Archive for the ‘Feldenkrais’ Category

What’s Sitting Got to Do With How You Feel!

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

What’s sitting got to do with how you feel? Think about how long in any given day you sit. Now think about how you sit, are you collapsed into a chair, rounding your spine and pressing back on your Sacrum? How easy is it for you to come to stand from the chair? Do you use momentum, throwing yourself forward, do you push down with your hands to stand up? Do you even know what you do? Is holding your breathe so familiar you don’t even notice it? What about the place you stand your feet, are they behind your pelvis or underneath your knees? Might you have knee issues and hold your breathe with just the thought of moving your legs or coming to stand?

From my dear colleague in Germany from, “Feldenkrais Zeit”, Rodger Russell shares that there is a new saying, that “Sitting is the new smoking”! Well let’s think about this. Smoking is a pattern that many become so familiar with, without realizing how addictive it is and how it becomes a habit. Think about how often someone lights up a cigarette and still has one burning in the ashtray, or maybe they just finished one only to start another. One often feels benefit from smoking as you sometimes hear one say it calms them down, allows them to quiet and think, but it also is problematic when it becomes a compulsion. Now what does this have to do with the idea of sitting? Think about it, we sit because it’s comfortable, to rest, to relax but we also are sitting endless hours a day in front of computer screens, holding SmartPhones to connect with the world, driving or being driven… We start to focus more on what we are involved with and forget that we are sitting and using more muscle than feeling our skeleton as support. A result is that we are shortening, slouching, and therefore our muscles are contracting. Our inner organs are continuously getting unhealthy pressure, our breathing becomes compromised and many other issues arise from this as we are sitting in chairs for endless hours any given day. We also give ourselves over to the less than optimal support of a chair. We buy ergonomic chairs only to find they don’t really do what they say they will and these hours and hours every day are killing us. We have so habituated to sitting in chairs versus sitting on the floor as many Eastern countries did, that we lose our ability to feel the slouching and muscular tonus that arises as a by-product of this habit. When we slouch, lean back on our Sacrum more often than not, we are creating havoc in our spine and feel the discomfort throughout our entire spine and also in our pelvis, hips and often trigger Sciatic pain. You needed trust me but rather recognize how the entire medical community has been writing about this problem that doesn’t seem to improve.

Dr Moshe Feldenkrais (1904 – 1984) expounded on this idea of good posture when sitting and communicated that “organic sitting posture” is the ability for one to move in all cardinal directions effortlessly. That means we can move forward, back, right and left as well as up and down with a smooth, easy, efficient way instead of using momentum and force, holding our breathe and tensing as we too often notice. What we tend to do is to dissociate from what we are doing, too obsessed in something else. We call this multitasking but at what cost.

What happens when you limit your beliefs and overlook that you can create another possibility? You can and will enable a more comfortable back, pelvis, hips and knees as well as your neck and head that sit atop your spine. What if you get curious, move gently and notice where you look, how you breathe. How limiting are your choices in how you move, do you have many possibilities that improve this function of not only sitting but coming to stand effortlessly? You can begin to find other potentials to move more efficiently but you need to change what you are doing. Doing the same thing over and over again will only (at best) improve what you are doing or make things harder and create more deterioration of tissues. So if you are doing something that creates resistance, discomfort, holding your breathe, than you are only getting better at disorganizing yourself. It’s not that sitting is bad, but more How you are doing it. Little bits you can find a path that enables your nervous system to feel resilient and a newer pattern can develop where you notice more ease, comfort and availability. You can learn other, more optimal ways to sit, playing as you sit, mindful as to where you sit in your pelvis in comparison to your spine. You can begin to feel and therefore recognize in a felt sense how to sit in an upright fashion. It is possible to feel your skeleton that supports us with the least amount of muscular effort. Save the muscular effort for more productive actions instead of pushing, forcing and straining to achieve a simple enough task that we learned as little ones. How to remember what you’ve forgotten and likely has been pushed far into the recesses of your brain. Good thing is, that sense of ease is still stored within your brain. Question is how do you bring it to the surface to refresh and renew how you do the function of sitting and coming to stand. It’s easy, seek out a Feldenkrais practitioner and follow the path of learning how to adapt yourself in finding more efficiency and comfort in a daily function that you do and will continue to do for the rest of your life.

