Movement Teachers

Wellness Through Movement (WTM) isn’t a “program.” The WTM process can flow with any movement class. Each person will find a unique way to build a bridge into their inner world. Help children build a bridge from inside to life, and they discover the heart of who they are. They will realize they learn from both inside and out, and with this awareness, compassion and health grow.


Use WTM Movement Process To…

… sustain benefits from exercise.

… build awareness of differences between intention and action.

… improve behavior and attention deficit.

… develop integrity and wellbeing.

Give Me Details

(√) What are the Similarities and Differences?


Movement that digs into all levels of the mind and soul – through the physical.  

Movement that is used to enjoy physical and mental benefits such as relaxation, rejuvenation, blood flow, and vitality. 

Movement that is used to relieve bottled-up energy and stress.


The biggest difference between WTM movement to other movement is the Sensory Body (SB). Movement is used as a teacher to become aware of the SB. The SB ripens the physical to feel what is truly important.

Help Children Experience Their SB

  • For Them to Understand their internal processes
    • Settle their minds
    • Relieve their tension and speed up healing
    • Get longer-term results from physical exercise
    • Grow and change from an inner guide 
    • Feel and use more parts of their bodies
    • Discover alternative ways of moving, thinking, feeling, and acting
    • Balance character, attitude, and physicalness
    • Improve as they age 
    • Deepen compassion for themselves and others
    • Ripen the spirit inside them
  • Use movement as a teacher. Sensing the internal space of the physical through motion reveals a map of how the body wants to  …stretch, exercise, strengthen, evolve, and even heal.
  • Teach flexibility without stretching by using the Sensory Body (SB). Muscles change, not from a stretching but from the sense of awareness of the SB. Children experience their internal processes through sensations viewed from the SB. When the mind and body are experienced as one, muscles soften and are reeducated. To understand how to reeducate muscles (motor patterns) reference the section in the back of the book, A New SENSOYR Self Awareness, called “Notes and Background.”
  • There is no wrong movement or behavior, such as lack of attention, ability to lie still, or sense the body. Movements are only designed to be pointers to the stories in the physical. The “stories” are what people do that become the motor patterns of perception. However, children must know what they are doing and, more important, realize what they don’t know they are doing. One way to recognize what is happening between the mind and body is to sense how differences in the body also changes in attitude. More will be explained in the “Every WTM Movement Teaches Awareness” section below.
  • Teach awareness of muscle suspension formed from behavior to learn about “internal processes.” In the physical sensation of muscles there is form, a three-dimensional consciousness that creates perception. Children get it. They feel the consciousness in their bodies. Once they feel the three-dimensional sensation of an attitude, character, or stress, the posture of the story changes. The physical is the tangible sense of the “internal process” – a story. Children use their bodies to understand their behavior. The “story” gives physical pointers how to address, for example, the question, “How do you feel?” 
  • We don’t use modeling to give a direction. We hardly ever say, “Watch me.” With WTM, within the SB, give a direction without modeling, and the movement becomes an opportunity for the children to sense their natural inclinations and be guided by their SB – and the teacher to observe.
  • Understand children’s perceptions of a movement instruction by how they interpret the direction. The experience of their actions shows what is in and out of awareness. Their “interpretations” give clues about how to teach them and tap into the unique juice of how they learn. For example, ask children to roll with feet together and hands clasped. The detail in the quality in their roll, the spiral movement through the spine, where their eyes look, if whether their heads are lifted or on the ground, or whether their feet stay together give clues to how they interpret the direction. What did they hear and not hear? What is going on inside their bodies (an awkwardness in the roll?) mirrors the pattern of behavior in their learning or understanding. 

Perception, attention, and interpretation of a direction is translated through physical actions. Did they hear the direction? If their bodies are unable to follow the direction, they will be confused and unable to hear the direction. It is their bodies that can’t listen.

  • The intention of movement directions is to develop awareness of the body, not do the exact movement. For example, in the yoga posture downward facing dog, help them feel what they are doing instead of correcting the position. Then the next directions will mimic the actions of the participants. 

