Author Archives: Sandy Weiss

Brain Plasticity

neurons

So, I know on my home page I say, “Make brain plasticity a part of your everyday experience.” But, the fact of the matter is that you already are.  In this TED talk Dr. Laura Boyd explains:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNHBMFCzznE

This is so cool!! My favorite part is the comment about how you are making plastic changes in your brain by what you are doing and what you aren’t doing.  You can choose how you want to shape your brain!!  Those little flashes of light in the photo above are the connections between the neurons that feed them to grow them the way you want too!!  Open up, feel some ease. You don’t need to push.  Just let it go!!  Have some fun!  Join me for a Feldenkrais Lesson!

Cheers!         Sandy  🙂

 

 

Be mindful of the body and bodyful of the mind.

That’s funny isn’t it.  In this time of the Olympics and the heavy influence of things like CrossFit we are quite inspired and competitive.  But those 2 words can actually be combined into something that is not so helpful.  So often we set our goals based on something outside of ourselves….5K, 10K, 26.2M 140.6M, 24H, 7D…….  Those goals are EVERYWHERE!!!  How can you not!  It takes a strong heart and a mindful body and a bodyful mind to not!!!  So what does that mean?  I have a history of participation in endurance events. Those events shaped me.  But, I learned the most when I didn’t finish one I set out to finish.  It was odd though.  I didn’t make a firm choice not to finish.  I just sort of meandered into not finishing.  Truthfully l had hypothermia and was not mindful or bodyful but my heart was strong.  I was strangely joyful.  So, was it divine intervention???  Hmmmm??  I don’t know.

Our bodies and minds are intimately connected.  When one isn’t working well neither is the other in many cases.  Stephen Hawking is one example of an extremely superior mind that keeps a weak body going.  It can also go the other way which is why physical exercises is so important in diseases like Alzheimer’s.

To my friends who participate in endurance events of all kinds;  be mindful of your body and bodyful of your mind.  The mind and the body live on a 2 way street.  Each sends and receives messages from the other if we listen.  Know when you are able to notice your body and when you are able to notice your thoughts during your training and your events.  Because, when you check out of one or the other or both the only thing that can save you is divine intervention.  When we check out of one or both we are likely injuring one or both.  We can get in the habit of checking out of one or both or get in the habit of producing our own progressive discomfort because of a willful mind and strong body.  If you assume goals set by others, someone you see, or an event organizer you adjust what your goal would have been if it were uniquely inspired.  Those uniquely inspired ones are the most important and the most valuable.  And be careful not to judge yourself by the goals set by others.  And maybe even if you don’t achieve one of the goals set by someone else that you are trying to meet you will achieve the most amazing moment you could ever imagine.    Set your own goal.  It can occur within an outside goal.  But don’t forget to allow your own goal to have more meaning.  Maybe you can have a goal to try something new and find something new about yourself.  Don’t let it come at the price of a versatile mind and healthy body.  It’s easy to develop habits in training.  Some are useful.  Some are not.  Habits can outgrow usefulness.  Following a habit is not necessarily being mindful or bodyful.  Notice when you are in a habit.  Nuns got rid of them for a reason!

Feldenkrais like Quantum Physics?

Soooooooo, that’s a funny title isn’t it??  One of my clients said to me the other day, “Feldenkrais is like the Quantum Physics of body work.”  I thought that was pretty cool to hear as we were wrapping up our Functional Integration lesson.  On my way home I was chuckling to myself about it.  Then just a few days ago I cracked open a book I bought some years back about how we bring our hands to folks in a lesson and there it was…………sdc

 

This is the strength duration curve I have been teaching Physical Therapy students about probably for the last 10 years or more.  I used it in the context of how different nerve fibers are stimulated in response to electrical pulses.  The vertical axis is the strength of the electrical pulse and the horizontal axis represents the duration of the pulse.  The function of the nerve is represented by the curve.  The nerves could be sensory, motor, sharp pain, or dull pain.  Interestingly the labeling was different in the book by Yochanan Rywerant about The Feldenkrais Method.  His graph was to represent Energy Exchange and Learning.  He labeled the vertical axis as “energy exchanged” and the horizontal axis as “information transmitted.”  The area indicated by the blue rectangle in Rywerant’s book is the upper limit of what can be conveyed in a Feldenkrais Lesson.  He called it a “quantum of manipulation.”  I taught my students that the area in the blue rectangle was the most efficient delivery of an electrical pulse that would stimulate the fiber you are interested in approaching.  Rywerant pointed out the analogy to Heisenberg’s Principle of Uncertainty in atomic physics concerning the position of particles and momentum.  So there you have it!!

But, a touche, not to be taken out by the physics of the matter or those who may not choose to view the world that way!  This work just works!!  It’s just the right amount of what you need to feel better, be better, do better.  And that my friends makes the world a better place for everyone!!  Who needs a graph for that?Cheers!!                   Sandy

 

 

Remember these guys?