Imagine coming to stand feeling taller, lighter and easier aligning through your bones and joints. Movement gets easier, life gets better! You move better, you feel better, you think clearer and life improves. Isn’t life worth making better, finding easier ways to live? For me it’s unthinkable to plod along doing the same thing day in day out without looking for variations and variety. For more information find a Feldenkrais Practitioner in your area or contact the Feldenkrais Guild of North America to learn more at www.Feldenkrais.com. There are Feldenkrais Guilds throughout the world so get curious and begin to make your life even better than you thought was possible!

How to Make Life Better, Optimize with The Feldenkrais Method ®

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Too often people think of their bodies as parts of a whole, and attention will go to the part(s) that hurt.  By the time the pain and discomfort gets attention most are so deep in their patterns they cannot recognize how the pain developed.  Often people in pain will rely on an authority in the hope they will be fixed so they will soon return to feeling better.  The flaw in this approach is usually if the authority isn’t around, there is no strategy to understand and relieve the pain. This is fairly typical and we can all relate to our own personal experiences in this regard.

What we need is to re-evaluate how we think and invest in ourselves

All our body parts are interconnected!  Our moods affect how we feel, how we think and carry ourselves.  Every mental state actually has its own muscular configuration.  When we feel scared, hopeless, confused, annoyed, happy, sad, ecstatic, bewildered, befuddled, in love… each of these emotional states maintain a posture within our structure.  The structure is your skeleton, and it helps guide how you think, feel and move.

Our parts create the whole, which is comprised of the many bodily systems.  There are at least 11 systems: Cardiovascular, Endocrine, Lymphatic, Respiratory, Gastro-Intestinal, Reproductive are a few of the many.  States of being affect our bodily systems and therefore, when one is under stress it snowballs into the entire being.  When we begin to recognize the interactions of our states of mind, our emotions, our muscular contractions, this adds a whole new way of thinking about how our systems are all intricately connected.  Have you ever noticed that when you get really nervous your hands might sweat or you get chilled or start to shake?

A Feldenkrais Practitioner sees the human form as a collection of working systems that includes a personality derived from life experiences and conditioning. Optimizing these systems so they are listening to and working with each other is the mission of any Feldenkrais lesson whether it is a class or private session. With Feldenkrais you will be learning and renewing the skill of how to recognize your patterns to empower and help guide them into a more optimal pattern yourself. Create the awareness to sense an easier flexibility – to move better, in more efficient ways that enable a more comfortable, integrated whole.

If you are open and curious about learning more beneficial patterns, you will begin to awaken your internal sense of self. With enough sustained commitment this will begin to create a sense of self awareness, resilience and potency that will stay with you forever.  All you need is the eagerness to grow and learn a bit more than you already know.  You might be surprised to discover how much you find out about yourself, what makes you tick, what holds you back.

So if you are open and interested in finding easier, more comfortable ways to improve the quality of your life, get curious and look into finding a Feldenkrais Practitioner in your area.  Join a class or schedule a private session to enhance your extraordinary learning experience!  You will be pleasantly surprised to find there is a path to find your own way to a quality of life that keeps getting better.

If you are in the Montgomery County, MD or Baltimore areas I hope you have the interest to join my class delving into these potent self explorations.  What am I looking for?  For those of you out there who are tired of doing the same thing over and over again without much advancement in feeling greater ease and comfort in your bones, your mind and your spirit!  So if you are one of these people I AM LOOKING FOR, please respond and let me know how we can begin to create a world of improvement, one little step at a time.  All it takes is your taking an action in a different direction.  A direction that leads towards your future that can be brighter, moving you forward in a direction of ease, comfort and knowing HOW to create more of this in your life!

Our habits do not have to be permanent.  By changing a habit you realize how much more you can do and believing that it can be different, leads you to a place where you have a choice!

LEARNING: How to Be Okay with Stepping Outside of Your Known!

