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If you're new to Feldenkrais, there is a lot of information below, and on the other pages, that will be very helpful to you in exploring this exciting practice. If you're already familiar with the Feldenkrais Method, there are class schedules and a regular blog.
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The Feldenkrais Method
Much has been written about Moshe Feldenkrais and the principles that he integrated into the Feldenkrais method. As a scientist, a martial artist, and a dedicated healer, he was almost uniquely suited to both identify a problem, and discover its solution.
His training and work as a scientist helped him to see and develop keen insights into how our minds and bodies work together, and can cause healing or harm. As an expert martial artist, he understood human movement to a high degree, and was able to determine ways to help the mind and body cooperate to relieve pain and injury.
One of the most striking breakthroughs he made was identifying that a harmless movement, repeated many thousands of times, can cause painful and even debilitating injury. This can be something as simple as the way one walks, or sits, or carries everyday items. This was more than just a diagnostic discovery though, he also developed the means of identifying and fixing the problem. This process of identification and healing is called The Feldenkrais Method.
How does it work?
Feldenkrais discovered that doing things in a simple and easy manner is often much more beneficial than doing them with great effort and exertion. The healing potential of working with the body’s signals is key.
Slow, deliberate movements are repeated and practised. This looks like a cross between yoga and Tai Chi, but the movements themselves are less important than the way one listens to the body’s signals and reacts to them. The point is not to hold a new pose, or to reach a certain endurance level, nor is it to train the body in balance and self-defence. The point is much more immediate, with results that reach well into the future.
One’s own development is core to his method, but this is done without a focus on reaching end results. The goal is let go of those expectations, and instead listen to the feedback of the body in any given moment. Let the body dictate what it is ready to do, and not ready to do, and stress is reduced, allowing the body’s natural healing system to reach its full potential.
Why do I teach this method?
What has fascinated me in this work is that “simple” really is the “elusive obvious.” When I started, the harder I tried, the less I was able to understand. It was frustrating and difficult at first, because I was trying to master it like I would any other goal or task.
Letting go of my goal-orientated principles was (and sometimes still is) difficult and yet when I do so, I feel easier and lighter within myself, and my movements become less rigid and flow with greater ease. Facilitating healing by helping people let go of harmful habits and expectations is highly attractive and satisfying work.
Moshe Feldenkrais is gone now, but he left behind a legacy of dedicated practitioners and a body of work that enable us to explore our own inner experience of self-awareness through a series of 'Awareness Through Movement' lessons or individual one to one 'Functional Integration' work.