Anyone seeking to improve something about themselves.
Anyone with pain, stress, or stiffness-can find ways to open and ease motion to allow more freedom of movement for anything from computing, to walking, gardening, child care, running, hiking, rocking climbing……………………………………….the list is endless.
Athletes and Dancers– can find more speed, power, efficiency, fluidity, and grace.
Musicians-can find more effective ways to produce sound from their instruments.
Artists- can find new ways of creative expression.
Favorite Quote from Moshe Feldenkrais D.Sc.: “Make the impossible, possible; the possible easy; and the easy, elegant.”
On Moshe Feldenkrais
Information from the Feldenkrais Guild
The International Feldenkrais Federation
Where we bring our attention we become more aware.
Can we spread our attention or focus it? Is it easier to attend to something inside or outside ourselves?
Can we add perspective to our attention?
When are we more aware? When are we less aware?
How can I bring awareness to something I don’t know about?
Maybe it’s all about being aware of awareness and how mine influences what I do and how I am. Maybe it’s all about respecting others and knowing they have awareness that is probably different than mine. Maybe it’s about knowing that we all overlap in some of our awareness. Maybe it’s all about knowing that there is something I am not aware of.
This antennae I was given at birth, my human body, is a vehicle for my awareness. How shall I use it in this moment? What will I focus my attention on? What am I aware of? What am I doing? Am I doing what I want?
Back in the day……………it was all about hard work. “Put your nose to the grind stone.” “No pain no gain.” “The only way you can get a head in life is if you work harder.”
Do you think it’s possible that we have gotten into the habit of “working harder?” Or at least our brains think that working harder is supposed to be better. If you think that way then all you do is kick yourself when you don’t believe you are working ‘hard enough.’
And who says what ‘hard enough’ is anyway? How do YOU measure hard enough? Do you compare yourself to someone else? Maybe that’s a little restrictive.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be yourself and start from where YOU ARE right at this moment? How often do we allow ourselves the chance to do that? I mean………..when is the last time any of us gave ourselves a moment to just find out how it feels to just “BE where YOU ARE?” Because, truly, it is only from that place that you can start to grow and find more and easier and better ways of doing and being.
I was able to do that over the weekend. I went for a mountain bike ride with friends. There is a somewhat steep loose rocky climb that I have always remembered to be quite difficult to climb. For what ever reason I was always in the mind set, “just get to the top , just get to the top, go, go, go!” This past weekend I tried a question instead of a command to myself. “How can this be easier?” Funny enough, I found an amazing amount of ease in myself. It was still a climb, but, it felt smooth and flowing and much much lighter than ever before. Nice!! Give it a try. But, don’t forget , you should consider starting from where YOU ARE! Sometimes you have to let some things go in order to find that starting place. But, it feels great!
Hmmmmmmmmm!!! Don’t we all want to do something better? Is it possible to try so hard you actually get in your own way??? Maybe it would be better to slow down a bit and be a little more supple and sensory in what we’re doing. When we are say, running or riding, is it all about the heart rate or the power out put or speed? Maybe yes, maybe no. Consider this: have you ever had a little twinge of back pain, knee pain, hamstring pain, or calf pain and finish your workout to find that you can’t walk the next day? Why were you able to keep going? Why didn’t something let you know it could end up like that? We often train at uncomfortable levels for long periods of time without any consequence. But, sometimes it’s not like that. Could it be that we have dulled our ability to sense ourselves in what we do because it has become a habit? Have we gotten in the habit of setting our sites on a time/wattage/speed/podium placement/the person ahead of us and lost site of our own selves? Have we focused outside of ourselves so much that we have forgotten how to listen? Is it possible to back up and listen and find out that hmmmmmm maybe that hamstring pain is actually related to the fact that our low back muscles are actually still pulling that pelvis in the other direction? How could this be???? Is it possible that we quit listening to the back muscles a long time ago? Now we have a nagging hamstring pain that won’t allow a solid bike ride more than an hour or a run more than 5 miles. Is it a system wide focus on something outside yourself that is counter productive???? You can find ease in yourself. But………………you must listen first and then choose!! Find the ease and choose it!!! Join me in class at CasaBagus!
It’s funny how something like ambient air temperature can ignite a movement pattern that may not be so useful. In the cold it’s natural to tuck your chin down into the collar of your coat, breathe a little more shallowly to avoid taking in a big gulp of cold air, tighten your body in certain places to keep the draft from blowing up under your winter parka, or holding your arms into your sides a little more tightly to keep the warmth of your arm pits protected from escaping. We all do our own thing to preserve those things we want to protect, in this case body temperature. Sometimes those habits get put into motion through very well established pathways in the brain at times when they are not so helpful. Say you are outside walking the dog in the cold wintery air. You slip a little on the ice. Your arms reflexively reach out from your sides in at attempt to preserve your balance, But, unfortunately you have the “arms held slightly close to the body,” habit in action because it’s blasted cold outside. Unfortunately, those two actions don’t work so well together. It’s possible that your arm reaches out but your shoulder blades are still held in tightly and it results in a rather painful rotator cuff (shoulder joint tendon group) impingement situation. Contradictory actions do that sort of thing………….produce pain, tightness, stiffness. These are natural processes in conflict that we are unaware of. By increasing sensory awareness of this type of thing we can prevent the conflict and allow the shoulder blade and the arm to act efficiently together, both reaching out together in a coordinated manner. The Feldenkrais Method helps us unravel our sensory potential to allow us greater freedom to act in the world more efficiently, and often with less pain, discomfort, and injury! Woo Hoo! We can all use a little less of that!!
What a wonderful thing we are all born with. It works without a thought, allowing us to breath, eat and digest, see the world, touch the world, smell the world, help a friend, cry at a funeral, cough when something we eat ends up going in the wrong direction, drive a car, walk down the street, laugh at a funny joke. Except, when it doesn’t. For many of us it seems what should be automatic isn’t working or not the way that seems comfortable. How does this happen? Why does this happen? Could it be because it’s wired in? How did it get wired that way? Did we have something to do with it? Did our friends have something to do with it? Did our parents have something to do with it? Everything has something to do with it. Can it be changed? I believe so. I believe we can consciously work with what seems so automatic in us. I believe we can change many things. But, we need not be impatient. Things like this take time. Moshe Feldenkrais refers to “successive approximations.” These are small adjustments. We can all make them. Can we allow ourselves to see and accept them? I believe we can. Join me and find out how!! Moshe Feldenkrais found out how to make the automatic part of himself work for him. With his method we can all do that for ourselves. Amazing things can become more, “possible, easy, elegant!”
It’s great to think about how I do things automatically. To bring what I do automatically to my conscious attention gives me more options. But, I really have to SLOW DOWN to sense the details.