Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New life: learning, or upgrading our robot?

hike in twilight christmas day

As per my
version of life on Earth:

we have three choices:

high functioning robot

low functioning robot

awake person

The huge temptation
in all the "healing" and "helping" work
is to give people a program
a recipe
a rule
a set of rules
that will get them from low functioning robot
to high functioning

believe it or not
this even happens in the Feldenkrais world,
though hopefully not
in the Wake Up Feldenkrais world

one example of this
is a back help DVD
which luckily I get to return,
and i will return
because though purporting to be
a blend of Feldenkrais and Physical Therapy
ends up giving people
set rules
and set programs for their legs and hips
as the way out of back pain

it might even work,
except this isn't "working"
the way a baby learns to crawl
by discovering and exploring
and having deep organic
natural learning

this is:
I'll show you the Right Way
which is quicker
and maybe makes immediate changes more
but in the long run,
you've just substituted a higher level
of automatic behavior

So, now
today's main topic:
a new fad on Feldy Forum
is the combo of Feldenkrais and
when Moshe Feldenkrais met Milton Erickson
whom i've written about in my healthetc blog
( see
Ericksonian hypnosis
which actually presents a picture of hypnosis
as a more aware process than
I'm critiquing in the following mini-essay)

anyway both are genius
and both access new behaviors
and allow people to make amazing shifts

and here's what i came across in an
old Feldenkrais Journal (#8, 1993)
from an article called
Getting Ourselves Out of Trance
a book review by Carl Ginsburg
of the book :
Trances People Live: Healing Approaches
in Quantum Psychology

(excuse me while i gag myself a little for the "quantum"
but hey,
this was before Deepak
and the Secret
and what the bleep bleep):

Anyway, here's a central quote from the book:
Really Important,
I opine:

"In the Ericksonian model, I learned that trance states
could be induced or facilitated as a therapeutic intervention
to interrupt the symptom structure
and access
unconscious potentials and resources.

In my breakthrough moment
those puzzle pieces came together in an entirely new pattern:

I saw that although trance states can be used
to evoke resources and change
on an unconscious level,
they can also be --are used--
to create the symptomatology with which we all struggle.

I saw that the person who brings his or her problems
and symptoms
to me
is already in a trance state, and
it is this very trance state that is interrupting
his or her experience of the present moment,
blocking unconscious problems and symptoms.

The therapeutic intervention then involves working
with the trance state
the person has already created
(which de-hypnotizes them)
rather than inducing or facilitating another
kind of trance that may or may not
be pivotal to the patient's symptom structure."

La, la:
this means:
in we go,
in a trance:

do we want to come out with a
better trance
(witness the popularity of trance dance,
and even trance dance yoga)

or do we want to come

rhetorical question
that we can be asleep
when we give
what sounds like
the Right Answer


if you peruse
the links
you'll find one to an article
by Mark Reese,
may his soul rest in Peace,
on Milton and Moshe.

Feet on Ground, Eyes Glued to the Computer

computer today

How do we stay awake
while in
this mode
(eyes on the monitor mode)?

Maybe awareness
that we are
doing what we
are doing
while we are
doing it.

and how
to get that awareness?



Get up walk around.

Break it up.

Remember the middle:
feet on the bottom
eyes and ears on the top

and in the middle:
air and breathing
pelvis and muscles
and movement
even micro mini
not much
if done with awareness

is a lot


Monday, August 27, 2007

Now, Mindfulness, Movement, Healing

We come into this world whole.

And wholy dependent.

With a huge brain,
and lots to learn.

We try this,
we discover that.

Our brains and
our bodies
learn to move,
learn to roll over,
learn to sit up,
learn to crawl.

Words come our way,
we make sounds,
we stumble on words,
we discover the meaning
of that game.

And then,
a sort of sleep descends
we fall into habits,
our dependence
has created habits
huge habits
of addiction to approval
feal of disapproval
we stop exploring
we stop living in the moment

we are no longer whole

many ways to get back

mindful movement
experimental mindful movement

is one of the best

partly because it's away from words,
the way we were when we started
partly because it's so "real"
when we feel how our arm or leg
or spine "feel" (sensing the actual bone
and muscle and blood and movement)
and partly because we spend so
much of our time
in our bodies
but not really knowing we are
which is to say:

welcome home
if you want to come home
to now
to movement
to awareness

waking up moving
a nice thing to learn
a nice thing to discover
a nice way to live


Wednesday, August 22, 2007


ananda group

We can "learn"
by doing something again
and again
and again.

And is that "learning"
or training?

maybe language drills,
when we are older,
and that over and over
especially if it's in a song,
or something,
maybe over and over
is necessary.