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

As we developed not only in Utero but once born, our process was to learn about ourselves in our environment.  Everything was a new experience.  We became interested in observing everything around us.  In that process at first nothing was differentiated, we as babies moved a bit spastic and everything moved together as one unit.  Slowly, as we began to feel the ground force underneath us, how to push into the ground, we began to develop our ability to sense and feel ourselves in our environment.  Everything informed us.  We were endlessly curious and investigated as we learned how to move ourselves around in our new environment.  As this process became a bit more known we developed our abilities to differentiate so that our hands crossed our midline, we felt a bias that one hand came to our mouth easier, we rolled to one side faster, found our way back to our back but not without some struggle at first to find the path of greater ease.  That path of finding greater ease came with some resistance and frustration so we rested, paused and re-evaluated what was driving our attention. We explored over and over again until a pattern of ability became a habit, something we didn’t need to pay so much attention to.  Then we moved forward to another function that drew our attention.  As we developed there was in a sense an internal hierarchy of patterns of development that healthy babies find deep within us.  At some point as we continued our development we grew to a higher level of independence, this took many years of play, exploring without an intention to be good or do it right.  We were and still to this day, driven as social beings to be included, liked, loved, needed and so as we grew more and more these desires began to also mold our self image.  At some point with most of us we developed to a level where we felt, “it’s good enough” and moved on to another function.  The question is, was that level of accomplishment and development as optimal and efficient that it might not be wise to revisit some of our habits or might it be worthwhile to re-investigate some of our patterns to advance them and therefore ourselves into a more optimal functioning of mind, body and spirit?  I think so and that is my driver and life’s work as a Feldenkrais ® Practitioner and Assistant Trainer.

I developed a belief long ago that for me has been a driving force, advancing myself and my growth forward, seeking more optimal patterns that improve the way I think, feel and move.  When I move better, I like myself more,  I feel happier, my brain is freer from noise that interferes and this allows me to become more productive with less effort and exhaustion.  I’m also endlessly curious as to what makes me tick as well as others.

If every aspect of learning, adding new information into our known, comes with some level of resistance, how do we continue this process is my life’s quest!  I find many people become too habituated to their known without a curiosity to move outside of the comfort zone.  Maybe the question is, has one been pushed with too much resistance and shuts down because an experience created too much effort and lack of pleasurable experiences?

Can we find those things that appeal to us, are easier for us and from that entrance way can we find a lead into areas that are not as simple for us?  I think that is the path of optimal learning, finding the level of resistance that is acceptable, pausing and revisiting the explorations on a daily basis until they too become new habits.  Resistance begets more resistance and if learning is pushing against resistance, maybe becoming more mindful as to what is the amount of resistance we can mange is a good thing!  That seems to me to be the answer.  As babies we learned little bits with consistent explorations on a daily basis.  We didn’t give up, if we had we would not have survived.  Resistance is a good thing, it enables our bones to maintain structural integrity, it leads us to elevate to a higher level of endurance and resilience.  What we need to begin to recognize is our spectrum of tolerance to resistance.  We each have a sliding scale of what we can handle based on what we are doing.  We can begin to recognize where the level of what we can tolerate is different and in each situation learn how to modify the levels of resistance in our quest to develop.  When we can become aware of this process we can continue to learn and improve so that we don’t shut down our curiosity for an improved quality of life.

An athlete moves into resistance, increasing little bits regularly to develop and hone their skills as does a musician, any performer, a scientist in pursuit of a solution to a problem….  How can we apply these skills to how we improve ourselves is what grabs my interest.  As long as we are alive, we have the ability to grow and improve some aspect of life.  When we give up, retire from this interest and curiosity, we decline in all aspects of quality of life.  Life is a gift given to us, what we do with this gift is open to many possibilities.  How to harness the skill to improve, advance and continue growing so that from uninhibited to learning how to inhibit to over inhibiting we return to a place of balancing between what we inhibit and what we open ourselves to in our process of growth, learning, improvement and ability!

Thought of How we create Change for the Better!

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

So here is my offering and thoughts as we turn towards Spring and another Awareness Through Movement class this Tuesday!  With Spring comes the budding of life, hope and rebirth and what does Feldenkrais have to do with that?