In downward facing dog position, the participant’s heels may be up off the ground, or their lower backs round and tails tucked. The directions would then change to, “Lift your heels off the ground in the position, then back to neutral.” The next direction may be, “Round your back and go back to neutral, or tuck your tail then relax.”The intention is to let the participants feel what they are doing. Feeling the sensation of what is done in the body can reeducate the motor patterns. Look at the italic words, and wonder how the movement would clarify body awareness and reeducate patterns.

Note: “Reeducate” means to teach from sensation, not the movement, to affect a motor pattern. Experiencing the motion is a way to ground and utilize movement information for future plans.

(√)  How do I Teach About the Sensory Body?

“Awareness” is of the SB ­ sensing the entire self – mind, body, and spirit – as one.

In Every Movement the WTM Method Teaches Three Things:

1. Body Awareness

2. Develop Awareness of Internal to External Influences

3. Awareness of Changes in the Body Related to Changes in the Mind

1. Body Awareness

a. The first step is to teach spatial awareness inside and around the body

Here’s a link to a free program for elementary schools or home about the Home Breath:  Get Sensational Attention (GSA). This animation video program, GSA, is a school wide program. The program was written for elementary school children but can be adapted to anyone five years and older. (Also see all the lessons in Part I of the WTM program {BOOK – A New SENSORY Self Awareness

b. Use the floor to sense body parts 

With the body resting on a firm surface, such as the floor, participants become learn from different qualities in pressure. The ability to sense differences in subtle pressures of the body against the floor is one way to develop the SB. The way children’s bodies rest on the floor gives them insight to how their body parts work in relationship with each other. The sensations of pressures mirror motor patterns, and are used as a type of “biofeedback” to help participants get a tangible experience of the “stories” in their bodies. Lying on the floor is also used to sense changes that happened inside the body, before and after a lesson.

Sensing subtle pressures of the body helps participants notice what parts they can feel, and what parts feel missing. The floor will help participants also sense which body parts are the tightest, making those parts feel heavy, or they will hold those body parts off the floor.(For more information see this lesson, Pancake Body lesson (p. 40), in the book, A New SENSORY Self Awareness, Rosasco-Mitchell, 2013). This is the book referenced throughout the Wellness Through Movement website.

c. Compare differences before and after a lesson

Before a lesson we may ask participants, “What body parts can you feel or not feel?” Then at the end of the lesson we ask, “Did the feeling of those parts change?”

Sometimes we encourage the children to touch areas of their bodies, if we notice they have no idea what we are talking about when we direct their attention inside. However, touching body parts to sense what the body is actually doing is only done at the beginning of the program, so children feel clear about their bodies. Touching body parts can help clarify what they are thinking compared to what their bodies are actually doing. Eventually, the SB will clarify what is happening in the body without the need to touch it.

2. Develop Awareness of Internal to External Influences

a. Use Sensation as a Teacher

Notice what the participants are doing and mimic their movement (as mentioned above). Instead of giving a direction that would correct a movement, mirror their actions in the direction to bring awareness through sensation to both the body and mind.

Change the speed of a movement pattern and it will alter the pattern. Familiar patterns of behavior have familiar sensations of speed to an action. The speed of an action also has a “speed” to an attitude or intention. Changing the speed of an action changes the sensation of the movement.

– Compare movement from opposites, for example, from one side of the body to the other. This way of using movement reflects sensations to compare sides of the body, similar to what the nervous system does naturally. Shifting participants’ movement of attention from one side to the other crosses their attention through the midline of the body. Each time attention crosses the midline, it helps participants find their centers, and balance, grace, strength, and flexibility improve. 

b. Sense How Body Parts Relate 

First step is to sense body awareness 

Sensing the body isn’t as easy as one may think. Found in Body Ownership research (the Rubber Hand Illusion) most people are unaware of what goes on in their bodies. (Erhsson, 2012) Body ownership is the experience of feeling the body as one’s own. As we are more and more on computers, body ownership declines and so does mental health. To deepen awareness of body ownership (sense the body is one’s own) see the lessons Pancake Body (p. 40), Hokey Pokey Body Bubble (p. 54), and Body Bubbles (p. 52), Rosasco-Mitchell, 2013.)

c. Awareness Between Intention and Action 

To feel the differences between intention and action.

Start with witnessing what the body wants to do different from what is intended, and do not interfere. Just watch what the body wants to do. Let the body feel itself doing something different than intention.

