Lifting the lower leg with both hands

One of the coolest aspects of the online peer study group An AY a Day for Feldenkrais® teachers around the world is that we take turns teaching. Any member of the group — be you a trainee, teacher, or trainer — can sign up to teach a lesson. The twice-daily meetings, at 8 AM and 6 PM Pacific time, draw colleagues from around the globe who attend to participate in and then discuss that day’s Awareness Through Movement® class. You come as often or as little as suits you; there are no requirements nor is there any kind of dues or payments. What Kwan Wong, the group’s founder and facilitator, has created is a dynamic gathering, a place for teachers and future teachers committed to practicing ATM® personally, improving how we understand and teach it, and learning from and with each other. 

The group is nearly done visiting the transcripts from the first volume of the Alexander Yanai (AY) lessons, a compendium of 550 of Moshe Feldenkrais’ ATM lessons, for the second time in a row. A couple of days ago we did AY 46, LOWERING THE HEAD 3, in which Moshe keeps returning to how the lesson works. For instance:

Is there a feeling that that movement improved? Are you able to raise and lower your head {more easily} than before?
Pay attention and notice what changed.
A number of the movements you did weren’t related to the movements of your head. If {the movement of your head} improved, it is because the movements you {did just before} are still represented in your consciousness, still recognizable in your awareness . . . 
You will see that those parts which become clearer in your awareness as you move, improve your movement.


It’s been a while since I taught a lesson for the group. I signed up before returning from my latest trainer gig, which was with the wonderful Baltimore Feldenkrais Teacher training, selecting the next lesson available after my return home, which was AY 47 LIFTING THE LOWER LEG WITH BOTH HANDS. Instead of reading the lesson from the transcript, I paraphrased the wording. There was a practical reason for doing so — I can make the recording available after via the MIMO Multimedia Library while respecting the copyright of the AY text — and a pedagogical one as well. Each time I teach a lesson in this setting, I consider how to do it in a way that engages my colleagues’ curiosity and challenges habits that may be limiting their learning.

Moshe taught AY 47 in a much more matter of fact manner than AY 46. It consists mostly of instructions, without the reflections and philosophy of its predecessor. The lesson is full to the brim so there’s no time for detours or diatribes. Both in terms of positions and movements, it’s a difficult ATM. My approach to the lesson — and the basis for the changes I made to the script — was to encourage the participants to avoid strain or struggle by improving what’s easy. 

If you’d like to listen to AY 47 and do it, please log into your Mind in Motion online (MIMO) account and then here. The lesson lasts about an hour and change; the scan at the beginning is relatively short and relevant to what’s to come. Since you might find you’d like a pillow or some pads during the lesson, you might want to have them close at hand before you start.

Before you do the lesson, please note that the lesson is neither medical care nor treatment. If you have any concerns about whether you should do it or not, consult with your physician.

So you know, you will be able to find the lesson along with other free ATMs on the site by signing into your account, going to Library/My Files, and then selecting Free ATMs and Alexander Yanai. Clicking on Lesson 0009 will bring you to the page where you’ll be able to listen to the recording immediately or download the file for later.

If you haven’t joined the website yet, it’s quick and easy to create your free account here.

Another cool aspect of the AY a day meetings is the after lesson conversation. Since this is a professional conversation, you’ll need to log into your professional Become A Better Teacher (BABT) account to see a link to the recording here.

[If you don’t have a BABT account and you’re a Feldenkrais teacher or trainee, you can apply for one when you first sign up for a MIMO account or, if you already have an account and you’re logged into the site, request an upgrade from your My Account page.]

If you are ready to teach ATM better next year . . . why wait until January to make a resolution? Get a head start on 2020 now by signing up for RETURNING TO THE SOURCE.

The 8th edition — and perhaps the last time I’ll be teaching the ATMs live — just started so you still have time to sign up. You can choose to enroll in the ATM only option or, if you’re a teacher or training to become one, opt for the BACKSTAGE PASS.


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