Alice in Wonderland: Field Notes from Feldenkrais Training

Feldenkrais Training: Demonstration Of Awareness Through Movement from Frank Wildman on Vimeo.

Greetings from Eugene where I’m wrapping up week three of the third segment of a four year Feldenkrais Method training I began last September.

What is Feldenkrais? It’s quite simple…and complicated. The official description from the Feldenkrais Guild of North America’s website reads:

“The Feldenkrais Method is named after its originator, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc. (1904-1984) [about], a Russian born physicist, judo expert, mechanical engineer and educator.

The Feldenkrais Method is a form of somatic education that uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning. Through this Method, you can increase your ease and range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement. These improvements will often generalize to enhance functioning in other aspects of your life.

The Feldenkrais Method is based on principles of physics, biomechanics and an empirical understanding of learning and human development. By expanding the self-image through movement sequences that bring attention to the parts of the self that are out of awareness, the Method enables you to include more of yourself in your functioning movements. Students become more aware of their habitual neuromuscular patterns and rigidities and expand options for new ways of moving. By increasing sensitivity the Feldenkrais Method assists you to live your life more fully, efficiently and comfortably.

The improvement of physical functioning is not necessarily an end in itself. Such improvement is based on developing a broader functional awareness which is often a gateway to more generalized enhancement of physical functioning in the context of your environment and life.”

While, as always, the more I learn the more I realize I have to learn, the dots have connected in some very profound and gratifying ways in these last few weeks. I’m learning new ways to experience and understand movement, patterns of behavior, and how we impact one another in our interconnectedness.

On that last topic, while here in Eugene I saw an important, inspiring and uplifting documentary entitled “I Am” by Tom Shadyac. Shadyac — the very successful director of hit Hollywood comedies such as “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” and “Liar, Liar” — sets out with a small film crew to find out what’s wrong with the world and what we can do about it. He ends up — in his words — “finding out what’s right.” Interviewing a wide range of important scientists, historians, psychologists and activists such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Howard Zinn, what Shadyac comes to discover is that science is beginning to catch up with spirituality in confirming that we really are all connected, and that what we do and how we do it has a profound impact on our communities and our world. See www.iamthedoc.com for more information. I hope you’ll have the chance to see it.

I’m always happy to talk about my experiences with Feldenkrais, and — if you’re interested in trying it out for yourself — Kim Cottrell offers weekly classes at Edge Fitness in North Portland. Also, stay tuned for more information about the next round of Feldenkrais workshops with Kim coming to Yoga Pearl in the fall.

I look forward to seeing you soon at Yoga Pearl!

Comments

  1. Beautiful. I just played with the movement and it feels incredible! When’s the workshop?

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