…with Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement
81 Tressillian Road
Easy, Graceful Movement From Your Core
August 12th 2018
Steve Shafarman – Feldenkrais teacher and author of Awareness Heals shared his experiences of touring a gym with Moshe a few years before he died:
“He [MF] often denounced sit-ups, push-ups, and other exercises that seek to stretch or strengthen individual muscles. Real strength, he taught us, involves all of the muscles working harmoniously with relatively low even tone. Any muscle that’s tighter than necessary – six-pack abs, for example – impairs movement overall, and results in weakness, not strength.” You can read his whole article here.
It is pleasing to realise that graceful movement comes from an agile torso. We resist the force of gravity not by making ourselves more solid but more responsive. In Japan, where the ground is particularly unreliable, early architectural engineers discovered the way to keep a building from falling down every time there was an earthquake was to design them to be unstable – it is amazing to watch these buildings withstanding earthquakes due to their flexibility rather than their rigidity – dynamic stability in action!
Full article with more information about the workshop themes here.
Many of us are so used to living in a state of compulsive muscular resistance that we cannot remember what moving with ease feels like. In these Art Of Allowing Workshops you will be learning to stop bracing yourself against the unpredictabilities of life, to stop holding yourself down, like a cork held underwater, and instead to let yourself bob up to the surface and enjoy the sensation of floating effortlessly, carried along easily by a skeleton that can move freely, unimpeded by unconscious constraints. With the adaptable strategies of Feldenkrais we unravel these unconscious muscular tensions using carefully designed movement sequences – not exercises, much more like the explorations and playful discoveries of the developing toddler – as a very natural way to lower muscular effort throughout the whole self, but the long-term aim is greater ease in every aspect of life. Every time you can catch yourself in the act of tensing back up again, you learn a little more about yourself, your true feelings, and your suppressed desires. Once you start to get a handle on what is making you so resistant and wary and armoured against those around you, then it becomes possible to begin to truly renew yourself.
In these regular workshops I am exploring in depth what I feel Feldenkrais has to contribute to the Integrative/Functional Medicine revolution taking place in the West.
I intend to make the way Feldenkrais works so clear that you will find you can easily explain what you are learning in class to your friends and family. When you feel better after Feldenkrais – and most people feel better after their first class or workshop – we practitioners want you to be able to tell others what you have been doing, and how and why it works! Of course, when you fully understand what strategies you are learning and why, you can more easily use them in ways that will enable you to move better, feel better, and be better, every day of your life.
These workshops are ideal for you whether you are beginning the process of improving your health and mobility for the first time, or are perhaps already on a path of self-healing, and thus familiar with practices such as Yoga, Tai Chi, Aikido, Open Focus Meditation, and Heart Rhythm Meditation – Awareness Through Movement will enhance any practice designed to improve movement, health, posture, sleep patterns and our natural sense of joy.
Awareness Through Movement – How it works…
Learning to move freely and spontaneously in all dimensions, with mindful self-focus and heightened sensory motor awareness, is a wonderful skill for…
Self-calming and de-stressing
Self-healing and pain relief
Self-awareness and self-knowledge – plus
Self-development and personal growth
Become the most self-aware and fully integrated version of yourself – use mindful movement to bring your whole being into unity and harmony. This intimate workshop will be ideal as an introduction to Feldenkrais or a great way to renew your relationship with Feldenkrais and reboot your practice if you have had a break from classes or private lessons.
Moshe Feldenkrais was way ahead of his time when he began using touch and movement to trigger new learning and healing in his “pupils”. The positive changes we can make to our everyday experience of life by enhancing our “awareness” are better understood with every new development in neuroscience – despite the fact that “awareness” is much easier for us to experience than it is for science to define!
Many, many wonderful researchers, teachers and commentators are coming forward to spread the word, whether their focus is on emotional, physical or spiritual health. In fact the most advanced – amazing people like research psychologist Dan Siegel (here he is talking about integration for TED) – are aware that these elements of life and health cannot truly be separated. Emotional and spiritual health are at the forefront of this new wave, with “Mindfulness” the most prominent word of the moment. Here is a typical article on the subject, beginning with the writer making the usual complaints about being encouraged to focus their attention on their kinaesthetic self-sensing process, but then going on to give a very clear overview of the wealth of positive research that has led to the level of popularity that mindfulness training is currently enjoying.
Those of you still reading will probably remember a recent favourite discovery of mine – a quotation that puts Feldenkrais firmly in the mindfulness picture, direct from the “horse’s mouth”:
“There is one thing that, when cultivated and regularly practiced, leads to deep spiritual intention, to peace, to mindfulness and clear comprehension, to vision and knowledge, to a happy life here and now, and to the culmination of wisdom and awakening. And what is that one thing? It is mindfulness centred on the body.”
…it is clear that this is a whole-self process; not just mind, not just focussing our thoughts, but BodyMind – melding mental and sensory attention into one integrated process. What is not always recognised in this current surge of popularity is that movement is a vital component for increasing the benefits of your meditative practice.
If you have been to a Feldenkrais class you will recognise that Awareness Through Movement is built on a foundation of exactly this process of integrating the sensory-motor awareness to the present moment of conscious attention, while anchoring this whole-self focus to a new kind of doing. The new behaviour is designed to replace the older automatic and robotic behaviour that all of us are prone to. These habits of mind and movement are programmed into the nervous system with every repetitive act we engage in – but as soon as you stop practising these old habits and start replacing them with new, better habits then the older neural pathways can be overwritten.
Here is another neuroplasticity expert, Dr Joe Dispenza, talking about how you can unlearn bad habits you want to let go of (13 minutes in) – if you are determined enough…
You may have a sore shoulder, back or knee; or a tendency to trip or to bang into inanimate objects, or maybe it takes you a long time to calm down after a stressful experience; the good news is that these are all issues that will improve when you replace old behavioural programmes with new ones. Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement is for every part of you, it is designed to bring your mind-body-spirit together into one fully-integrated, fully-functional self – of course that takes practice, but then, doesn’t everything that actually works? At least with Feldenkrais the path to health is varied, and fun – and you don’t have to get very far down the path before you begin to feel much, much better!
Here is Dan Seigel talking about changing your brain on purpose, just like we do in Feldenkrais:
Call or email me to make enquiries or bookings:
07976 640737 ~ 020 7642 1457