Intention and Action with Cognitive Behavior

We saw many children (and adults) with attention and behavioral challenges that had no connection, or body ownership, in their lower bodies (from the pelvis down). The same people also had cognitive challenges like attention deficit, violent behavior, and learning disorders. There is more information about how the lower body relates to cognitive behavior see “Scientists” and lessons used in Part II of WTM). 

Intention and Action with Movement and Emotions

-For children ten years of age and older: When their bodies don’t cooperate and they get frustrated, irritable, or impatient, ask the children if the emotion is familiar. If familiar, it is a motor pattern. Motor patterns repeat to create a sense of boundaries. These “boundaries” give a person the sense of “self.” A person’s intention may be to not want to react, however, the reaction happens without any control.

How can a person use the body to stop a reaction? Motor patterns have a neurological nature that wants to be repeated. However, children (under eight years old), they have to feel the physical sensation attached to the emotion. Change the motor pattern through movement, and the emotion changes. (See Part II lessons of WTM)

The process is different for children eight and older. For them, body awareness training is needed. The motor pattern will fire long before a verbal reaction. If in awareness, however, they will sense when they are going into the pattern. In this type of SB awareness, they have time to notice cues from the body before they react and thus have time to find another way to best address the situation. 

When children’s emotions got intense in elementary school, it was astounding how quickly they were able to shift their attitudes in the SB. By feeling from the SB, each time, they dropped into their hearts and addressed the challenge from a more refreshing and compassionate place. (See the lesson Ho’o ponopono Home lesson {p.60})

Intention and Action with Movement Directions

In a lesson called the “Fish Roll” (WTM Part II), children roll to cones that were spaced on the ground, with their feet and hands latched. However, their bodies rolled in different directions then towards the cones. Without correcting the movement, children were asked to notice where they were rolling. Then body parts were brought into attention. For instance, were their feet and hands latched? There is no wrong movement. Just use movement in a playful way for participants to feel the differences in how their bodies are moving compared to what was intended. (See Part II of WTM)

Intention and action with Communication Skills

What does a person think they are saying, and what is really being said? By bringing in the SB awareness, the sense of the body helps an individual know what words they are using versus what was intended. Lying is a perfect example. In the SB, the body will sense a tangled way of expression, and the mind can then try to correct it. (See the lesson, Ho’oponopono, p. 60)

Intention-to-action for Healing

When a body is in pain the discomfort can affect the whole self, body-mind-and spirit. PAIN is always trying to make us change. “P” stands for Pay, “A” stands for Attention, and “IN” stands for Inside. Body parts will try to do something different to alleviate the pain. However, patterns of movement won’t want to change. 

In the SB, there is awareness of the compensating movement and familiar ways no longer feel good. The robotic behavior has to slow down and wonder. In the compensated movement, there are always body parts not in awareness. At first, any new way of moving feels awkward, however, if a person slows down enough, a different way can be revealed. If they choose to stay in these different ways, the changes will speed up healing. 

Ways to “Witness” From the SB

(For participants 10 years of age and older)

-Learn the intelligence of sensations in muscles through experiences. (See the Muscle-Testing lesson, p. 34.)

-Feel where a movement begins, how it travels through the body, and where it ends. 

-Put the breathing in the foreground during a movement

-Use sensations to witness how to find a different way one can feel at home in oneself.

-If the body doesn’t feel good, don’t interfere with it. Let the mind sense the sensation of the body, and go slower. Patience is the greatest virtue in learning to “witness” from the SB.

– Notice at least two parts of the body at the same time and how they move in relationship with each other. 

In Summary

If children can feel their body parts clearly, it will give them a tangible sense of the reality of what is going on inside them. The three-dimensional shadow of the body has sensations that share what is going on in their emotions and mind and what needs to be addressed. In adults, this process is simple but not easy.

In children, there is an “outside self” and an “inside self.” Woven from the physical is their psychological self, and from the psychological is their physical self. To find harmony and compassion between the body and mind, help participants witness movement – without interfering with it – and their best friend, the SB, will get introduced. 

