Monday, October 02, 2006

What is The Feldenkrais Method®?

One word: Learning.
Hands on Elbows
An Awareness Through Movement® lesson. Photo by Rosalie O'Conner.

Two words: Neural rewiring

Hey: Want to experience "learning" and "neural rewiring" via a short Feldenkrais Lesson
(via the Anat Baniel Method)?
Then try now, the free intro lesson at

Desk Trainer

A fun little cartoon guy will give you a 5-8 minute lesson
and you can feel better already,
and then you'll have an EXPERIENCE
of neural rewiring and learning.

Three words: Awareness through Movement

Four words: Learning how to Learn

Five words: Transformation thru slow, aware movement

Six words: Expanding horizons thru Learning and Awareness

For a List of Many
Fantastic Benefits,
The Glories of Feldenkrais

The New Website of the Feldenkrais Guild
has excellent routes to understanding this amazing method.


Here's more of how I point to:
What is the Feldenkrais Method?

    One sentence:
  • This is a system of mind/body whole self learning
    based on how we learned
    when we were a genius,
    which is to say,
    how we learned to roll over and sit up and crawl and walk and talk when we were babies.

  • Two sentences:
  • This is a way of learning how to learn,
    based on the primacy of movement in life in genera
    l and human life in particular.

  • Our brains are set up to learn,
    and moving is the most primary way
    our brains were set into motion (literally and figuratively) to learn,
    and learning by moving with awareness
    is the quickest and sweetest way
    to radically improve almost anything in our lives.

  • Three sentences:
  • We are alive and amazing and
    have a brain
    that loves to learn.

  • By going slow
    and minimizing effort
    and looking to reduce unnecessary effort
    and concentrating on the process rather than achievement,
    we can radically improve
    the quality of our movement and our being.

  • This work,
    being about learning,
    consists of lessons
    and these lessons can be with verbal instruction,
    as Awareness Through Movement® lessons,
    or touch guided lessons,
    called Functional Integration®

  • Four sentences:
  • A man named Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984)
    had a smart and curious nature
    and loved sports and thinking
    and wrecked his knees and
    set about learning how to heal himself.

  • He succeeded.

  • The ways he discovered involved returning
    to a discovery and playfulness
    as well as understanding that we function as mind/body unities
    and that connection and relationship
    and inner functioning/organization were what brought about change.

  • He discovered,
    and created ways for others to discover,
    inner learnings and possibilities of transformation,
    for both "body" and our whole lives,
    that had previously been considered "impossible."

  • Five sentences:
  • Human beings,
    more than any other creature on this planet,
    are dependant on
    to become who they are in life.

  • Some of what we learn is stupendous,
    to walk, talk, play dodge ball, find a mate and
    some of what we learn is "bad habits,"
    ways of moving and interacting and thinking
    and feeling that
    our having a rich and full life.

  • A man named Moshe Feldenkrais, 1904-1984,
    discovered, in the course of healing his own wrecked knees,
    that by focusing on the learning that takes place in the brain and the brain/body,
    he could achieve spectacular results
    in people as varied as children with cerebral palsy
    and star professional basketball players
    or world class musicians.

  • Freedom from being stuck
    in habits and patterns that aren't working,
    can be achieved by
    learning OPTIONS
    in ways we move, think and go about living.

  • This system can seem "slow,"
    because it focuses on the little places
    that are missing in our inner connection and awareness,
    and yet, because it fills in these missing areas,
    is much "faster" at achieving
    real and organic and long term improvement
    and transformation.

Reaching for something new: by photographer Rosalie O'Connor.
An Awareness Through Movement® lesson. Photo by Rosalie O'Conner.

Here's my winter 2007 update on a brief view of
What is

The Feldenkrais Method® is a system of mental and physical (and by extrapolation, emotional) improvement based on discovering natural and easy and efficient and pleasurable ways of moving our human mind/bodies. The mind and body are not seen as separate in this system, and the core of improvement comes from awareness, exploration and the discovery of new and non-habitual ways of learning and problem solving. This system was invented by Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984) an Israeli physicist, engineer, biophysiologist, educator and judo master, who, in curing his “incurable” knees, found that his discoveries in engaging the nervous system in learning how to learn and integrating ourselves as a whole organisms could help people in many levels.

