Now you can enjoy the benefits of Rik Misiura’s Awareness Through Movement® classes in the privacy and comfort of your home. Set your own pace and choose the lesson you desire. Separate movements on different tracks make it easy to skip around, repeat lessons, stop and start again at your convenience.
Awareness Through Movement®
The Feldenkrais Method® involves learning. Feldenkrais believed that it is more important to learn how to learn new skills than the feat of the skills themselves. The lessons therefore have no content about what is correct, but contain processes that allow you to sense and experience what is correct for yourself. Awareness Through Movement® lessons are designed to increase awareness. Learning begins with awareness. As you become more aware of what you feel and experience through these movements, your sensory ability increases and you learn to move in ways that are effortless and comfortable. The repetition of these non- strenuous sequences of movements also programs the brain and nervous system to replace dysfunctional movement and thought patterns with new, more efficient movement options. In Awareness Through Movement® lessons the instructor verbally guides you through a sequence of movements in lying, sitting or standing. The emphasis is on learning which movements work better and noticing the quality of these changes in your body. The subtle movements develop not only awareness, but also flexibility and coordination. After lessons students often feel taller and lighter, breathe more freely and find that their discomforts have eased. They experience relaxation and a sense of release. Best of all the learning stays with them and becomes a part of everyday living.
7th CERVICAL (39:29)
Many people have very little movement in the area of the 7th Cervical. In this lesson we focus on some simple movements that decrease dowager’s (as in Quasimoto) hump and straighten the spine. Awareness is brought to the relationship between the shoulder blades and lower neck. When first performing the movements in this lesson it is not so obvious how the upper spine will become aligned. The feeling of looseness and height is eventually appreciated by most. One student told me she felt euphoric after this lesson. I suggest you measure your height before and after the lesson.
Side bending is a movement that is often ignored. Many back exercise programs feature predominately flexion, extension or rotation. In this lesson we use side bending to explore the relationship of the ribs and thoracic spine to the pelvis and shoulder girdle. Students will become aware of how the torso is truly like an accordion. This is a feel-good, fun movement.
ARM TO BACK (51:31)
In this lesson you will learn to differentiate the movements of the upper back, shoulder and neck muscles and learn the relationship of the shoulder blade to the rib cage. The entire shoulder girdle will loosen and make the function of turning the upper body, as in reaching back or looking over the shoulder, much easier.
BREATH PLAY (43:20)
Efficient breathing reenergizes and relaxes the whole body. In this lesson you mobilize over a hundred joints of the spine and rib cage. You will coordinate and calibrate more than sixty muscles by opening airways you never knew existed. You also learn breath control. The relationship between the pelvis and rib cage is explored in paradoxical breathing.
CARRIAGE OF THE TORSO (37:36)
The main difficulty of upright carriage is the subtle alignment of the various parts of the body over the feet. The relationship of the feet to the pelvis and the pelvis to the spine is explored in this lesson. These simple movements calibrate the muscles to organize the chest, shoulders and head for upright posture giving a sense of widening and lengthening of the back. You will sense a feeling of being both long and grounded over your feet.
CONNECTING LEGS TO TORSO (50:12)
This lesson deals with the "functional leg," which comes all the way up into the torso to support the head and shoulders. It allows for easy changing of support from one leg to the other and improves the efficiency of stride in walking and running. These movements are large and involve swinging of the leg in different positions.
DOUBLE TWIST (44:02)
Two ATM lessons are cleverly combined on this CD. One lesson gently twists the trunk as if wringing out a wet rag. The other twists the arms to help the student identify additional capabilities of the collarbones and shoulder blades. It differentiates head, neck, pelvis, arms and eyes-a great way to gain freedom in your neck, back, shoulders and arms.
FLEXIBLE FEET (44:41)
The movements in this lesson soften the feet, ankles and calves. The feet learn to function as shock absorbers. The student learns the three primary weight-bearing supports of the foot. Paradoxically, flat feet rise and high arches will drop. Most students feel grounded and stable.
