What is Awareness Through Movement?

The Feldenkrais Method is taught in two forms. Awareness Through Movement (ATM) is the formal name of verbally-led Feldenkrais lessons that can be taught to groups.

Move better, feel better!  Everything we do in life involves sensation and movement. Deepen the sense of how you move, and discover the profound effect the Feldenkrais Method has on your ability to act with precision, power, and spontaneity. Come to ATM classes to:

  • REDUCE PAIN AND TENSION, and discover how to better prevent or recover from injury.
  • ENJOY your body in motion and improve the quality of your day-to-day life.
  • REFINE your workouts and physical practices like yoga and Pilates.
  • LEARN to organize your whole self – body and mind – more efficiently and pleasurably.
  • UNLOCK a quieter state of mind, a natural neurological response to clarified movement, more skeletally-grounded support, and reduced extraneous effort.

In group Awareness Through Movement lessons, the Feldenkrais teacher verbally leads you through a sequence of movements in basic positions: sitting or lying on the floor, standing or sitting in a chair. These precisely structured movement explorations involve thinking, sensing, moving, feeling, and imagining. By increasing awareness, you will learn to abandon habitual patterns of movement and develop new alternatives, resulting in improved flexibility and coordination.

Many lessons are based on developmental movements and ordinary functional activities (reaching, standing, lying to sitting, looking behind yourself, etc.). Some are based on more abstract explorations of joint, muscle, and postural relationships. There are thousands of ATM lessons, varying in difficulty and complexity, for all levels of movement ability. A lesson generally lasts from 20 to 60 minutes. Some Feldenkrais classes sometimes include more than one lesson.

The movements are very gentle and relaxing, and they never need to be painful. Anyone, at any level, can do them and benefit, from accomplished athletes to people who don’t like to exercise. From the first lesson they do, most people feel better after class: in general they stand taller, feel lighter, more flexible, and more grounded.

ATM classes use exploratory movements and guided attention to evoke new neuro-muscular patterns in the brain, through the process of neuroplasticity (the brain’s remarkable capacity to change itself). Lessons are scientifically designed to reduce pain and tension, and improve flexibility, balance, coordination, strength, and focus in an easy and pleasurable way. They’re for anyone yearning to move and live more gracefully, efficiently, and sustainably.

Here’s a link to a printable ATM class how-to guide.

If you’re new to Feldenkrais, ATM is often a great way to encounter the method and start unlocking your potential for graceful, efficient movement.  If you have health, pain, or movement concerns about whether you would be able to take and benefit from the class or should consider one-to-one Functional Integration lessons instead, please contact Nick. If you have any health concerns about taking a gentle movement class, please consult your doctor.

Return to our homepage or check out our full calendar for upcoming ATM classes.