It's a Matter of
Life and Breath

The way you breathe — the rhythm of your respiration, its anatomical and emotional dimensions, the biomechanical means and neurophysical mechanisms, the resulting nuance, effectiveness, and potency, all of this together — has been influenced and impacted by illness, injury, intense incidents, and instruction. Your reactions to training and trauma become part of how you move and hold yourself. 

Reactions turn into physical habits, which become automatic, persistent, and, though others often recognize you by the way you move and hold yourself, invisible to you — because they happen below the threshold of everyday awareness. Whether you notice these relentlessly recurring patterns or not, the effects are real, they’re detrimental, and they keep building up over time. The resulting limitations reduce your respiratory repertoire and resilience, inhibit motion and emotion, and restrict physical and mental flexibility. 

By imposing deliberate changes, relying on willpower, requiring strict adherence and constant vigilance, many breathing techniques end up narrowing your focus and diminishing your movement vocabulary. 

The more compulsively you breathe, the more difficult it becomes to modify or adjust the way you’re breathing. Gradually, you’ll lose your inborn capacity to respond, adapt, recuperate, and recover. Like walking with your shoes tied to each other, learning to breathe in a regimented manner regardless of whatever you’re doing at the moment can make you constrained, clumsy, and ill at ease in your own skin.

There are other ways to reclaim that sense of being at home within yourself and the ability to breathe easily. Starting with the understanding that you and I are made to move easily and breathe well, the Feldenkrais® approach is based on the insight that improvement happens when we eliminate that which interferes with our built-in ability.

The Awareness Through Movement® lessons in It’s a Matter of Life and Breath introduce you to just such an approach to self-knowledge and self-improvement. Each one begins by asking you to notice how you are breathing before guiding you to explore different, often unusual ways to breathe. For instance, in one ATM®, you pull your belly in while exhaling while in another you pooch it out. You explore various modes of breathing to develop greater flexibility in adapting how you breathe to what you’re doing and to discover how the motion of your trunk — your upper chest, lower chest, and your belly and lower back — drives the action of breathing. Along the way you can uncover the places where you hinder your breath and find out how to unlock your potential for robust and responsive respiration.

This program takes a gradual approach to exploring, understanding, and expanding the ways you can breathe. The lessons do not require any prior Feldenkrais experience. If, on the other hand, you are a seasoned ATM aficionado, you will find classic classes along with a brand new take on SEE-SAW BREATHING.

It’s a Matter of Life and Breath consists of high-quality recordings of live classes. All told, there are 14 original ATM® lessons. Here are the titles [and run times] of each lesson:

  • BUBBLE UP AND DOWN [37:58]
  • ON THE DIAGONAL [45:31]
  • BREATHING EASY [45:54]

When you purchase this product, you’ll have the choice to either stream the lessons directly from the MIMO website or download them to the device of your choice.  The It’s a Matter of Life and Breath package consists of:

14 Awareness Through Movement® lessons
[Audio files]

$97 Recordings only

*  Interested in transcripts of these lessons?

You will find the option to purchase them in the shopping cart after you click on either button below.

You will find the option to purchase them in the shopping cart after you click on either button below. 

We provide transcripts in both PDF and editable MS Word .docx file formats. They are available under a Creative Commons license that allows you to share and adapt them for non-commercial purposes as long as you give credit to Mind in Motion as the creator.

(The transcripts are only available to purchase with the recordings.)

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Frequently Asked Questions

In 2019, Larry taught a shorter series of lessons — A breath of fresh air — at his almost annual Feldenkrais summer camp. The response of the participants only got him more interested, so he continued to research the topic, developed and taught classes on this theme, and developed a postgraduate program for his colleagues on the subject.

Larry developed this series for The Bodywise Project, a year-long online Awareness Through Movement program that launched in February 2021.  In part, this was in response to the coronavirus lockdown and the growing worldwide interest in and concern about breathing. It was also based on his experience benefitting from the lessons in dealing with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and their aftermath.

These are recordings of a live class so they aren’t perfect. However, they were made with an excellent microphone and professionally edited. The sound quality is very good.

When you purchase It’s a Matter of Life and Breath, the files become available in the Library section of your account on the Mind in Motion Online (MIMO) website.

You will also be able to access them through My Files

By logging into your account, you can stream the files directly from the MIM Online Library or you can download them to a device of your choice. 

You receive lifetime access to these files.

All told, there are 14 original ATM® lessons. The It’s a Matter of Life and Breath package consists of 14 Awareness Through Movement® lessons [Audio MP3 files].

When you purchase this digital product, you’ll have the choice to either stream the lessons directly from the MIMO website or download them to the device of your choice.

You can also purchase the transcripts of these lessons separately.

The lessons run from 37 to 55 minutes.

That depends on you.

These lessons were originally taught as part of a series of weekly classes, so you could do one lesson a week.

However, there is no “right” way to proceed. If you’d like to do them closer together, that’s fine. Some people like to repeat the lessons more than once before going on to the next one. Many folks find it beneficial to go through the series more than once. It’s also fine to go only as far as you have the attention for and then to come back later to continue; if you do that, you may want to start from the beginning again.

Sorry, we do not sell either DVDs or CDs.

We do not offer the video of It’s a Matter of Life and Breath. This course is only available as a digital audio product to download or stream via the Mind in Motion Online website.

At the moment, that is not an option. You can only purchase the transcripts along with the recordings. Once you select Buy now for myself or Purchase for a friend, you’ll be able to add the transcripts to your shopping cart.

Yes. To make the necessary arrangements, please contact MIMO support by clicking here.

The Mind in Motion team is here to help. Please click here to send us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

(Support is available Monday through Friday. Even though we’re a small team, we do our best to get back to you as soon as possible. That being so, please allow up to two business days to receive a response from us.)

Disclaimer: The Feldenkrais Method® of neurophysical education is presented on this website for educational and entertainment purposes only. The Method and all articles, videos, photos, audio recordings, and documents of any kind available on this website are not intended to substitute for professional help or medical treatment. Nothing on this website is intended to diagnose or treat any pathology or disease of any kind. This website, all media files found on it and the creator of any and all of these files, and anyone featured on these files, cannot be held responsible for any injuries or discomfort that occur. Before doing any of the movement lessons described or portrayed on this site, consult your medical practitioner.

Please remember the guidelines:

  • Stay in your own range of comfort.
  • Listen to the wisdom of your body.
  • This is a “NO pain, MORE gain” approach.

By purchasing this product, you acknowledge that you have read the disclaimer above.