HEAD & SHOULDERS (36:40)
The simple lifting, turning and twisting movements in this lesson facilitate increased mobility and relaxation in the head, neck and shoulders. Small movements mean big changes. This is a very relaxing lesson. The upper trapezius will soften and tension will flow out.
HIP & SHOULDER CIRCLES
Nearly every full-bodied movement requires the coordinated counter-rotation of hips and shoulders, while at the same time maintaining balance and keeping the head free to orient in many directions. This lesson coordinates the movements of the pelvis, shoulders and chest through a range of flexion, extension and rotational movements.
HIP OPENER (47:18)
Many people experience tight, stiff hip joints as a result of extended sitting, tension, stress or overuse. This lesson integrates hip joints, pelvis and lower back into movements of twisting, bending and stretching. The hip joints will open, increasing flexibility in the lower back and spine. Your hips will glide smoothly as you move about your life.
LONG STRONG BACK (44:58)
This lesson works with longitudinal and diagonal movements of the torso. It helps lengthen the back by reducing tension in the back muscles and concentrating on recruiting the abdominal muscles. Core strengthening (pelvic stabilization) gives your back the sensation of confidence that you might have when wearing a support or back brace.
MAXIMIZING GLUTEUS MAXIMUS (40:04)
Learn to relax the gluteals and then maximize contraction of this enormous muscle. The movements in this lesson result in a looser pelvis and lower back, which will increase power of the hip extensors. This will create a very pleasant ease in walking, stair climbing and running.
This is a very powerful, interesting and enjoyable lesson. It shows the importance of softening and opening the ribs for improved standing and balance. You learn about the connection between your feet and your rib cage. Vertical alignment is improved. Gentle and rhythmic oscillations unify the body as a whole. You will become relaxed and calm.
PELVIC CLOCK (39:03)
By doing these pelvic movements in different configurations, you give your pelvis and torso additional opportunities for movement and freedom, as well as increase control over your neuromuscular system. You differentiate the pelvis from the hips and legs and from the lumbar spine. You will connect the pelvis with the feet and with the head. Many students doing this lesson for the first time are surprised that the pelvis is capable of such mobility.
PELVIC PRETZEL (42:35)
A complicated movement pattern is simplified by breaking it down into many components. Each component is studied and made easier. This lesson helps to loosen and calibrate the hip joints, pelvis, quadriceps and lower back. The hips and pelvis become freer because the rib cage is engaged and cooperates in allowing the pelvis to move into new territory or at least to where it hasn’t been in a very long time. Upon completion the student feels a great sense of accomplishment.
RELAXING THE JAW (32:59)
TMJ was the in-vogue complaint of the 80's. It still lingers around and may be even more prevalent today. Learn how to relax the jaw muscles, stop clenching and eliminate headaches.
ROLLING RIBS (35:54)
The rib cage is the largest structure of the body, interwoven with numerous muscles and joints. The ribs hang off of the spine and hold many vital organs. This lesson will improve torso mobility and breathing by teaching you the importance of freeing your rib cage.
ROLLING TO SITTING (36:01)
This lesson increases the back bending ability of your spine while you have fun rolling from lying to sitting. The movements combine extension with rotation. This is a functional lesson that helps one to rise effortlessly from lying to sitting. The legs initiate the movement, which starts small and slow, but finishes large and fast.
SCAN, RELAXATION BREATHING (28:48)
This is an introductory lesson to the Method. You learn to perform a natural biofeedback assessment that will increase your body awareness. You will establish a baseline and easily sense the changes that occur as you progress. This lesson also includes some relaxation and breathing techniques used in all Awareness Through Movement lessons.
SEATED TWIST (42:47)
These simple movements of the trunk, head and eyes in opposite directions increase range of motion and minimize restrictions through your spine. This lesson can be done while sitting in a straight back chair or on the floor. You learn how to sit taller with minimal effort. It may even seem like no effort at all. You will feel balanced on your “sits” bones because your skeleton is so nicely aligned.
