Lying on your side, making circles with the arm that is on the floor - the ribs and hips flex to allow the elbow/arm to slide under. Significant emphasis on knees being in line with the spine, lower legs bent.

Lesson Outline

  • On R side, hips open (in line with spine) and knees bent backwards. Stand L arm and extend R arm (in front): Move R arm up & down.
    • Same with palm down. Try both.
    • In middle, push forward & return; palm up & down.
    • Then try again moving it up & down.
    • Same side/position: bend R elbow and bring arm as though to pass under chest. Not too fast. Lay L arm alongside, on hip, and try like this. Then with L hand standing again.
  • Other side.
  • First R side: take R arm up (palm up) towards head; leave R arm at high place, and imagine standing on L knee.
    • Lower and raise arm, imagining standing on L knee. Really like you're standing on L knee [i.e. open L hip joint]. (Come up to kneeling to see what it means to stand on L knee.) Entire back does something so as to push down with L knee.
    • Then palm down, and imagine standing on R knee.
  • Other side. Also imagine standing on both knees. Higher, further back, lift head to follow palm—the arm passes, and you really (imagine that you) stand on R knee.
  • First side/same position: bend and extend feet. Then place feet as though kneeling and toes planted under (get up to try it). Continue the arm up and back, standing (in imagination) on L knee and toes, follow with eyes and lift head. Then R toes/foot, in imagination—until you can pass arm and turn head to have L ear on floor, and R arm comes to touch behind.
  • Other side.
  • Right side: pass R elbow under body again. Then continue to full movement around.
  • Other side.
  • Then, on the back
    • arms crossed over the chest, hands as far as possible;
    • (bring them up the midline) hands above head (daVinci Man), feel fingernails on the floor (fingers as far apart as possible) eyes closed look to one hand, see all fingernails; eyes to other hand, see fingernails; go back & forth.
    • One arm down, arms still long, fingernails on floor; eyes closed, going from one hand to the other
  • Then R side, try the arm circle under.


  • the student can achieve drawing the elbow under by two different strategies. The instructor has the choice of which strategy to emphasize (or de-emphasize).
    • rolling forward (upper hip and chest coming closer to the floor)
    • Flexing the ribs/hip allowing space for the elbow

Experiences by Students

  • Loving how so much of the body is involved, and how one feels after


  • Persons with scoliosis may have challenges
  • Generally, the most effective position of the shoulder on the floor is when the weight is on the shoulder joint. Effective, in the sense that, through grounding the shoulder, fixed on the ground, the student has the choice and freedom in moving the head, chest and spine (and also the pelvis)
    • nevertheless, if the student feels unsafe resting directly on the shoulder, it is important to stay within the range of comfort.


  • How is it important to have the knees in line with the spine?
    • For many of us, it is an unusual position, hence we are more unstable, causing more activity in finding support -- at a very different direction and at the same time as moving in also a novel way. It is as if we are moving the very location of support.

How it can be used

  • One practitioner uses a variation for showing children possibilities for throwing balls
  • For general public, perhaps preparation with arm helping head lift, moving chest so that the lower part can lift
  • An interesting variation in teaching: when inviting students to turn the arm, when they are stuck, to explore extending the arm. By adding the image of the clock face, this sometimes assists, thinking of the time... and also a line from the shoulder to the hand, and extending that line, and drawing it back. In action, or even in imagination.

Focus of Moshe's Teaching

  • (Indicate focus or key principles that are made explicit in the teaching)

Related ATMs

  • Variation in Amherst did not have knees in line with spine, and arms moved easier.
  • See also Olena's 2-part variation in OpenATM (click here)


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

  • Add your thoughts about the lesson here.
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  • Differing viewpoints are welcome and desired!

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