These levels of improvement can be viewed as subsets of Moshe’s famous definition of the aim of his work:

“Making the impossible possible; making the possible easy; and making the easy, elegant.”

Thus this work has many years of being useful at one level, that of severe limitation, say cerebral palsy or stroke recovery; and at a second level, that of helping people with aches and pains (back, shoulder, hip, etc.) recover their prior mobility; and at the third level, of making the good even better, for artists, athletes and musicians and other high performers who wish to enhance an already excellent state of activity.

The discovery, learning and awareness that are emphasized and developed throughout this work give rise to a view of possibilities far beyond “bodywork.” Once the practice of impossible to possible to easy to elegant becomes repeated over and over, a sense of opening of horizons and possibilities in many areas of life is a common occurrence.

And here's what some others have to say. It's a big system, kind of like ( in many, many ways) answering the question:

  • Learning How to Learn copyright 1997, by Dennis Leri, my Feldenkrais Trainer. Maybe read this one first.

  • The Legacy of Moshe Feldenkrais by Anat Baniel

  • What the Feldenkrais Method Is and What Does it Do? via the Feldenkrais Guild

  • Overview, on the Guild Site

  • Felden What?, by Larry Goldfarb, PhD

  • Overview by MaryBeth Smith

  • Walking on Volcanoes a poetic exploration of the Feldenkrais Method by Lynette Reid

  • and
  • How Long Does is Take? by Gabrielle Pullen

  • Here's some prior, longer versions I've written over the last couple of years:

  • Who was Moshe Feldenkrais?

  • A New Way of Learning: What Is, Possibilities and Feldenkrais

  • Feldenkrais and our Big Self

  • Intro Number Four: Learning as the Core

  • Intro Number Two: The Elusive Obvious, Movement is Central to Life

  • Feldenkrais Work as Science, Judo, Learning

  • Feldenkrais and Judo and a little history

  • What is the Feldie Method, Differentiation and (always) more

  • If you do a blog search of on Feldenkrais, you
    are bound to find many more essays.

  • I offer lessons
    Sometimes in the group format called Transformational Movement Lessons
    or Awareness Through Movement Lessons.
    (Next Class: March 18- April 8, 4 Sundays, Noon-1PM,
    at the Yoga Community, $52 for the series, or
    $20 drop in)

    And always available are lessons
    in a one to one format called
    Functional Integration®.

    In Functional Integration lessons, you lie, fully clothed, on a comfortable and firm low table while I move you with extreme gentleness and precision.

    This is not massage. Not physical therapy. Not chiropractic oriented.
    Not body work.
    This isn't about "fixing."

    This is brain food, and body learning, and heart food, and soul food.
    This is about transformation

    This not only feels great, but provides opportunities for your mind/ brain/ body system (i.e. you) to learn new
    sweeter ways of functioning.

    These new ways not only
    begin to undo and transform stress
    and our old habits of tensing and contracting and limiting ourselves,
    you begin to function in better ways
    in other areas of your mind/ body
    and your life.

    This work is transformational,
    and almost miraculous.
    You deserve this, I believe.

    My training consists of the "normal" 160 days
    to become a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner
    an additional 126 days of training
    including 49 with Anat Baniel
    years of training in Gestalt, meditation,
    nature centered healing, hypnosis, and more.

    The initial commitment will be for at least 4 lessons.

    The rate is $100-160 per lesson. $70-130 per lesson if on consecutive days.
    Thursday morning is a low income, low fee clinic, lessons are $40-60.

    Give yourself the gift of improvement,
    from fair to good
    good to great.

    Call for an appointment 707-996-1437

    Or Email me

    Thanks, and I hope this is a beginning of a wonderful transformation in your life.


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