FELDENKRAIS® - What is it?
FELDENKRAIS is a Method that shows you how to move through the field of gravity in ways that use it to your advantage. Most people have an adversarial relationship with gravity, but it can ground you if you know how to use it. This not only reduces wear and tear on joints, reducing pain; it also improves focus and learning. When you are comfortable in your body, learning is easy, inspiration is spontaneous and creativity abounds.
FELDENKRAIS expands your ability to focus. Clearly focus is key in this era of distraction, diversion and chaos!
It's just logical that in a world where information overload prevails and everyone seems to want something from you that there is a greater need to feel grounded, stable and focused. FELDENKRAIS gives you the tools to do that for yourself.
Feldenkrais Lesson formats
How is Feldenkrais taught? It is taught in two formats: as a private session, and as a class. There is not only one way to begin. Starting with a few private sessions may be best if you are starting with an injury. However, starting with classes may be best if you are simply curious. To proceed rapidly, take a series of private sessions, a class and begin working with recordings. The beauty of the Method is that you can learn to work with yourself, to improve not just movement, but learning and to embody your innate potential as a human being. This is perfect, because you cannot rely on others to fix you. This is your life and you are in charge of your experience. Feldenkrais gives you the means to improve it continuously, for the duration of your life...
The best health care is self care...LEARN TO TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF!
A Functional Integration lesson is a private Feldenkrais session with a practitioner. Functional Integration augments everything you do, because it is a refinement of the ability to sense yourself in space, and your potential to move your body as it was designed to move. It augments yoga, athletics, and life itself, especially if you are recovering from injury. Feldenkrais touch guides the student into neurological pathways of new possibility, beyond the limitations of current organization of body and action. The expertise of the practitioner is to expand your possibilities for new movement patterns, which are more comfortable, efficient, and useful, refining reflexes and dispersing compensation patterns. The lesson may proceed with the student lying down on a low, padded table, wider than a massage table, sitting, or standing, depending on the nature of the issues being addressed. The student is fully clothed as the interaction is not therapy, rather it's working with the consciousness and the nervous system to engage more of the person's awareness in the service of functional comfort and ease. The potency of the Feldenkrais Method is that it can inform the student with the ability to make certain movements easier, and to clarify a stability and flexibility that paradoxically must coexist to allow the full freedom of movement that makes being in a body an experience of presence, joy and grace. This ease also has the benefit of expanding comfort and enjoyment of emotions, mental cognition and life on all levels of experience, because it engages the entire person, without any separation between mind and body. In this understanding Moshe Feldenkrais was way ahead of his time...
AWARENESS THROUGH MOVEMENT®
Awareness Through Movement (ATM) is the class format of Feldenkrais lessons. It may look like a yoga class, yet the difference between Awareness Through Movement and every other kind of movement class is dramatic. It is, in fact, not the slow, mindful movement itself that is key in improving strength, flexibility, and integration new possibility and potency. It is in the learning of a way to proceed through life and space that is completely unique to the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education: it's in how you attend to yourself that you learn. It's in how you improve your ability to differentiate between what works and what is not working that you move from the endless repetition of dysfunction into the realm of ease. The movements translate into functional ability in daily life, such as walking, lifting, and improved posture, but that is just icing. The real benefit is ephemeral. It's in the quality of the life you live. I's in your ability to function independently with grace and ease. It's in a continuously newfound sense of calm, presence, creative vitality and enjoyment which continues to grow as you learn the practice.
Classes last anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes. Lessons may be in walking, standing or sitting, but are usually done lying on the floor. This allows you to increase your awareness, because there is less to attend to. It allows you to release the postural muscles, so that you can begin to engage your muscles free of the demands of staying upright in the field of gravity. Students are verbally guided through a sequence of movements that form a question or a movement puzzle. You learn to have new priorities, such as how to pay attention to moving within a comfortable range, moving without pain, moving without effort. As you proceed through the lesson, you will find the quality of your movement gradually improving. You will find unnecessary muscular tensions throughout your body diminish as you lesson the work you do on a habitual basis without being aware of it. You may be aamazed at the changes you feel, and the clarity you experience, as the neuromuscular patterns of previous limitation are released into a new experience of ease, agility and stability: the very paradox inherent in the ideal organization of the human form.