ATM Series 2: Freeing the Spine, Chest, Shoulders, and Neck

A course of Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement (ATM) audio lessons. Each can be studied on its own, or you can work your way through the whole series to learn in-depth how to better organize your torso to reduce pain and stress, and improve your comfort, flexibility, breathing, posture, balance, and power. Lessons can be repeated as you wish, so follow your curiosity!

Summer 2017 Series 2 update: I’ve just added lesson 4, Spine Like a Chain, Freeing the Shoulder Girdle, and shuffled other order and content a little.

Before you begin click here to read Studying ATM at Home, which explains your responsibilities as an ATM student and provides practical tips to help you learn and improve.

Scroll down and click on a lesson title to go to its audio player and lesson notes. Descriptions of each lesson give you a sense of its aim, though everyone’s learning process is unique and you may find other benefits.

1. The Ultimate* Self-Hug »

Back-lying, learning to use the feet--and later, the arms in a self-hug position--to roll the body and reach to the sides. Setting up later lessons in Series 2 (Freeing the Spine, Chest, Shoulders, and Neck) through developing suppleness of the torso and integration of the feet and eyes as they relate to smooth weight-shifting. "Walking" the hips and shoulders along the floor. Recorded in a series of classes about posture, balance, and grace.

2. The Periscope »

Side-lying, using a reference movement of the arm standing like a periscope. This lesson softens, mobilizes, and integrates the use of the chest and shoulders.

3. Softening the Ribs »

Lying on the back and sides, with some rolling transfers between, hands often on the lower ribs, learning to sense and soften the ribs, spine, and shoulder blades and integrate their movement with the pelvis and legs.

4. Spine Like a Chain, Freeing the Shoulder Girdle »

Back-lying, knees bent, learning to gradually lift and lower the pelvis and spine. This variant of a classic Feldenkrais lesson cultivates awareness especially around the middle and upper spine and ribs, the shoulder blades, sternum, and C7 (seventh cervical vertebra) region.

5. Coordination of the Flexor Muscles and of the Extensors »

Lying on the back, various configurations of tilting/turning crossed legs and arms/shoulders in order to twist and untwist the torso, learning more awareness, control, and coordination of the major flexors and extensors. (This lesson appears in Series 2 and Series 3. It's the only duplicated lesson. It's from Moshe's ATM book, but also very valuable in Series 2.)

6. Chanukia, the Candle Holder Lesson »

Mostly in back-lying, knees bent. Using a precise configuration of the shoulders and elbows to mobilize and build awareness of movements and relationships of the shoulders, shoulder blades, clavicles, sternum, spine, head, pelvis, and the whole rib structure.

7. Standing and Supine Sidebending »

Framed with explorations of shifting weight in standing, this back-lying lesson explores important and often underrepresented functions (in our self-image of movement) of lateral flexion, and how these functions connect to improved use of the hips, spine, chest, neck, head, and functions of the legs and feet.

8. Spine Like a Chain, with a Bias »

Lying on the back, knees bent. This lesson explores the basic human function of the legs pushing the pelvis forward into the world. It creates opportunities to better sense and articulate the spine and ribs, and organize the flexors and extensors, all within the frame of discovering and using the primary spinal bias.

10. Legs Crossed, Freeing the Spine and Chest Part 2 »

Prerequisite lesson: Legs Crossed, Freeing the Spine and Chest Part 1. Backlying, using the tilted crossed legs as a constraint to help learn more suppleness and better upright organization of the spine, chest, shoulders, and neck, with awareness of and sensitivity to one's own biases.

After you complete the series, returning to favorite lessons or progressing through from the beginning again will yield new insights.

The study guides page is a great place to follow up your exploration of this series. Among other resources there you’ll find:

Integrating Feldenkrais learning into everyday life: How to carry the method’s self-study and self-improvement principles over into everyday life.

Ideas for ATM Self-Study: A simple list of do’s and don’ts for homework time, whether you’re doing remembered lessons, working from notes, improvising, or using an audio or book lesson source (suggestions at the Recommended Products page)

Ingredients of Organic Learning: Not just for Feldenkrais study, not just for somatic explorations! A quick list intended to help you create a safe, fun, and efficient human learning environment for yourself or others. Good reminders for teachers and parents.

My blog post with an excerpt and introduction to Norman Doidge’s The Brain’s Way of Healing includes a “study guide” list of eleven core principles of the Feldenkrais Method. Get the wonderful book for more details!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *