Drop-In classes coming to an end…
I feel I have given teaching drop-in classes a really good try, but I have to accept that it does not work. Feldenkrais is a way of doing that requires time and commitment to master – fortunately there are ongoing benefits to reward you in the early stages of the learning process – long before you have mastered the basics you should be feeling some improvement in your life from changing your behaviour. If pain is the reason you are coming to classes then even more commitment is required to begin to reverse the processes that have triggered your chronic pain conditions.
When I talk about the commitment aspect of the work I tend to use two examples in particular:
The first is musical development – no one expects to get much out of the piano if they only have a lesson once or twice a month, with little practice in between. It is possible that Art is a better image here, as it is likely you will gain pleasure simply from the colours you are using, and the skills you are developing, long before you produce a picture you are pleased enough with to show anyone else.
The second is Tai Chi, and this is probably a much closer example for most people, but also less familiar, as unlike art we did not get a chance to try it out at school, and have to seek it out and begin from scratch. However, although it is called a martial art, I suspect most people probably think of Tai Chi as a skill, and I do think Feldenkrais is more of an art, nothing less in fact than developing the art of being human. I use Tai Chi as an example because there are many overlapping strategies; Moshe was a martial artist throughout his adult life, and I firmly believe he saw his method as an alternative to martial arts and yoga, as well as psychotherapy, and structural approaches to health. The point is that no one expects to get any benefit from Tai Chi without regular commitment to practice, and the same applies to yoga and pilates, painting, music, dance, sport etc. etc.
The advantages of Feldenkrais over Tai Chi is that it is easier to do when you are already dealing with chronic conditions – I loved my experiences learning the Form, and my shoulders improved enormously, but alas my knees did not.
Feldenkrais is easy to do at home or at work; in a small space; lying, sitting, or standing; and (almost uniquely) in your imagination (in fact it is a great way to develop your ability to imagine) – consequently it is a way of combining a movement practice, a meditative practice, and a brain-training practice, all in one coherent package…
…and, until now I have been offering it as a drop-in, with the idea that this makes it easier for busy adults to take on, but I now feel that it is time to ask for more commitment up front.
From early July onwards I will be able to teach larger classes at home, but for now I can definitely cover the numbers currently coming to the Centre.
From this Tuesday I will be teaching at Drakefell Rd, SE14. I have plenty of mats so there is no need to bring anything with you. At the moment 3 is the maximum on the floor, so I will be offering chair lessons as an alternative should more people turn up – these are very useful for anyone who spends any time sitting in a chair!
Here are all the remaining drop-in dates:
May – 29
June – 5 / 12 / 15 / 19 / 22 / 26 / 29
- please do let me know if you are coming, so I can plan accordingly – contact details here. I have a small group coming to my home on Mondays who are loving the chair work and the intimacy, so I feel really happy about this shift.
From July onwards I will no longer be teaching drop-in, and I will aim to devise an acceptable way of charging, with some flexibility, that will require advance, non-returnable payments. I cannot schedule effective lessons when I do not know who is coming, and I feel smaller committed numbers are better for us all than a larger pool of irregular attendees. I will be able to have some fluidity with time, and that should help – probably more frequent, slightly shorter classes, hopefully meaning that anyone missing a class can come to an alternative class that is not full.
I will take a look at what others are doing and let you all know very shortly exactly what I am planning.
I have realised that this change will enable me to introduce focussed class themes – so I will be offering specific courses that focus on pain, on voice, and on the other functional aspects I explore in my regular workshops as well.
Please let me know how you feel about this change, I look forward to any feedback you have to offer.
Very best wishes,
From a recent blog post:
Learning to move freely in all dimensions, with mindful self-focus and heightened awareness, is a wonderful tool for…
Self-calming – Self-healing – Self-awareness – and Self-development
Become the most self-aware and fully integrated version of yourself – use mindful movement to bring your whole being into unity and harmony. For a more in-depth explanation of Feldenkrais as mindful, or meditative movement, read on…
£10.00 / £8.00 Concessions (for anyone on a low income)
Drakefell Rd, SE14
There is plenty of parking if you are coming by car.
Awareness Through Movement – a brief introduction…
Moshe Feldenkrais wasn’t only an engineer, he was also a Judo teacher, and his Method reveals his expertise in both these areas of practical knowledge. As he experimented with ways to teach his judo students to be better fighters he began to be interested in how we learn, and what gets in the way of learning. He was particularly struck by how ingrained habits of movement can be hard to unlearn and he taught his fighters to work with rather than against their own natural responses when under attack. He saw that all of us have the capability to continue to develop new abilities throughout our lives, and that this capacity to upgrade our own brains and refine our sensory-motor awareness was the ideal way to recover from injury and prolong the healthy functioning of our selves, physically and mentally. He was confident that learning how to move less habitually and with more awareness would naturally lead to releasing us from habitual emotional attitudes and patterns of thought as well. Here is a snippet of Feldenkrais lecturing about movement, and Campbell Soup!