• Amherst Year 2, July 2, 1981
  • Duration of the recording: 26 min. [Pause in tape; some dialogue seems to be missing.]


Rolling from face up, arms and legs extended, to curled up on side, elbows and knees towards one another.

Lesson Outline

  • Side-lying on R side, knees and elbows bent and together. Lengthen top arm up; lengthen leg down, then lift head slightly as you lengthen leg down. Then both at same time. Stop when there begins to be some resistance; in that place, roll the body, and observe what the arm and leg do in response (lengthen passively). Gradually awareness of the use of the core is clarified, and gradually we come to roll onto the back.
  • To return to the side from the back–slow preparation. Lie on back and shorten the R side, knee and elbow resting bent out to the side. Lengthen the L arm and leg, more and more, until this lengthening and sweeping bring you effortlessly onto your side again. Vary the emphasis in starting the movement: sometimes the arm, sometimes the leg; shoulder, hip.

Focus of Moshe’s teaching

  • “This will show you something about standing that you won’t learn any other way.”
  • Equal distribution of effort.

Related ATMs


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

  • The idea of equal/proportionate distribution of effort is central to this lesson.
  • Strategies include creating options by varying the initiation of movement; breaking it down in parts–not so much in this case to differentiate, but to find the coordinating center of the movement; varying passive and active roles.
  • The relationship between standing posture and turning on an axis.

  • When I think of this idea of “something about standing you can’t learn any other way,” I wonder if this is referring to the relationships between/among equal distribution of effort through and around the core, and turning precisely and effortlessly on an axis–and how that frees the limbs (reduces effort at the hips and shoulders, which allows them to come more to the midline in the rolling, and also allows them to lie flatter, the theme involved in introducing FI as that is happening the same day). – LynetteReid Dec 31, 2010
  • Using the floor as feedback/floor softening. I don’t recall if he actually talks about this (I have notes but not the recording) but this kind of lesson is a superb case of biofeedback from the floor–every spot that feels hard and heavy is information about how you are organizing yourself. – LynetteReid Dec 31, 2010
  • In doing this/watching it, it’s easy to accomplish the first half (rolling side to back) through a great deal of extension. But this is actually quite effortful, as becomes clear when you come back the other way. (Meanwhile, though, you can certainly find and refine some nice relationships of lengthening and extending as you come from side to back–find and start to use a few hidden places.) Coming in the other direction–from back to side–is really something you need to make a new discovery to do effortlessly, and just pushing into extension isn’t really going to do it. Lengthening the side to allow the arm and leg to sweep around as the turn to the side begins, and in a way that brings you more into using flexion from the core is more the idea, I think. So in this way it is very balance of flexors/extensors–using the flexors eccentrically and concentrically while rolling to back and to side respectively, and giving the extensors a break from their overwork in standing posture. – LynetteReid Dec 31, 2010

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