“You only have to be your own self-guide.”(Moshe Feldenkrais)
About the Feldenkrais Method
Moshé Feldenkrais assumes that every person, regardless of their age, can enhance the quality of his life by becoming aware of their movement. This is not about fitness in the sense of gymnastics, as the title of the book of the same name suggests: “discovering the elusive obvious“; realizing what you really do, how you move. Strength, flexibility, resistance or coordination are not practiced, instead there is experimenting with what is possible and self-evident, and with the perception of movement. Not powerful, but quasi “intelligent” movements can be learned, which can have the side effect that you retain your strength, flexibility, and coordination. In this way, everyday life can be developed into a constant “experiment”, the well-known can be redeveloped.
“If you don’t know what you are doing, you can’t do what you want. To recognise oneself, seems the most important thing to me, what a person can do for himself“ – writes M. Feldenkrais. Through this path of self-awareness, as it is called “sensomotoric and kinaesthetic learning”, you learn time by time to use your own body more consciously while lying, sitting, standing and walking. Your body awareness will improve and you will find an inner and outer balance that suits you.
You’ll learn how to:
- Listen to your body while moving and resting, so you can sense the earliest warning signals of strain, and adjust accordingly.
- Feel safer in your body – by accessing a clear sense of internal and external support, and ability to adapt in each moment.
- Restore ease of breathing, and use the sensation of breath as a guide and measure for ease of movement.
- Release excessive tension in specific areas of the body to support optimal parasympathetic / sympathetic nervous system balance.
- Develop simple, effective self-care resources.
- Improve how you work with yourself by increasing skill, rather than will-power.
“Feldenkrais is gentle.(L. Goldfarb)
The idea is that you will
change most easily
if the new movements
are more comfortable
than the old ones.”
About Moshe Feldenkrais:
Moshe Feldenkrais (Doctor of Science, Sorbonne) was an engineer, physicist, inventor, martial artist and student of human development. Born in 1904 in eastern Europe, he emigrated to Palestine as a teenager of 14. He was an avid athlete, the first European to wear a black judo belt. When Moshé Feldenkrais was almost unable to walk after a knee injury, he developed a method to help himself. In doing so, he discovered how important it is to learn, how to learn, while taking your own body into account. From decades of research into the learning process in humans, Feldenkrais developed the two techniques of his method: group lessons he called “awareness through movement” and individual lessons he called “functional integration”. Feldenkrais gained attention and recognition beyond the borders of Israel, especially when the image of David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of the State of Israel, in a headstand on Tel Aviv Beach got through the world press. It is important to know that the overweight prime minister had suffered from chronic back pain, breathing difficulties and other serious health problems for decades, which forced him to step down from office early. Feldenkrais died in Israel in 1984.
“I am going to be your last teacher.(Moshe Feldenkrais)
Not because I’ll be the greatest teacher
you may ever encounter,
but because from me you will learn
how to learn.
When you learn how to learn,
you will realize that there are no teachers,
that there are only people learning
and people learning
how to facilitate learning.”
Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais developed two methods out of trying to help himself: individual work and group work.
Individual work – Functional Integration:
Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais called it “Functional Integration”. It is more responsive to your individually expressed wishes. Your attention is directed beyond the verbal through the hands of the Feldenkrais practitioner.
In Individual lessons I give you the opportunity to perceive how you organise yourself in motion by means of fine touches and movements. You will learn to reorganise yourself in a new and effective way, to move more easily, more comfortably and more gracefully. For individual lessons please wear as well comfortable, warm everyday clothing with long sleeves.
“Feldenkrais slowed you down,(Anna Halprin)
got you inside your body
so you experienced something
that was real to you,
not somebody else
doing something on you.”
Group work – Awareness through movement:
The group work is called “Awareness through Movement”. It takes place in comfortable everyday clothing through tasks, explanations, hints and support in verbal form. This is not about practicing movements … but about accompanying your own movements with widened attention. You can learn to develop your sensory for easily executed movements during a group lesson. It doesn’t matter what you do, but how you do something. The main question is “How”. It is important to discover and find slight movements with curiosity, in order to perceive and feel differences. The positive effects are the result of your attentive movements. It is a process of experiencing, sensing and thinking, and it can lead to a deep transformation of your entire life.
In group lessons I guide your movements only with words, so there is no need to struggle trying to copy the teacher’s movements and no ideal to strive for. Instead you’ll have plenty of time to sense into yourself, and to discover your own inner world by yourself. Usually lying down, sometimes sitting or walking, movements with a specific reference to everyday life are explored. For group lessons, please wear comfortable, warm everyday clothing and bring a blanket and thick socks.
“Efficient activity is sensed as easy and fluent,(M. Feldenkrais, Body and Mature Behavior, 1949)
and looks and feels graceful.”