In approaches of Feldenkrais, both ATM classes and private Functional Integration sessions (FI) we explore movement patterns. These patterns represent our current as well as past behaviors.  Now behaviors are composed of multiple physiological and psychological neuronal/brain connections, and each forms a unique state, which is a specific pattern.  Since everything is connected, then the advantage of perceiving and working with patterns is that you can initiate a shift from anywhere that will enable  an initiation and reconfiguration of the whole way we experience ourselves.  This creates a change in how we think, feel and move from within!

Patterns we develop are caused by a variety of experiences.  Some of these experiences are good, favorable but not all and for many, some were traumatic.  These experiences that live within us can result in subsequent re-experiencing of overwhelming physiological-psychological patterns.  Thing about times when you might have smelled or seen or something flashed through your brain and a Deja’ vu occurs.  These patterns are in a sense locked in us, they shape us over time.  Our functioning creates our structure as well as our structure creates our functioning, but we don’t have to stay in a place that isn’t where we really want to be!  We can move from there!

In order to create a shift to something more pleasing, desired and in fact attainable, awareness of what you not only do but think is required.  An interest and curiosity in yourself is essential without judgment and that’s a hard thing to learn.  But here’s the key!  Since we know that our experiences embody themselves in how we think, feel and move, then you also realize that any feelings of anxiety and panic result in a feeling of extreme dis-empowerment.  This to often results in a sense of loss and the ability to have choices in self-governance and that leads to a feeling of ones loss of control.

Here’s where the Feldenkrais approaches enable a person ways to put them in charge again, giving each one of us multiple entry points to how we improve our state – body and mind – putting us back in the drivers seat!  Once a new pattern is created or awakened from it’s dormant sleep, we draw attention to it, then help to compare it to the habitual (older more hardwired) patterns.  This process enables the individual to activate it on their own, on demand so to speak, creating a newer, more optimal choice they can call upon.  By bringing the whole pattern into ones awareness, this creates new pathways in our brain and in our physiology.  It is this process that enables one to initiate change on their own, regaining control of our lives to find easier ways to live and do all we care to!

Creativity

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

Have you ever given thought to what is Creativity and what it offers us?

Creativity has a biological basis. It releases potent chemicals from our endocrine and immune systems that make us feel good, potent and capable!  It unleashes a whole-being beneficial bio-plasticity that enhances our life.  It could in fact be considered a whole human output that enables a varying blend of cognitive, emotional, chemical, motor, neuro-immunity, memory and sensory improvement.

In addition, Creativity and it’s inherent divergent thinking allows for flexibility and enhances ones coping abilities.  It also allows for inventiveness in how we learn better ways to explore and move out of pain.  Therefore, Creativity is a core skill that better enables one to cope with whatever life brings us.

So what does this have to do with a Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement® (ATM) lesson you might ask?  Think of all your habits and patterns, that’s pretty inventive!   Did you ever stop and think about how many more ways, more efficient ways  you might create  a feeling of how to move?  When one thing changes, your mental or emotional state, that too effects your physical, and each shift either leads to a positive or negative feedback loop experience.  Which patterns would you prefer getting better at regarding shifting your mental, emotional and physical state?  If you thought you could find a way to enable how to feel better, something that you would like more, would you be interested or is it good enough as is?

 When you begin to listen to sense and feel what you are doing as in an Awareness Through Movement lesson, you are
1.) Improving your sensory feedback loop so that under you Demand you can better do what you want!
2.) You are enhancing your mental and emotional state that produce the chemicals that serve you better!
3.) When one area shifts for the better, all shift: mental; emotional; cognitive; physical…
Want more of finding a way to move forward, doing what you want, how to explore, being nice and gentle that serves each one of us better?  Come learn more about how to learn, how to explore, how to be in a state that produces the “Stuff that dreams are made of!”

Relief from Chronic Pain – What Does Feldenkrais ® and Neuroplasticity Got to Do with It!

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

In our current times we have become familiar with the term, Neuroplasticity.  This is a modern terminology that Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais was speaking about in the 1940’s.  Finally Scientists today concur, our brains are malleable, learning tissue, coordinating and creating new connections versus the older, now dismissed belief that we were born with only a certain amount of neurons and once past a certain age our brains stopped growing.   Our modern research has come to realize that our brains create new neural pathways and alter existing ones so that we can adapt to new experiences.  This is the process of learning and how we create new memories and patterns as we live longer.  Our brains keep growing, making new connections – this is how our brains really function.