3. Changes in the Body to Changes in the Mind

(Section 3. Is only for children ten years  and older)

a. Feel the Connection of Changes of the Body to the Mind

Sense which body parts change before and after a lesson. Then ask participants if they can feel changes in their minds and whether those parts of the body could be related to their attitudes. Or can they sense the body parts that changed may have a different “story” in those muscles? We are not asking for them to reply. The questions are used to help sense from the SB.

b. Use movement that affects character 

To “change” a character, movement patterns have to be reorganized. Here are two ways to reorganize movement to affect character:

c. Bring together awareness of actions and intentions to become one

Also refer to the topic “Intention and Action” mentioned above 

(2) Use awkward movements to analyze and understand how to reeducate behavior. 

To observe the organization of a movement, ask participants to walk up and down a staircase, climb over a large ball, or crawl on the floor with their bellies on the ground. Watch children’s sense of balance, grace, and flow in their movements. Look for missing developmental movements. Compare their movements to their emotional or mental behaviors. Could physical awkwardness affect their attitude, such as anger or lack of attention span? (See the Science page, and Part II lessons for more information on reeducating movement to affect cognition.)

The carriage of children’s bodies is like a lens to their perception The reason sensing the carriage of the body is so important for children is that sensations in their bodies are louder than a person talking next to them. The sensation within a human form holds a consciousness. Watch children’s behavior, and for just a few moments wonder if what they are doing has anything to do with the carriage of their bodies.

Over a period of eight years, the hundreds of elementary school children we observed had in every case, challenging behavior related to physical challenges inside them. How such challenges are addressed will impact the trajectory of their whole lives. (See more on Parent or Teacher, and to reeducate see Part II of WTM and the Science page.)

Organize their bodies, and children can understand the nature of their moods and, surprisingly, how to address challenges. (See more information on the Science webpage)

d. Feel from the body’s perception

With children, it is easy for them to feel their bodies “thinking and talking” without identifying with the stories. Each WTM lesson’s intention is to turn concepts into tangible experiences. Awareness through movement teaches how the body’s function changes and affects what happens in character and attitude.

For example: Feelings of insecurity or self-confidence have different physical sensations often related to an imbalance in the pelvis and shoulders. There is a physical organization to every character. Movement that balances the organization of the pelvis and legs can therefore improve children’s sense of security and confidence.  (See lessons in Part II of the WTM program for more information)

(√) How Would I Arrange Movements for the Sensory Body?

a. Start with the most challenging movement

We teach through sensation so doing the most difficult movement helps sensations compare a movement from the beginning to the ending of the lesson. Then sequence movements from simple to more complex and in relationship to the stages of developmental movements (See Part II of WTM). 

In Part I we introduce body ownership, which is the sense of one’s own body. One way to teach body ownership is to divide the nervous system in half and compare one half of the body to the other. Or use movement to compare size, structure, and location of body parts. 

The details of how lessons are built are based on three main observations: timing and spatial relationship, design of the muscular-skeletal system, and the physics of movement. In other words, wonder what movements are possible according to the skeleton, and compare that to what movements are inhibited because of motor patterns. (For examples see lessons in Part I, “Body Bubbles,”(p. 52); “Over, Under, Around” (p. 62); “Hokey Pokey Body Bubbles”(p.54), Hula Relay Personal Bubbles (p. 58), Personal Bubbles Freeze Dance (p.42), and Dancin Hula Hoops, (p. 56). Also see the lesson Gecko Relay in Part II)

b. Teach the sense spatial awareness outside of the body to inside the body

Through movement, narrow participants’ attention from the space around the body to smaller and smaller distances from the body. The space is narrowed down to the boundary of the physical body, then inside the body. (For examples see the lessons, Big Tiny Bubbles, p.48, Personal Bubbles Freeze Dance, p. 42, and many more examples in the book, A New SENSORY Self Awareness, Rosasco Mitchell, 2013)

c. Help participants notice how movement travels through the body

Where does a movement begin and where does it end in the body? For example, stretch the back and feel the movement that travels into the ribcage and abdomen. As attention follows the sensation of motion, these different parts change the feeling in the spine. There are nine lessons teaching about internal spatial awareness and dual attention in the book: Part I, A New SENSORY Self Awareness. (Rosasco-Mitchell, 2013)

d. Compare your movement sequence to the stages of developmental movements

All lessons teach from inside. We play with movement to trigger sensations. Do not make the children achieve a developmental movement. “Copying” a movement is learning from “out there.” We want their bodies to find their primal reflexes and developmental movements. Movement helps their bodies get to know how to organize body parts. 

