What happens in the Feldenkrais Class and Individual Session?
In the Feldenkrais classes (Awareness Trough Movement classes or ATM®) you will be verbally led by the Feldenkrais ® teacher trough sequences of movement. Those sequences are followed in various positions laying, sitting or standing. They are organized around functions such as walking, sitting, turning and many explore developmental movements. There are hundreds of lessons to learn from. Each lesson will involve some thinking, sensing and feeling to help you refine your perception and tackle the patterns that have become habituated. Each lesson will also give you alternatives to that habit and help you expand you choices.
In order to benefit from those classes, make sure you wear comfortable clothing that is not restrictive. You will be guided trough sequences of slow, gentle movements and an extra layer of clothing is usually a good idea. (Don`t wait to discover this for yourself – an extra jumper and a pair of socks will allow you to enjoy the lesson). The movement class is between 45-60min. long. Time could be allowed for a short lecture and discussion – in that case the lessons are 1.30-45 min.
The one to one sessions known as Functional Integration® FI, fits the individual learning needs of the student. The teacher guides the student’s movements. The touch is extremely gentle and non-invasive in tune with the principles of the method. The session is 60 min. long , the student is fully clothed and lying, sitting or standing – depending on the theme of the lesson. The Feldenkrais teacher might use rollers or padding to increase your comfort and help you relax tension in specific areas. The Feldenkrais table is different from the massage coach. It is wider and with firmer foam padding. That helps the student sense better the changing areas of contact during the movement, and increases the amount of kinesthetic information useful for the learning process.
What is the difference between the Feldenkrais Method ® and Massage, Chiropractic, Yoga, Pilates?
The Feldenkrais method helps you develop further the ability to self regulate and coordinate your movements, which means it`s working with the nervous system and the person always in the context of a specific action or function. As a Feldenkrais teacher I`m trained to help you develop you competency in action – the organic competence that belongs to you and you only and is adaptable, clever and spontaneous – and will not let you down in a time of challenge.
Moshe Feldenkrais once wrote that “Health is measured not by the capacity to stay standing but by the ability to be knocked down and then return to standing.”
The Feldenkrais method is non-prescriptive and instead guides you towards your ability to access and choose wisely from a broader spectrum of movement, which inevitably leads to increased sense of freedom and fluidity.
All of the methods mentioned above have different focus point than the Feldenkrais method some aim to afflict change by mechanically altering the body structure (muscles and bones to each other) Others tend to be prescriptive in their understanding of body organization and in this way can narrow your understanding of movement by creating an artificial gap between right and wrong movement, focus on postures and correction. We all hear a lot these days about how beneficial Stretching is and how important Strong Core is and often those ideas are presented to us without any further explanation or a very questionable understanding. Did you know that muscles can`t stretch and the core has to be not only strong but also agile to serve you well. The Feldenkrais method is an educational modality, a learning experience –it promotes organic learning, which is always contextual and experiential, involves sensing, thinking, moving and feeling. It enables you to give yourself the best treatment and lifestyle you truly deserve. It restores human dignity and everyone’s right to do what he/she loves most move with ease, grace and without pain.
With the help of the Feldenkrais method you will learn to sense that keeping a high muscle tonus is not the best solution and it interferes with your ability to sense potentially harmful actions, with the ability to initiate movements and the quality of the movement/action. We will have addressed many of the concepts and see how what we believe shapes our movement potential.
Who benefits from the Feldenkrais method®?
Everyone can benefit from the Feldenkrais method® as we all have adaptable nervous system (see Neuroplasticity). We are all capable of re-learning, enriching and refining our ways of action. Any activity that you could reach by will is action such as breathing, walking, playing sports and music. Any of those could be altered, bettered or re-learned. If you are new to the Feldenkrais method® it is advisable to tell your teacher about your history of pain and injury. I have created a form that you are advised to fill in and send before your first group class, as sometimes in group environment it`s not easy to get to that personal space where you are able to share this bits of information. If you would rather prefer to talk about, please give me a call.
Why the Feldenkrais teacher is not showing the movements in the group classes?
We use the word teacher, as it is easy to understand. What is that really happens is – the Feldenkrais practitioner enables you to make life changing discoveries. The learning we are concerned with applies to any action (movement), but very different from simple imitation. The Feldenkrais teacher does not want you to imitate the way he/or she moves for the simple reason that in such case you most probably will not question your interpretation, perception and understanding of the suggested act. Anyway if to apply those to your own movement, you very easily can discover and distinguish when what you do is easy and pleasurable and when it is difficult and challenging. It is all three of those you might have to improve : your thinking (interpretation), your sensing (perception) and your feeling (understanding) to improve your movement (action).
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