Capture ne

Back in the day “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil,” were those cute little monkeys we would see all over the place.  I just looked these guys up on line and it said something about “moral compass,” next to this image.  Hmmmmmmm??  What’s up with that?  I’m thinking it might be a good idea to “see everything”, “hear everything” and then “do something.”  These day’s the idea of limiting what we see and hear is sort of silly.  And, if we act like the things we don’t feel good about seeing and hearing are non existent then we are just fooling ourselves.  In the Feldenkrais Method it’s all about “more options.”  Options create more possibilities for mobility and function in the moment.  I mean the moment is constantly shifting.  You never know what you will need.  The weather is a great example.  Here around St. Louis sometimes you need a jacket, sometimes an umbrella, sometimes flip flops, sometimes running shoes, sometimes sun glasses, sometimes a hat.  And sometimes that jacket is just plain evil because it is so hot and sticky you don’t want to even carry it around.  So, sometimes you need a back pack to carry it in.  And, maybe that’s even too hot.  With more options we can make better choices.  So, if we see and hear more things we can decide what works for a given moment.  The Feldenkrais Method (R) teaches us where we have options that we might not be so aware of.  It teaches this through how we sense and use our own bodies.  It makes movement easier and more comfortable and teaches us ways of functioning that make us feel better.  My new mantra is going to be…….”Feel Better, Be Better, Do Better.”  Join me for an Awareness Through Movement Class or an individual Functional Integration Lesson.  You just might learn some new options!        See you soon!  Sandy

Spring has Sprung

Here around St. Louis the air is filled with exciting new growth of the season.  It feels good having the warm sunny days of spring.   Funny how we tend to stop noticing some things when they are around us consistently.  It’s a natural function of the nervous system to allow some things to drop out of our attention.  The changing seasons here really help me notice our lovely environment.  The changing movements in an Awareness Through Movement Lesson(R) or a Functional Integration Lesson(R) help the nervous system notice functions in the body that may not be so helpful.  As a result the body is allowed to let go of what is preventing ease.   Find a little more ease in you. Join me for a lesson.

Embrace It All

When we are small everything seems big.  When we are big so many things seem small.  When we are young time goes slow.  When we are old time goes so fast.  What’s up with that????

When we are young so many things seem sooooo significant.  When we get older so many things seem insignificant.

It seems like all we can see are the 2 ends.  The middle becomes very vague.  But the middle is where all the juice is!!  Between the two ends there is so much going on.  Is it possible to embrace it all??  I am not so sure.  How can I put my attention on it all?  Well, I guess I just have to pick what I can pay attention to.  I like to pay attention to the good stuff.  But, if I pay attention to the stuff I don’t like so much maybe I can change it.

As we move along the circle of life it’s nice to feel as much as we can and notice all of the good stuff.  We can make things better by believing they can be better.  If we allow ourselves to change our beliefs we can change ourselves.  If we embrace it all we have more to work with.  Everything we do and sense is important. How we allow those things to function in context is how we make our world.  We can make our world better and better every moment we are here when we choose to sense and do so.  I believe in better.

Great bumper sticker: Don’t Believe What You Think

The implications of this are astonishing!!  I, not long ago was struck by the idea that, “I am not my thoughts.”  I know that may sound weird.  But, I really pondered that idea.  Our brains are in overdrive!!!!!!  We are bombarded by advertisement and suggestions every moment we are alive.  Now, granted, we don’t have to take them all in.  But, many of them are inserted without our awareness, in ways we don’t understand.  If you are practiced at meditation you probably are very aware of what you are thinking on many levels.  But, when I walk in the trees and allow myself to step out of my own way, sometimes I can hear those recordings in my brain a bit more clearly.  If I just allow myself to let them run and notice them without judgement, knowing they are not me but only a factor of what I am exposed to I don’t have to BELIEVE any of them.  So liberating!!!!  I love it!!!!  If you allow yourself to get roped into the idea of BELIEVING so many of the thoughts that cross your mind they have the power to MAKE you into something that may not be so useful.  Some beliefs are very healing. Others, not so much.  So………………….from now on…………..I will be careful to notice what I think and will only choose to BELIEVE what is helpful in the moment.  In this way I can MAKE myself into something better each moment of each day.  I invite you to join me!!

Inspiration

What is it???  Its that feeling that fills us with vitality and motivation. This is the part of life that lets us know we are on a path that is progressive and positive.

But, how do we get it??  How do we feel it??  Sometimes it seems so far away.

Well, it’s always in us.  How we uncover it is in our power.  Noisy thoughts hide it very often.  Slowing down helps us hear it.  Our culture doesn’t like the idea of slowing down, backing up, and listening to ourselves.  But, this is just the right medicine to come closer to inspiration, freedom, ease, flow.

So, slow down, back up, listen to yourself.  Feel something in yourself or about yourself for a few moments.  Find your inspiration!  Know that your inspiration is part of the structure of life that keeps it moving forward for everyone.  The Feldenkrais Method helps you do this.  Come join me for a class or a one on one lesson!!

See you there!

Sandy

 

The Feldenkrais Method

This is a method of approaching situations in life from the perspective of the fully open learner.  “What is that,” you ask. Sensing with all that is available to sense with, to determine the route of greatest efficiency in function.

At any given moment we have an infinite number of options. Unfortunately, the hardest part is sensing all of the options available. As we exist in this life moment by moment we develop a habit of view, a way of being that corresponds to greatest efficiency at some point in time.  But, things change with time.  Situations arise that require different ways of being for greatest efficiency.  The more open each of us is as a learner, at any given moment, the more options we can see, feel, hear, smell, and sense, to determine the most efficient way of action.

How can I open my senses to more options?????                         Practice. Practice. Practice.

Can I open more as my existence progresses?????  Sure…..fortunately, the imagination is a beautiful assistant in allowing more depth of sense.  I am grateful!!!  Off to the next adventure!!