This is what the Feldenkrais Method is all about!  We are learning how to learn! In fact, we are remembering how to learn, something we did as babies before we could be taught.  We explored gently, sensing and feeling ourselves in our environment, in our daily experiences, creating patterns and habits for how we would respond, react and survive.  How to learn to adapt, not only to new stimuli and stresses but also how we respond to old stimuli that has triggered us, often in not so pleasant ways.  We learn how to create new and improved responses to these triggers and inputs that help us find better, easier, simpler, nicer ways to live our lives.

It is in practicing these easier patterns of efficiency that we enable these newer or remembered patterns to usurp some of our more obsessive and nagging habits that too often have lead us to chronic pain, different levels of discomfort whether we are calling it, feeling tight, sore, stiff… You know the things you say to express, it’s not so nice.  Are you satisfied with that or are you curious as to how YOU CAN CHANGE that obsessive behavior, did you even realize it was a form of being obsessive?

There are many lessons you can play with and feel right away something nicer!  Come to an Awareness Through Movement ® class and feel for yourself in just one lesson how you can begin to find strategies that make your life easier, nicer and can lead you back to fulfill your dreams that maybe you allowed an authoritative figure take away from you with a diagnosis or simply saying, it’s your genetics, you’re not so young, it’s age related…  Are you really willing to settle for that?  Maybe so but me, NEVER!

It is through my gentle and easy explorations with The Feldenkrais Method that I find and found the vital, potent and youthful me no matter what my age!  And this is coming from an A Type personality who has learned from my experiences of what striving, struggling, pushing, forcing and that old saying that has done more harm to us than good – no PAIN, NO GAIN!  You can make NO PAIN, GAIN possible too if you want!

Look into The Feldenkrais Method, Awareness Through Movement classes or a private session called Functional Integration ® and feel for yourself what you can do to make life so much nicer.  What have you got to lose, your tiredness, chronic pain, fatigue, depression.  Replace it with feeling great, more efficient, getting lots accomplished with more energy, feeling potent, capable and life just gets nicer!

Body Psychology, Do You Know What This Is?

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

My “elevator speech” – what I do, describe this is a soundbite.  If I can’t explain this in the briefest of words today, I’ve lost ones interest and curiosity.  So what is Body Psychology?  Most know that when one visits a Psychologist, one goes to discuss what’s going on in their lives.  A form of talk therapy to help guide us in how to resolve problems, giving us the support and direction in better learning how to solve and improve our life, right?

When we have aches and pains, physical issues have developed whether chronic or acute, and all we have done to fix the problem has yet to achieve that result, it is very easy to fall into a place of accepting something we’d rather not, becoming complacent and tuning out.  Over time this tuning out or dissociation to ourselves only comes back to haunt us.  When we have pain or discomfort, this is our brains way of telling us to pay attention.  It might not be saying Don’t DO That but rather STOP, Pay attention to HOW and WHAT you are doing it.  What about finding another way?  It is in how we organize ourselves, the ‘Coordination of our Organization’ that needs to be addressed.

We all live in a fast pace world, almost too fast where we wisk through life barely perceiving what we’re doing and what is going on around us.  We are obsessed in doing, achieving and accomplishing so much and yet we never seem to feel how to pause, rest and restore.  It’s in these times of rest that we restore ourselves.  Where we return to a more optimal functioning that is all about the highest quality of life.

I am a Feldenkrais ® Practitioner, a teacher or maybe better put, a coach, an observer and an enabler as to how we find a more optimal way of organizing ourselves – what we think, feel and do.  It all starts in our brains, they are the Admirals or 5 Star Generals that create the information that travels through us to the end destination, our musculoskeletal system.  Simply put, our bones, muscles and all that need to organize and coordinate in order to do all we do!

