ATM Series 4: Your Resourceful Torso and Lovely Limbs

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 improve the organization of your hips and shoulders, and improve your functional awareness of the relationships they have with each other and everything between them. Through this process, you’ll learn to more comfortably, efficiently, precisely, powerfully, and gracefully project your limbs and your intention into the world. Lessons can be repeated as you wish, and skipped as needed, so follow your comfort and curiosity!

Sept. 2018: Added The Hip Joints: Proximal Around Distal.

July 2017: Series 4 launched! I’m still tinkering with content and order, and planning probably two additional lessons which still need to be recorded. But I am thrilled with what’s already here, particularly the sequence of lessons 1-3.

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. Integrating the Shoulders and Hips Part 1 »

(Formerly called "Clarifying the Shoulders and Hips") Side-lying, improving functional relationships of the shoulders and hips through small and large movements. Constructing and improving your image of the "quadrilateral" of the torso while integrating the ribs, spine, neck, and head. Later, harnessing the suppleness of the quadrilateral to support reaching and circling the arm.

2. Integrating the Shoulders and Hips Part 2 »

(Prerequisite lesson: Integrating the Shoulders and Hips Part 1) Side-lying, further expanding the image of the shoulders and hips toward improving major postural and gait-related organizations of the torso. This lesson uses bending and thrusting the legs from the hips along with lengthening, arcing, and circling the arms.

3. Rolling to Sitting, and Beyond »

How do we get off the floor? This lesson explores the path from lying on your back to sitting up, and getting back down again, organizing the torso and limbs towards a smoother, simpler, more pleasurable transition. These movements are also powerful organizers for improving upright posture.

4. The Hip Joints: Moving Proximal Around Distal »

Back-lying, knees bent, feet standing, often one leg resting out to the side on a pillow. Learning to move the whole self (proximal) in relationship to a quietly resting limb (distal). This reversal of the typical image we have of moving a limb creates a novel learning environment within the self, with benefits for the legs, hips, back, and our overall organization. Sitting on the floor at the beginning and end of the lesson is used to help identify some of the changes that take place.

5. Lifting the Pelvis, Toward Bridging »

Backlying, knees bent, feet standing, variations on lifting and lowering the pelvis, and eventually bridging the arms, to improve upright organization and balance.

6. Agile Hips, Knees, and Feet »

Back-lying, knees bent, feet standing, exploring connections between the joints of the legs, and clarifying their relationship with the abdominal muscles, pelvis, back, breath, and head. Improving leg function by developing some movements into rapid action.

7. More Precise Hips and Spine »

Back-lying, knees bent, with a floor-seated frame at the beginning and end. Preparing for and clarifying an important primary relationship in the body: arching the spine while flexing the hips.

8. Gathering the Spine, Stepping Down »

Backlying, sidelying, and transitioning into sidelying, refining and harnessing your image of your spine's bias and action as it relates to (and powers) the stepping down of your feet. All toward reorganizing your gait.

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!

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