The Feldenkrais Method (Feldenkrais) has information about how to look at the organization of movement. For example, the lesson, Gecko Relay, uses movement to instigate possibilities for feeling their toes while crawling on their bellies, or sensing a three-point pressure move from the foot to the knee, and hand in a climb. (See especially Part II lessons: Fish Roll, Gecko Relay, or Gecko Climb. Part II is to be announced. Get a notice by joining our mailing lists.)

e. Use the feeling of movement sensation to build memory

In other words, we use the body to teach the memory of a lesson sequence. Ask the children to get in the position of the last movement they remember and ask, “What was the next movement we did?” The body positions help trigger the memory of the next movement. This kind of “memory” is from physical sensation, not a cognitive recall.

f. Change the same movement into different positions

This throws the gravitational fields through the body in different ways and helps the body sense itself more clearly. For example, a movement may be done on the back. Then the same movement may be done on the side. Sensing the differences in gravitational influences changes the sense of alignment and organization.

In Summary

Look at the sequence of movements in a lesson, and think about how movements are teaching the sense of the SB. The order of movements is designed to feel the intelligence of the nature in body, and give the experience of differences between an action and an intention, or between the changes in the body to changes in attitude. Understand how movement and attention are used to build the SB awareness and think of how movement is internally creating experiences. Then apply the same concept in your movement lessons (Review the section in the book entitled, “Lessons Sequences” (p. 35-37) for more information.)

(√) Give Me Tips for Movement Research

Using movement as an intelligence was especially beneficial to children with attention disorders. All children with attention deficit tendencies had no body awareness. There was also an awkwardness in these children’s movement from the waist down. This “awkwardness” and lack of body awareness gave us vital information how to help their behaviors. How we addressed the “awkwardness” in a child’s movement with cognitive disorders is too extensive to explain here. However, here are some simple ways to use movement intelligence to help children: (Lessons used for children with special needs were in Part II of the WTM program, a physical education curriculum of fifteen movement games.)`

a. Speed of a Movement

Speed is another way to use movement as a teacher. Behavioral patterns have a familiar speed of action. By changing the speed of a movement, the SB has an opportunity to get familiar with unfamiliar ways of action. Slow down the action, and it will change the quality of the behavior. To experience this technique, walk somewhere you go often, like from the car to your office or grocery store, however, walk at one-tenth of the speed. Notice if there are any differences in your mind-set or attitude, especially if you are in a hurry. With the children we applied speed to a developmental movement. We had the children crawl on their bellies in a relay race. Then we repeated the movement while blowing a feather in front of them along the floor. (For more information of the background of using the feather see “Notes and Background,” p. ___, Rosasco 2013) Slowing down the movement helped the participants feel what parts of their spines were rigid, what features affected other body parts, and new ways of moving. The quality of a movement often has a quality of character and mindset attached.

b. Perception and Movement 

Are you, as a reader starting to get a sense of this Sensory Body? Here is how to use movement to help children look at differences in the orientation of perceptions. Are the children’s perceptions pointing “out there” or “inside” themselves? In English, “perception” is defined as pointing towards the outer world. However, in the context of the SB, perception relates to both “out there” and within the self. 

The participants will interpret the movement directions by how they are perceived. For example, the first movement instruction may be, “Move the knee forward several times.” Children without body awareness might think, “Forward? Oh, that must mean the direction toward the front of the room?” We watched to see how the children moved their knees. Were their movements toward the front of the room or toward the front of their bodies? If they moved their knee toward the front of the room, the second instruction would mirror their actions, such as “Move your knee towards the front of the room.” 

Imagine hearing the changes in directions and feeling the relationships in the actions. The words in the instructions give sensations on what to move, the way they move, and not necessarily what the instruction intended. The movement sensation teaches them the differences in how they perceive. 

The first direction gave a movement. The second direction mirrored the participants’ intentions. The third instruction will now clarify the sense of the bodies by changing to “Move the knee forward towards the front of you.” The directions intentionally did not clarify the movement so that we could analyze the functions of their perceptions. 

