The Feldenkrais Method® uses mind and movement to help people do whatever they do, better! It is not a specific WAY to move, but an exploration of HOW you move. The Method helps you develop deep physical awareness, and to discover, transform or dissolve movement patterns that no longer serve you.
The Method leverages the power of directed attention – attention to the details of each individual’s movement and body – to improve the ease and comfort of life.
Who is the Method good for? Pretty much anyone! Anyone can benefit from moving better, whether it’s for a special “expert” activity, like dance or sports, or for daily life, like being able to crouch down and hug a child. It is useful for people recovering from injuries, it can increase range of motion, improve stability and balance, decrease pain and connect you to your power.
It is taught in two ways:
Awareness Through Movement® lessons are classes where the teacher verbally guides students through movement sequences for learning.
Functional Integration® lessons are one-on-one lessons with a practitioner, which use gentle, non-invasive touch and movement tailored to the student’s concerns.
Feldenkrais lessons help the student develop a more detailed inner map. Picture your kitchen…I suspect you know exactly where you would find your favorite coffee mug (2nd cupboard over the sink, first shelf, in the middle), or the cheese grater (in the 1st drawer next to the sink, on the left, next to the teaspoons). You can picture in your mind where they are.
Or perhaps your office or workspace – you can imagine exactly where the tools are that you need to do your work. Imagine yourself walking into the room, finding them, reaching for them, using them.
But most people cannot do the same for their own body – where in your body, exactly, do you find the strength to stand up from sitting, the leverage to hit a tennis ball, or the torque to perform a pirouette?
Organization is key, just as in an efficient kitchen! The organization in a workspace means tasks can be completed more easily, with less effort (where IS that file?!). Something similar is true in your body.
When you develop clear pathways for movement, a more detailed self-image, you can organize for efficiency, ease, comfort and even pleasure in movement! The Feldenkrais Method improves your ability to organize for tasks big and small.
The Feldenkrais Method was created by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, who began by exploring his own experience and healing a chronic knee injury. Feldenkrais was a distinguished scientist, a mechanical engineer and physicist. Born in Russia, he emigrated to Israel at age 13. He studied and worked in Europe, and eventually trained practitioners of the Method in Israel and the US. For more information about his life and the Method, check out the links below:
Bio of Dr. Feldenkrais from the International Feldenkrais Federation
Article by Ilona Fried: How Moshe Feldenkrais Reminds Me that Life is an Adventure