward towards ceiling, then add whole arm, note breath, head. Take arm towards ceiling and release so shoulder taps the floor, quicker, quicker, note breath. Reach arm towards ceiling again, continue so that it would roll you onto your R side without lifting head or pushing, thinking of skeleton, as if someone was pulling on your arm. Reach arm forward, allow head to roll to R, when shoulder returns to floor head returns to middle. Reach arm again, this time rolling head to L, returning to middle when shoulder returns. Then alternate, head once to R, once to L, note chest, breath. Reach, roll head, allow more of you to roll so the L hip comes away from floor. Try R hip lifting a few times then return to L. Lie on R side, knees bent, L on R, L arm out to side, hand to ceiling, start taking L shoulder/hip towards floor then return, as shoulder goes towards floor w/pelvis, legs start lengthening. Roll from side, to back, return to side, legs straight when on back, bent when on side, arm remains high towards ceiling. On back, palms together, compare. Think through other side a little then do a little, gradually transfer to other side. Attn to timing. Monitor breath, take hands towards ceiling, parallel, up/down with both arms. Note how many times arm move in relation to breathing. Pause then do twice as many movements of the arms relative to the breathing. Pause then do 3x as many moves of arms relative to breath. Stand/walk moment. “Don’t try to organize the lesson, let the lesson organize you”. On back, arms to ceiling, raise/lower R arm only, slow/quick, note connection into shoulder, collarbone, spine, breath. Repeat w/L arm, compare. Return to both, slow, quicker. Return to slow lengthening both arms to ceiling, when shoulders return to floor, lift head, alternate head/arms lifting. Both arms forward, alternate arms lengthening. Both arms forward, lengthen one to roll to side, return then the other arm rolls you to the other side, continue to alternate. Eyes closed, come to stand, w/o clothes or hair adjustments. Source:

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

  • In some trainings this ATM is called “Reaching like a skeleton”.
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