SLEEP EASE (47:35)
Many people have difficulty sleeping. Lack of sleep hinders the natural healing process. All parts of the body are involved in this ATM, especially the eyes, to facilitate better sleeping habits. These miniscule movements create enormous changes. Included is a brief discussion on common sleeping problems and what you can do about them.
SMART ABS (38:43)
What your personal trainer won’t tell you! Learn to strengthen the abdominals intelligently so that they function to support your back and protect your neck by combining the Pilates principle of pelvic stabilization with kinesthetic awareness.
SOFTENING THE TRUNK (53:41)
This lesson softens the torso including the rib cage and back. It allows for easier breathing, freedom in the chest, ribs and shoulders, as well as improved carriage of the head. Standing balance also improves.
SOFT HANDS (39:30)
Tension and tightness in hands is usually not recognized until there is pain or weakness. In this lesson we work with movements to reduce habitual tension in hands, wrists, arms and shoulders. The movements also help combat carpal tunnel syndrome. Athletic ball handling, musical technique and computer skills will be enhanced with your new, soft hands.
SPINAL FLEXION & EXTENSION (39:46)
This is a clever lesson that increases spinal range of motion while imparting constraints on the spine. We use a common physical therapy exercise (cat and camel) and add many sophisticated variations. Eye movements are also incorporated and your awareness will become more acute. I like to teach this lesson because most students recognize a clearer, easier and more elegant movement from tailbone to head.
SPINE LIKE A CHAIN (47:34)
A simple movement can be extremely effective and powerful in teaching you to become aware of what is going on in your back, pelvis and spine. This movement increases mobility and control and often alleviates pain. It starts with a pelvic tilt, bridging the pelvis with keen awareness and proceeds to flexion movements of the trunk involving the head and legs. This softens the rib cage, lengthens the back, relaxes and develops pelvic stabilization or abdominal tone. You will learn why some forms of sit-ups done in aerobic exercise classes may hurt your back.
STABILIZING YOUR CENTER (39:45)
We commonly perform movements that require constant shifting of our center of gravity. The intention of this lesson is to improve balance and stability. That is, balance while standing and stability while moving. In this lesson you learn how to stand with a more balanced and efficient alignment through simple weight shifting and squatting.
THE EYES HAVE IT (38:33)
Virtually all movement is connected in some way to the eyes, head and neck. Testing the connections of eye and neck muscles increases control and ease of body movements. With this lesson you experience a relief of eye tension and related movement inhibitions.
THE SMOOTH SWING (55:20)
There are actually two lessons on this CD that improve the rotational range of motion of your trunk, pelvis and legs. These lessons enhance your ability to swing a tennis racquet, golf club or baseball bat. I started teaching these movements to golfers who had back problems. Your backswing and follow-through increase allowing for greater velocity with less strain on the back. There is another side effect: Golfers may have to walk another ten or twenty yards after driving the ball.
This lesson works mainly with softening the lower back, opening hip joints and extending the range of comfortable flexion in the lower back. We start with small movements and progress to very large movements. Students of all ages laugh like little children as they roll about the floor and always do more than they think they can.
TWISTING & LENGTHENING (33:29)
This lesson explores how combining twisting and lengthening movements along the diagonals of the trunk can loosen the whole body. The student feels the connection of the leg with the same arm and with the opposite arm. The connection is made through the trunk. How the torso responds to these movements invites increased flexibility and power.
TWISTING TO FLOOR
The movement combinations in this lesson enable you to move effortlessly to a sitting position on the floor and return to standing. Your leg and pelvis form a continuous curve and will organize themselves as perfectly as can be in this simple twisting motion.
WAKING THE SPINE (33:55)
In this lesson you learn how to soften your rib cage and chest, balance more easily on your pelvis while sitting and lengthen your spine. As a result, you will fall into an upright position and you will sit effortlessly and naturally.
WALKING & RUNNING (43:52)
This lesson includes drills for more efficient and easier walking and running. Half the lesson is done while lying down and half while walking. These movements may help improve balance and coordinate the reciprocal motion of the pelvic and shoulder girdles. You will experience a lengthening of your stride along with increased speed and ease of walking and running.