How to do Awareness Through Movement® Lessons

Go Slowly. The movements you are learning may seem unusual and unfamiliar to you. You will need time to assimilate them, to feel the way your body is moving and changing. Do not rush! Pause whenever you feel like it and repeat movements you want to experience more fully.

Insist on Comfort. There is no reward in doing any of the movements in an uncomfortable position. Alter the position in whatever way makes it comfortable for you. Enjoy the process of the movement as much as the result. If it hurts, it’s not helping you.  Never try to overcome pain – it is a signal that your body is asking you to find a new way to move.

Don’t test your limits. Your goal here is to discover how your body achieves a movement so that you can learn to make that movement easier. Your movements should be light and as effortless as possible. Imagine how good it will feel to do simple mobile tasks without trying hard, without working.

Use your imagination. Take the time to do movements from these lessons in your imagination only, before doing them in practice. Allow the movement to become very clear and lucid in your mind, like a scene from a movie. Imagine a movement before attempting it can make an enormous difference in your ease of motion.

Rest frequently. The movements in these lessons, while gentle and pleasurable, may cause slight strain because you are using parts of yourself you may not have used in a long time, or in ways that are not familiar to you. Rest often during each lesson. Relax and let the movement settle in, enjoy the feeling.

Take the lessons with you. Throughout your day, pay attention to how a lesson affected you. Be aware of changes in the way you reach, walk, sit, feel and think. Putting your sensations into words builds a new sensory vocabulary and expands your body awareness, increasing aliveness and changing fixed habits of thinking and feeling. A lesson doesn’t have to end with its last movement – let the learning process linger and grow.

Click for more lessons and upcoming Awareness Through Movement  and Feldenkrais courses with  Jeff Bickford