Feldenkrais Lessons are how the Feldenkrais MethodⓇ is practised. The Feldenkrais Method is an educational system that uses movement to teach you how to learn to learn, move better, develop self-awareness and improve your overall functioning.
Above: Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais (c) International FeldenkraisⓇ Federation Archive
Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais D.Sc., was the founder of the method and helped thousands of people from every walk of life through his Feldenkrais lessons.
If you want to move better and feel younger, whether you are suffering from pain due to injury or illness or not; if you want to improve a skill — any skill; if you want to deepen your sense of presence, mindfulness and self-awareness, the Feldenkrais Method can help you.
Self awareness is key to the process of moving and living better.
Feeling how you are preventing your ability to move easily is like recognizing that you’ve unconsciously had one foot on the brake peddle in your car while simultaneously pressing the gas peddle with the other foot. Its terribly inefficient, a great waste of energy, and wears things down quickly, if not outright damaging things.
Maybe you know that something isn’t right, because you feel pain or can’t get over an injury, and you try to do things differently. Using the car analogy, you step on the gas and turn the steering wheel to go in a different direction, but you haven’t actually taken your foot completely off the brake. You just press harder on the gas pedal, and maybe try steering in yet another direction. But things just keep getting worse, or at least no better, even though the scenery may be a bit different. You’re wearing out and and becoming exhausted because of all the extra energy you’ve had to put in to overcoming that braking action.
One way Dr. Feldenkrais described this was that we all have self-limiting habits and far too often move with cross-motivations. We all have our own unique way of limiting ourselves from moving freely and naturally.
Gaining awareness of the ways you’ve been “keeping one foot on the brake” you can begin to explore how to release those brakes.
In other words, as you become more aware of what you are actually doing and what your self-limiting habits are, and where you are at cross purposes with yourself, you can begin to:
- unlearn these self-limiting habits
- clarify your intentions
- clear up those places in which you act at cross purposes with yourself
- move with more efficiency and ease
You’re able to explore how to move from a much better place because this neutral organization is where you are ready for action. You begin to move as nature meant.
In other words, you become more co-ordinated. Your movements are more harmonious. You move and take action with more directness, clarity and effectiveness.
You become more adaptable.
You feel better.
You learn more easily.
You play more and maybe, if and when you want – harder.
You rest better.
You work more efficiently — literally and figuratively.
Functional IntegrationⓇ lessons are the hands on aspect of the work.
Above: Gisele St. Hilaire giving a lesson at Sunyata Movement Studio Inc.
Your unique, specific needs can be met directly. The touch and movements support your ability to sense yourself with greater clarity so you can learn where and how you are limiting your capacity for flowing, natural movement.
Through the sensations of movement during the lesson, you will begin to reorganize the muscle tone throughout yourself. This happens as you regain clarity of the relationships between each aspect of your skeleton and of yourself as a whole.
You’ll begin to move in a more coherent, holistic, harmonious way. This allows you to move with more ease, comfort and efficiency. You’ll begin to feel more possibilities for action because you’ll be freer in your movements and able to move more as you would like.
What all this means is that you feel more capable of doing anything you want. Possibilities open up.
Awareness Through MovementⓇlessons are verbally guided movement lessons, either in a class setting or through audio recordings.
Here, you are instructed in particular movements you initiate and explore yourself, rather than having a practitioner move you. You are also guided by the instructor in where and how to place and use your attention. This makes your movement explorations and learning more effective.
You are instructed to move in comfortable, easy ranges of motion, to rest when you need to, and to look for effortlessness in motion. This is not so that you become more “relaxed”. It is so that you create a superb learning environment for yourself.
Learning happens best when your feel safe and there is no threat of injury. You learn how to challenge yourself without threatening harm to your system. This makes the learning quicker and deeper.
These are not exercise classes, or stretching classes or posture classes. Although, common responses from students are feeling:
- more flexible and supple
- more grounded
- more balanced
- more powerful
- more at ease
- taller, more aligned, and as having better posture
- and much more…
Both Functional Integration, and Awareness Through Movement lessons utilize your brain’s neuroplasticity (ability to learn, change and adapt).
By exploring specific movement sequences, themes and variations with awareness, you change your brains motor plans (movement plans) and and expand your range of movement possibilities.
It is not just your movements and sensations you are exploring, but crucially, your experience of yourself as a learner. You not only begin to realize the ways in which you limit your movements, you also begin to realize the ways in which you limit your ability to learn, adapt, and grow.
Find a program of Awareness Through Movement lessons for you to improve your comfort and flowing, natural movement at home.
You can learn on your own schedule from anywhere by doing Awareness Through Movement lessons from recorded programs I’ve created for you.
These programs were created with care and intention, and with your learning in mind. I want you to succeed in learning to move better, and live better!