Why Try Awareness Through Movement® Classes?

If you’ve never tried an Awareness Through Movement (ATM®) class before, they can seem entirely mysterious and strange. Even many classes in, they can feel mysterious. What are these small gentle movements doing? Why do I feel so much taller, more grounded, more mobile, when it seems like I barely did anything for an hour? The answer is in the name - awareness.

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On Back Pain, "Good" Movement, and "Bad" Movement

Almost all new clients I see have the same question - "How should I be moving? What's the right way to move?" This question is especially prevalent among clients with chronic back pain. They've often been fighting with themselves, trying out a wide variety of modalities and strategies to get their pain under control, and trying to sort out good advice from bad advice for years.

I try to re-frame the question of "good movement vs bad movement". I'm interested in functional, useful movement. Movement doesn't exist in a binary - it exists on a spectrum. While there are general rules that should definitely be followed (ways to not sheer your joints, for example), the details may vary hugely person to person. Not all back pain looks the same.

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Lower Back Pain and Your Legs

If you've ever experienced lower back pain, be it constant or occasional, you know how much trouble it can cause you. The difficulty of going from sitting to standing, going up stairs and hills, leaning or squatting down to pick something up... There are seemingly endless activities that can trigger lower back pain. So why is that?

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Yoga Spinal Twist: The Feldenkrais Version

As a yoga pose, Spinal Twist offers all sorts of benefits. From gaia.com, Spinal Twist "encourages movement and mobility in your spine and vertebrae; massages, stretches, and tones your internal organs; improves your digestion; stretches your chest, shoulders, lower back, hips, middle spine and your upper back; alleviates pain or stiffness in your lower back, spine and hips." As a movement in an Awareness Through Movement class or a Functional Integration lesson, even more benefits can be found from the same idea. 

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The Psychological Impact of Posture

There was a great little article recently in the New York Times, "Your iPhone Is Ruining Your Posture - and Your Mood", that reminded me of a conversation I had with a new client a couple of months ago. Working together, we figured out that her lower back pain was coming from the hunch she held herself in, and a really important question came up while looking at how to come out of that hunch. "What are your thoughts and your approach on the emotional impact of not hunching?"

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