Fluidity and Ease: Enhancing your Life through Feldenkrais
When do you know that you've truly incorporated the Feldenkrais practice into daily life? For me, it's when I find myself no longer just "getting out of bed" in the morning; I smoothly roll off the bed with a smile on my face. It's when I elegantly turn and get up from the toilet seat, when I rock climb with fluidity and clear awareness of my hips, when I gently pick up a mug with soft fingers, and when I type while paying attention to my eyes, relaxing them with an expanded view instead of being laser-focused on the next letter on the screen.
Incorporating the Feldenkrais Method into your daily life can bring about profound changes in the way you move, think, and experience the world. It's not just about going through the motions; it's about how you go through motions with awareness and a gentle, easy quality. When you start to embody the Feldenkrais practice, you'll notice subtle yet significant shifts in how you navigate everyday activities.
It took me five years of Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement practice, plus three years of teacher training, to get to where I am now. And that's why I am so motivated to teach Awareness Through Movement (ATM) in my way that emphasizes how these lessons can have a transformative power that you can bring into your day-to-day life. I want to make this journey easier for you.
Mindset Shift: A New Learning Paradigm
A key to making the ATM lessons really work in life is to go through a series of mindset shifts: that less is more, that the way to get power is to allow myself to be powerless, that allowing myself to rest is not being lazy but really the only way to learn effectively, that attending to my authentic needs will not spoil me but make me more resourceful and potent.
I have a series of blog posts to expand on these points: The Feldenkrais Way of Life.
More principles from ATM lessons that can apply to life include:
You may have already discovered how counter-intuitive (or crazy?) what I said above is. In a world that often glorifies busyness and productivity, the importance of rest or relaxation is often overlooked. Even if we talk about taking a rest, it's usually some kind of carefully curated experience during special days ("weekends"/"holidays") or doing special rituals (spa, massage, exotic resorts). However, Feldenkrais recognizes the profound impact of rest on effective learning and overall well-being, in everyday life, in your everyday movements. It challenges social programmed dogma about living a good life and efficient learning.
Are all the Feldenkrais teachings true? Will they actually work? I would not attempt to eloquently persuade you (though there are empirical studies being done), but rather, post it as an open question and invite you to explore your own answers.
Join me on this Journey
At Red Beard, I offer bi-weekly online ATM group classes and online one-on-one classes . There are also countless Feldenkrais video resources on YouTube and great books, either by Moshe Feldenkrais himself or other practitioners, that cover how the Feldenkrais method can help ease your pain, make sitting easier, or improve your singing. Furthermore, you can search for practitioners who offer in-person Feldenkrais lessons, including Function Integration (hands-on lessons), in your area. I encourage you to try different ways of learning that suit your current needs and resources.
I personally really enjoy teaching one-on-one lessons, where I get to know the student in a more holistic way, not only regarding the kinds of pain or discomfort they are experiencing but more importantly, how they deal with challenges, how they process new information, what aspirations they have, and how they see themselves as a person ("self-image," in the Feldenkrais term). And all of those understandings help me customize my lessons to bring out the best learning experiences for my students.
For example, I have met students who are seasoned singing teachers and were so surprised to discover that by changing how they turn their heads, singing can be so much easier. I have met students who are very analytical thinkers and want to understand the neural and anatomical theories behind ATM lessons before they can fully accept doing the movement practices (and then made amazing progress). Some students need more time to explore and take things very slowly, and some students want more continuous instructions so their overly active monkey mind won't take over during the somatic exploration. I also love the process where the students gradually become clear about what they need and feel comfortable expressing their needs to me as a teacher.
I look forward to meeting you on this journey. Get in touch and schedule your free consultation call now!
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