And hey,
even here:
make the words in a song,
make them combine with moving,
make them into a game,
make it the way
it was
when we learned
the first language
first time around:
make it interesting,
make it fun,
give some variety.

Hugely interesting study
in a book called Mindful Learning.
Kids who had the usual boring school,
were divided into three groups.
They were given a complicated mural to look at.
Group one: sat and looked.
Group two: sat and looked and shuffled feet.
Group three: walked at diagonals toward and away from the mural.

In this study, the group that shuffled did second best,
and the group that moved,
and had a variety of viewpoints did the best.

Here's the interesting take.
With a group of Montessori kids,
used to milling around,
the kids who sat and studied the mural
did better than the kids who milled around and studied.
even though my bias
is toward always letting kids move,
this study shows:
even the milling around
can become one
more way to be a robot,
and if you break the milling around
and give a new

better learning

So, now:
sitting at the computer.
What are our (say that aloud)
and how can we shift?

You experiment
and let me know.
I'll experiment
and write about it in a couple of
days when I rotate around back to this blog.

Keep enjoying the other two:
Tai Chi Yoga Health Weight Loss

and maybe even sneak a peek,
though the rest of the gang is
way slacking,


Monday, August 20, 2007

Healthy Backs, and Being Present: Or Once more: Discovery vs. "Doing it Right"

nice back

I'm reading a not very good manual that purports
to combine Feldenkrais and Physical Therapy.

Maybe it does
do the combining,
but this is what that means,
at least in this instance:

help is on the way:
Just learn about yourself,
and how you move
(so good, so far),
and keep a tight ass
and tight lower belly when
you do anything interesting.

Tight ass as in squeezing the rectal muscles

La, la.
Tight assed
is a phrase that describes,
with unfortunate accuracy,
how many people go about
shielding and tightening themselves
against the novelty
and wonder of life in the moment.

what do we have in this tight assed
tight gut approach:
a "short cut."
Create tension,
make things too firm
for any real mobility,
and then you can
"stay out of trouble."

At what expense:
really sensing how to move,
really sensing how a back
and how hips work,
really learning about yourself
and the wonder of being this
marvelously unstable and hence
hightly apt for all sorts of amazing movement
called a human being.

wake up to now,
and use variation
and discovery to learn
about your self
and your awareness
and your back.

Or tighten down
the hatches,
approach yourself
as a machine
needing fixing
and "help"
by becoming more limited.

La, la.
that's no real choice to me.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Happier Backs

river gang

I did a whole series on backs,
back in February and March of 2006,
on the site,
here's the first one,
Backs and Breathing.

After that there are four more.

Is there anything more to say
about backs?

Of course.
Either our back feels great right now,
or it is out of the picture,
which means it's doing its job of holding us up,
it hurts.

Let's get fancy:
either we are aware or our backs, or unaware.
I'll say, aware is better,
even though better is relative to lots of thing,
and awareness is better
whether it,
the back,
our back,
feels good
or not so good,
or in between.

And more fancy:
it hurts,
I hurt.

The pain
is in the brain.
Even though it certainly can feel
as if it
is in our back.

how to have a happier back.

Move it.


In six directions.

What six directions?

Six easy directions.

You figure them out.

And then do yourself
one more favor.

Actually, do yourself hundreds of favors,
and every day:
and include this one:
as you move your back slowly,
discovering six different directions and ways
to move your back,
listen to your back,
sense your back,
not as a "back"
but as a whole bunch of vertebrae.

Sense them,
one by one if you can.

Ever been to one of those awful yoga classes
where the teacher has you leaning forward,
and then says,
"Come on up, vertebrae by vertebrae,"
and then two seconds later they are on
to the next instruction.

As is two seconds is all it takes
to sense twenty four vertebrae.


Take your time.

Move slow.

Find out some vertebrae
you weren't as familiar with

Learn to know
and love yourself.

Make sense of

Have fun.
Tune in next essay here
for more hints as to the six possibilities
for a back,
for your back,
for my back,
for the back side of our joy.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What Yoga and "Yoga Therapy" always misses

People are learners.

People learn by inner experience,
by testing one thing against another,
most of all,
by having differences,
that they notice,
and play with,
and learn to clarify.

In Yoga,
even good yoga,
even slow yoga,
gentle yoga,
people are given these choices:
The Right Way
to hold a pose.
Everything else.

That the "wrong ways,"
include hundreds, if not thousands,
of possibilities of
is always left out of the picture.

I'm out to teach,
DNA yoga.

