Moving with Mindfulness Series

Balancing the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic Nervous System


Author: Jerry Karzen
Media: MP3 Download, 12 Feldenkrais Lessons


This course is designed to ease tensions people in stressful occupations experience. The lessons were designed to show anyone how they can first practice simple and easy, full or partial body movements, which can lead to more mindful, restful or even thoughtless experiences. The course has applications for meditation practices and reclaiming calmness and self-regulation in stressful situations.

Listen to Jerry’s Introduction:

Lessons Include:

  1. Scanning: Focused & Generalized Attention – 22:29 min
    How are you paying attention to yourself? Train your ability of precise sensory awareness. Learn to attend to yourself in a way that promotes learning and improved coordination and comfort.
  2. Becoming a Baby Again – 60 min
    In the early stages of development, babies don’t do any deliberate movements, and sensory perception such as hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting and sensing, are all blended and are not distinguished from each other. By revisiting basic activities, such as sucking, envisioning early childhood smells, and un-focusing the eyes, you can re-visit this unique state of being.
  3. Breathing Fully and Globally, Opening the Sides – 44:16 min
    Very few breathing practices give attention to the sides of the torso. A relaxed, full breath, however, expands in all six directions. Giving attention to the sides of the ribs, while adding a gentle but deliberate welding breath, can allow you to breath more fully and easily.
  4. Basic Flexors by Folding Part 1 – 44:16 min
    Created by repeat activities or emotions, most people have become habituated to a constant unnecessary contraction of the flexor muscles. By using these muscles deliberately and with awareness, some of the holding patterns can loosen their grip. Upright standing and breathing can become easier.
  5. Basic Flexors by Folding Part 2 – 34:36 min
    One of Moshe Feldenkrais’ definitions of “healthy action” was reversibility, being able to stop and reverse a given activity at any moment. By exploring rolling slowly and reversibly, a movement commonly done with momentum promotes precision and the discovery and release of parasitic effort. Later on, explorations lead into a complex use of shoulders, head, and pelvis to soften the ribs by drawing an imaginary circle.
  6. Whole Body Breathing – 39:19
    Observing a baby while breathing, we can see that the whole body breathes. It seems as if every cell of the body IS the breathing. By exploring the movement of opening and closing, of becoming small and becoming big, rolling side to side, in combination with the breath awareness, brings back this experience. This allows for profound relaxation and a sense of harmony.
  7. Soft Eyes, Sharp Vision – 42:19 min
    During our daily activities, eye movements are usually focused, the eyes are open to see. In this lesson, while comfortably lying on the back, you move your closed eyes without a particular purpose, without trying to see something. This can have a relaxing effect on your neck, jaw, breathing, face and more. As a result, you may settle down, get quiet, and increase the sharpness of your vision.
  8. Breathing & Sound – 33:12min
    In sitting you explore the relationship between the usage of the right and left nostrils, the position of your head, and the production of sound. What makes low and high sounds clear and full?
  9. Bell Hand – 31:10 min
    There are many systems to put people to sleep. Some of them incorporate small movements, very early in the developmental parts of our brain. In this lesson, early baby hand movements, in the Feldenkrais Method known as bell-hand movements, leave you in a deeply relaxed state.
  10. Opening Ribs for Breathing – 38:38 min
    The breath is directed into various areas of the upper and lower rib cage, including the sides. This is supported by movements and positions, which open the areas the breath is being directed to. Thereby intention, attention, and movement, all are designed to support each other.
  11. Open Perception During Action – 34:47 min
    Erector muscles are asked to work in combination with rotation. Additionally, explorations challenge your capacity to coordinate as well relax the eyes, allowing for a broadened perception. Finally, both are combined, and the question is raised of how the eyes relate to the movements.
  12. Pulsation – Open and Close – 35:45 min
    Part of the nervous system, the cellular and digestive system, the eyes, of all of life, is in an opening and closing vibratory process. To maintain integrity while also growing and expanding, contracting and expanding keep alternating. Through movement and breath awareness we consciously tap into and support these processes.
  13. Turning to See Right and Left – 34:58
    The eyes determine the tonus of our body. The eyes for most people take in about 80% of the information that our brain uses to direct our movements in space especially in the upright position. When our eyes move more freely our head will turn more easily giving an individual a greater sense of security and ease in his environment. His/her posture will then become more relaxed yet with more tonic uprightness; the persons breathing will become easier and a more parasympathetic response to their immediate environment will manifest for them.


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