Through movement intelligence, participants can notice their perceptions, their relationship with themselves to the outer room, and their bodies. If children’s orientations are solely turned toward the external world every day, all day, this instruction often feels confusing. And these children are only aware of the room and not themselves in the room. 

These techniques using perception were essential for extra-sensitive children. Giving them a sense of where they were in space helped them balance their senses and center themselves.

c. Movement and the Configuration of Structure

As another way to help children understand body awareness, we directed their attention inside their bodies to the subtle qualities of spatial organization. For example: While children were lying on their backs, we playfully asked, “How big a mongoose (or squirrel) can run under your neck?” Then we asked them to feel (with their hands) behind their necks and asked, “Were the spaces as big or small as you thought?” Imagining the mongoose’s height helped the children understand the actual size of space between the back of their bodies and the floor. The ability to feel with their hand behind their necks allowed them to compare their bodies’ actual structure with their perceptions. 

Notice the movement instructions also taught children the connection between perceptions, intentions, and actions. “Perception” was what the children thought they felt inside their bodies. “Intention” was the direction of their attention versus what was asked, and “action” was the feeling of the body on the floor, the sense of the floor, and the feeling of touching behind their necks.

The areas of the body heaviest against the floor are often the body parts used most regularly that tense up over time. We used the floor, like a biofeedback machine, to sense details in the body with the lesson “Pancake Body.” (p. 40, Rosasco, 2013) “Pancake Body” was done before and after every movement lesson. By comparing changes in the body before and after an activity, awareness begins to carve out insights about the effects the body can have on physical, emotional, or mental states of being.

d. Gravitational Fields and the Self

Movement bridges sensing, feeling, thinking, action, and the immediate environment through the gravitational field. In physics, changing the body position in an action relative to gravity helps change the children’s organization of motor patterns. In different positions, pressure, weight, and sensation shifts, thus what was familiar in the motor pattern changes to what is unfamiliar. When the gravitational field shifts, the flow of an action initiates movement from different places in the body. When bodily positions change gravitational alignment, the participants get to feel different sensations (in their body awareness). The words sound the same, however, the movement sensation is different, and body awareness improves. 

For example, a body can sit in a chair or lie on the floor in the same configuration. When lying on the floor, the thighs would be adjusted perpendicular to the spine, similar to a sitting position. Then the participants would be directed to do the exact same movement instruction, both in the sitting and lying position. It is best to experience this concept then read about it. Try doing the instruction while sitting, “Move the knee forward and back several times. Rest. ” Then feel the differences in your body when moving the knee forward and back while lying on your side. From sitting to lying, the participants change gravitational fields, so the sensation of the motion travels differently through the body. Using movement intelligence, the sensation of the action introduces more parts of the body, and the relationship of body parts to the whole body.

Beyond the science of body awareness that connects muscular-skeletal tendencies to behavior is a body intelligence of structural engineering. This ” engineering ” design plays a significant role in forming consciousness. The movement of bones and muscles creates a physical distribution of awakening among the mind, body, and Spirit. How this “bridge” develops is extensive to explain and beyond the scope of this paper.  

Last Words

It is a common notion that movement helps the brain. However, using movement as a teacher of consciousness has much more radical implications. 

When movement is used as an inner teacher, the inherent nature behind sensory-motor impressions comes into awareness. Just as running must be done to understand the benefits, the intricate knowledge of motor impulses must be experienced. When children are taught at a young age, they speak about a language in their motor sense. They “feel” a collection of conversations in the carriage of their bodies. These “impressions” seem to form a muscular-skeletal container that contributes to the molding of their characters. 

A great physicist, Moshe Feldenkrais, once said,” Movement is life,” and so is the SB. The SB is a force constantly changing as long as there is life. Like time and space functioning together, the brain does not function without the physical body. A motor sense records the inner honesty of every action and tries to balance its action with every intention. 

How can finding the balance of children’s inner and outer worlds help? The raw freshness of children’s minds and bodies offer a window of opportunity. Redefine their movement as an intelligence of being and becoming, and their life’s trajectories could likely exceed any expectations.

(√) Click I Need Advise