Saturday, February 23, 2008

the Feldenkrais Method and real (organic) learning

marlie yoga

the Feldenkrais Method and real (organic) learning

Brain plasticity is a field that is discovering in research what Moshe Feldenkrais discovered empirically 50 years ago, as he went about "healing" knees that were almost "worthless" from years of brutal and overly competitive soccer playing. He discovered that it was not the "trying" to fix the knees that did anything, and was not just a "working on the knees" that did the trick. He discovered that what he wanted and needed to learn was how to move himself as a whole organism, in the easiest and most efficient way possible, which turned out to be the most pleasant and most powerful way.

In other words, he learned that he needed to re-learn how to move, and that this re-learning meant he needed

1) to use less effort,

2) to involve more of himself,

3) to move with a slowness that allowed him to notice small details he otherwise might miss

4) to try out various ways of moving, even some that were “worse,” because his brain needed

5) to have a variety of possibilities so learning could be a choice, rather than replacing the old rote movement with a new “better” movement

So this sort of learning was about involving our brains in a variety of possibilities, and from those possibilities discovering for itself more effective and pleasant and congruent patterns of movement.

What does that mean?

It means that when you have choices you aren’t stuck.

It means that if you want to move with ease, you have to have choices that you make, not “good ways of moving” that are imposed on you by some well meaning teacher. (Note how most yoga, Pilates, weight training, dance, singing, even music is taught: “This is the way to do it. Yes, you are doing it right.” Or, “No, you are doing it wrong.” Praising, scolding. Good, bad. High level, or maybe not so high level dog training. In this mode, this usual way of “teaching” that really has no “learning” going on, there is no experimenting, no discovering, no involving of our brains and our excitement to be creative and to discover.)

This sort of learning, called organic learning (as opposed to rote, academic, learn it the right way training disguised as learning), is exactly what we almost all, as humans, go through when we are small. To learn to crawl is not a falling into and acting out some internal “crawling” program.”

We, as babies, have to first learn to roll over, to raise our heads to the vertical.

We have to learn what a hand can do to hold up a shoulder, and to learn that we try all sorts of positions of hand forward, to the side, closer to the legs, closer to the middle, hand on its top, hand on side, hand on palm, fingers together, fingers in a fist, fingers down and palm up.

We are little scientists, or we are little artists, creating all sorts of possibilities and experiments in gravity. We are moving. We are falling. We are holding ourselves up. We are trying, good, worthless, okay, pretty good options, and discovering which of these, combined with what we are doing with our legs and chest and head and eyes and spine and ribs and pelvis, are going to get us moving across the yard or floor the most easily.

We don’t want to crawl.

We want to move.

We want to move because we want to get something, “over there” and crawling turns out to the be the way we get there.

So we learn. And are a different being, a different sort of human for having this learning. This is organic learning. This is our human birthright. This is what the Feldenkrais Method and the Anat Baniel Method tap into.

You, too, can join this fun.

I hope you do.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

hello again

marlie in yoga pose
Marlie moving her five lines
in a nice shape

wake up Feldenkrais is
about this:
to move with awareness
in the Feldenkrais mode of
trying new configurations
of our
five lines

to move
so we
can really pay attention
(which sounds like a costly thing,
until we realize
how costly
to wit:
we are not there
are happening.

the old "what profit a person
if they gain the whole world
and lose
their soul"


what is the "soul"?


fun question:

and when Pierre,
War and Peace,
gets shot
and is on his back in a field
and looks up
and sees,
really sees the blue sky,
as if he'd never seen it before
((actually, he'd probably "seen"
it like that hundreds of times as
a child,
we forget
as adults,
how awake we were as a child,
enthralled with the world,
and not enslaved to the clock
and to expectations of others
and our own inner patterns and slaveries))

when Pierre
sees the sky
like that,
he found his way,
back to his soul)

and in Feldenkrais and the
Anat Baniel Method
and in real spiritual work
(my definition,
which is to say: not just on the ass in meditation,
and waking like a zombie in
walking meditation,
but living in meditation)
the quest is that:
to return
to our deepest

to our

and going slow
and minimizing force
and being
excited at what we are discovering:

this is what
wake-up ANYTHING
is about

and sure
this too:
less pain
more ease
more joy:
in learning
in living
in moving

and wake up feldenkrais
is offered
as classes
and as individual work
and my work
out to include
emotional work
to find freedom
from unhappiness
and connection to ongoing peaceful joy

and includes
for those who
want it,
on land use
in the Permaculture

about this:
waking up
to the ease
of a whole system
with sweet
to real nature

la la

am i present

that is one

a sweet

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sunday, February 03, 2008

five lines, five ringed circus, called life

to follow our
always time for that

time to sense
our spine
and our relation
to gravity


and our five
two arms
two legs
with the
often trying to boss
too much
on top


in the middle
especially the lower back
floating ribs

spines and limbs
in gravity

eyes and ears
on mobile

the three

and then
of all this stuff

and then maybe
awareness of awareness

and then
the feelings


and peace

and joy

which are
sort of
all that's left

once we