Note: Thursday evening lessons resume on 3/7/2024.
Your first ATM® lesson is FREE!
Unless otherwise noted, lessons are held at Recovery Through Movement LLC, 220 E State St 1-H, O'Fallon, IL.
The classes are called lessons because the intent is to create a learning experience for the student. The subject of the lesson is the student themself, how their thoughts, feelings, and emotions interact with the material of life, the neuromuscular system. Each lesson has a human function in mind: from basic activities of life like rolling, standing, walking, or reaching; to more complex ideas like balancing the spinal curves, diversifying breathing, or use of the eyes in movement. Lessons generally last from 40-50 minutes with some time before for preparation and some time after for discussion. Most lessons occur on the floor, although there are lessons in chairs available. Lessons can involve a variety of positions including on your back, on your stomach, side-lying, sitting on the floor in various ways, kneeling, hands and knees, and others but props and supports are available, and all lessons can be modified to accommodate most people.
The lessons promote neuroplasticity, or the brain’s curiosity-based way of learning to change and improve. It asks for you to improve your ability to sense, feel, think and act. If you move too quickly, the nervous system has no time to respond to the feedback from the movement. The slower you move, the better your brain can sense and feel what you are doing and make adjustments to improve the movement.
Do not make movements or sustain positions that increase discomfort. Anything that your brain perceives as a threat will reduce its ability to remain open to change and adaptation. Do not force yourself to do anything that you do not feel comfortable with. It is better to reduce your effort, relax more, breathe more, do less, or even just imagine a movement than to ignore discomfort for the purpose of achievement. Responding kindly, sensitively and intelligently to discomfort during the lesson is essential to the learning and your improvement.
Any movement that is comfortable, enjoyable, or interesting has value. If you get lost during a lesson, it’s ok, just come back when you are ready and resume. If the instruction seems confusing or disorienting, just pause, listen, think, then act in whatever way seems best to you. What may be right for someone else may not be right for you, so trust that with comfort in your breath and ease in your body, you will find your “right” way.
Your experience will be more enjoyable if you dress in loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. Ease of movement is critical to getting the most you can out of Awareness Through Movement® lessons.
There are blankets and padded mats here for use on the floor. If getting up and down from the floor is a concern, some lessons can be done on a massage table available in the clinic. A yoga mat can be a little too grippy but one covered with a large towel works fine.
A curious and open mind is all that is needed to begin a self-study that can lead to improved ways of moving and responding to an ever-changing environment with comfort and confidence.