Dressed in ordinary, comfortable clothing, you often begin by lying on a mat on the floor. The teacher leads you through sequences of movements, some familiar, some novel, some challenging. Throughout, the work is done below the level of sensations of stretch or strain, and you pace yourself, so the lessons are safe and effective for people of a wide range of abilities.
In one lesson you might explore subtle movements of the feet and toes, and feel how they engage your hips and spine. In another, you might play with finding an effortless way to move from lying to sitting. Or you might feel how movements of the eyes organize movements of the whole body. Or how pushing from your feet connects through your skeleton to your arms and hands. Or how shifts in your attention and adjustments of your intention change how you move. There are literally thousands of ATM lessons, and teaching is a creative process, geared to the students in the room.
People almost always feel immediate, and surprising, results from the lessons. Relaxation, feeling taller and lighter, greater vitality, groundedness, strength, balance—sometimes an improvement in vision or your voice, even though those topics never arose explicitly in the class, or a fresh perspective on the problems of your daily life. And sometimes the changes are too new to name or describe. In any case, chronic tightness, aches, and pains tend to fade or disappear.