See entries here and at

Monday, August 13, 2007

Yoga as if we had Brain, Heart and Spirit

One way I've started to call it,
the yoga
I'll be teaching
DNA yoga.

Discovery, Nature, Aware/ Ananda Yoga

for taking advantagege of my training
(4 years of the "basic" training,
and then another 700 hours beyond that)
as a Feldenkrais Practitioner.

The Feldenkrais Method®,
is a method of learning to
feel better,
being more aware,
and taking the emphasis
off of "getting it done,"
or "getting it Right,"
or "making progress,"
and bringing us back to a state
of learning
and discovery,
the state we were in when we were young
and a genius, say from birth to a couple of
years old.

See my
What is the Feldenkrais Method? One word, two word,,, one sentence, two sentence, and so on,
brilliant little collection
of ways to look at the method.

working with me
in either DNA yoga,
or "regular" (which means wildly creative and transformative)
Feldenkrais "work,"
or in the Work of Byron Katie,
and Discovery will be there
deep and firm in our joint unfolding.

that's discovery.

And N.
I'll be having classes outdoors as much a possible.
All this hiding inside four walls,
cutting ourselves off from blue skies
and real earth,
and grass and
and wind
and the elements:
How can we be sane
in a world
when we are always cut off from the world.

that's part of the NATURE part.
Another part:
Discovering what our human nature is.
To feel.
and to sense.
and what is the difference?
To make sense of something,
what does that mean?
To live in gravity.
What does that mean?
To have breath of which we can be conscious
or unconscious,
what does that mean?

is Ananda Yoga
or Awareness Yoga.
Or both.
Ananda yoga
is how I was trained
and certified at the 200 hour level
required by yoga alliance.
(compared to 800 hours for the "basic Feldenkrais" training).

Ananda yoga is about
being relaxed
and sending spiritual energy up your spine.
If that doesn't make sense,
it's about being relaxed,
even in the midst of efforts
and continually bringing awareness inside of yourself.

One way it does this is with affirmations.
For example,
the affirmation in what's called "Child's Pose"
"I relax from outer involvement
into my inner haven of peace."

This not only accentuates and deepens
the posture,
but gives a big hint at what Ananda yoga is about.

Another posture,
warrior 2
is a strong and joyous pose.
It's affirmation is,
(my version)
"I open gladly to the strength and glory
of being Alive."
the official version,
"I joyfully manifest
the power of God."

So, come to a class,
you'll love the affirmations.

And between poses
you rest,
and say the affirmations again.
This isn't about getting sweaty
and using yoga like going to the gym.

This is using yoga
for spiritual and emotional strengthening.

with the Feldenkrais
and awareness emphasis,
you will get more flexible,
much more readily
than in normal,
do a bunch of postures
and always fuss with DOING IT RIGHT,
and never slow down
and really learn yoga.

This is yoga to learn,
to transform,
to enjoy,
to connect.

To yourself,
to others,
to the Earth,
to Spirit,
to your Higher Self.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

This Moment

You can,
and I did,
go to a Feldenkrais Guild
and most of the time,
most of the people,
including me,
were asleep.

They went through the motions,
said the important
and smart
and sometimes
but mouths opening,
whether for food in,
or words out,
even leading
so called
Awareness Through Movement
not aware,
not awake
not now.

Time to wake up.
In the lessons.
Out of the lessons.

Is this true?

But it's what I'd prefer.
Looking for 20 people
who really want to wake up.
From that,
start a community,
based on Feldenkrais
as waking up
and Byron Katie
as waking up
and connecting to Nature
as waking


Who knows
what will happen,
and now is always happening.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

What to say about the Glories of Feldenkrais?

Feldenkrais the man,
bless him,
and he left us a system of
and exploration
and learning.

here we are,
in a world that is in a mess,
and how can Feldenkrais
help with that?

Learning to see things
from at least three points
of view.
That's a good start.

Finding our way
back to our
not as muscles and bones to shove around,
but as marvellous dancing and learning
and loving
through which we can taste
the sweetness of life.

and in that state of sweetness
be kinder
to ourselves
and others.

And the fun
of learning
how to do
something "hard,"
the famous
"making the impossible, possible;
the possible, easy;
the easy, elegant,"

This is a nice way
to go about living isn't it?

and cultivating
and honing
a sense
of ease
and grace
and elegance,

in our teaching,
in our learning,
in our living.

Good living
can be very simple

and Good living
is going to be necessary
to save the world.

and good living
is going to be one of
our return routes
back to our basic
which is happiness,
and love
and sharing,
and ease.

take a walk.
Roll around
and remember the Feldenkrais lessons
we have learned.

Be easy,
be happy,
be learning.