Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Feldenkrais as Brain Work

I'm reading now, Train your Mind, to Change your Brain. It's a lovely tour of all the "new" discoveries in brain research, pointing more and more to our brain's ability to create new neurons, create new pathways, create a whole new way of perceiving and functioning in the world.

This is what the Tibetans and Buddhists have known for centuries, and the book is build around the explorations being held over the years between the Dalai Llama and western scientists, especially scientists in neurobiology and the fields around it.

Gone, gone, gone are the ideas that the brain is hardwired. In rats, monkeys and people, new brains cells can grow throughout life. Of course, if you do the same old thing, the brain can just scoot along the old pathways and everything is the same: living in the rut, literally.

When a researcher at Cal took rats breed to excel at mazes home, he noticed that with some handling and more varied environment these home rats seemed to thrive. They ran the mazes better. Their brains increased in size by 20%.

Moshe Feldenkrais(1904-1984), years ago, was telling people not to believe their diagnosis, but to start with what they could do, and in small and novel and non painful and highly aware ways, expand from there. And the crippled learned to walk, and the severely retarded ended up getting two Master's Degrees, and the stroke victims came out of their comas and went on to living and moving better than they had before their stroke.

From that back pain and shoulder trouble is a simple puzzle to solve.

And to excel at something someone is already good at, yoga or skiing or tennis or golf, this too, is wonderfully easy once this Way is understood not as body work, but brain rewiring.

The brain was meant to learn how to do things in easier and more elegant ways. Watch a baby going from awkward and extremely limited to a runaround yap-yap little tiger a couple of years later. This is the learning I speak of when I say the core word to explain this Way is Learning.

We aren't talking the boring learn from books learning.

We are talking the kind of learning when you finally learn a tennis serve, or first make love, or understand how to do the crow pose in yoga. This is learning that requires a core understanding in our deeper selves.

This is real learning.

This is brain food.

This is fun.

Come give it a try.


Sensitive Strength


Waking up to now.
Embracing Change.
Learning to learn.
Loving to move, improve and transform.

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