As infants, we are in a world of exploration, sensing and feeling our contact with the environment and how we connect to it.  Nothing else exists other then finding how to feel safe, comforted, fed and responded to.  Our days are spent in gentle play with lots of rest to allow what we have been exploring to settle in, connect, create linkages so that we can revisit these patterns until they become habitual, something we’re able to do on demand without consciously thinking how to do it.  At that point we  move onto another exploration, creating another pattern, building one atop the other, like a finely crafted structure, we create a secure underpinning and foundation to build upon, unless we have been pushed beyond our developed abilities to strain that creates pain.  As babies, we are living in an exploratory Body Psychology where we sense and feel, searching for connections, ease, simplicity and making our lives nicer, better, more enjoyable.  It’s more than just survival unless our existence is at the barest minimum and only survival is sought.  When that is the case, learning is on hold, we are consumed only with how to survive!

We are learning as infants. We develop patterns with all our 650 muscles and 206 bones plus all the nerve connections in order to function as the highly intelligent beings we are, and yet we so quickly forget what we have learned, overriding this intelligence with a drive to follow the pack, do as we’re told, be the best, go as fast as we can, and a culture that rewards us for “No PAIN, NO GAIN!”.  Why are we surprised that down the road, almost out of nowhere we finally become aware of something not so nice.  It doesn’t have to have resulted from an assault, something sudden, blind siding us that jolted us and we fear, never to feel as easy as we once did.  Often we are told by an authority that this might be age related or our genetics.  How limiting a belief can you abide by?

I don’t say there isn’t truth to this belief.  What makes one age before their time and another does so much better?  One might say it’s my genes.  Our DNA does have something to do with it, yet there are potentials that don’t trigger and situations that are triggered by what we do whether intentional or unaware.  Over time, the “No PAIN, NO GAIN” philosophy has too much baggage in it to be in our best interest.  What if we could sense and feel a concept like, ‘NO PAIN, GAIN’?  Think about it!  No infant of any species pushes themselves to strain and create pain.  This is only experienced in the dire need of survival, not as a process of growth and optimal living.  The strain and pushing over time, although might have yielded some benefits like winning a race, getting a raise or promotion, increase cardiovascular circulation but at what cost?  There is always a price to pay and too often it comes years later in the experience of chronic pain.  This is the deterioration and wear and tear of our foundation.  Our skeletal structure which is the underpinning of our support and all our parts, over time deteriorate before their life expectancy.  What do we do?  Well we have some wonderful Allopathic medicine that can come to the aid for repair but that repair has years and years of habituated compensations built into us by now.  These patterns don’t just go away.  Remember, they are unconscious once they become a pattern and in order to create more choices and patterns we need to become aware of what we’re doing.  Too often we think we are doing what we intend and quite the contrary, we are doing the opposite.

That’s where Body Psychology comes into the equation.  When we take the time to ask better questions as to what we’re doing and how we are doing it, the ‘Coordination of our Organization and the Organization of our Coordination’, that enables us to create a more enjoyable, likable, nice experience called YOUR LIFE!  Find more optimal ways to improve the quality of your life, not to simply make it ok, make it something that you really like.  Be willing to dream again and reclaim yourself, finding more ease and comfort in how you live  that maybe you thought was in your past.  Is a limiting belief that leaves you feeling hopeless, old and sore what you are settling for?  You can choose to make it better but first you have to take the time to return to a place of listening to notice the little things and from there create more optimal ways that grow exponentially to create the life you want!

Body Psychology is Feldenkrais and Feldenkrais is Body Psychology !  Come feel what you’re missing!

Staying Healthy with the Feldenkrais Method ®

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

“Health is our ability to realize our avowed and unavowed dreams”! (Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais)

How do we come by our individual habits whether they be in how we think, feel or move ourselves? This is the story of our lives. Some of our habits serve us well and some hold us back, limiting full expression of our wishes and dreams.  Too often we don’t even realize what is limiting us!  Our individual story, our history of what we interpret happened to us defines our experience of the world.  Our story encompasses a litany of emotions of love, nurturing, abuse, trauma, accidents and pleasure.
“Life is movement. Improve your movement and you will improve your life”! (Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais)

Movements originate in our brain. The brain has a “blue print” for every act we intend to do. When we want to change our habits or ways of action, it is not the muscles we need to change. We have to change our brain’s habitual patterns that activate and organize the muscles. Dr. Feldenkrais, through research and his own experiences, discovered a way to make this possible. He devised a way to change habits that get in our way and improve them with new more beneficial ones that will become as natural to us as the ones we come to realize don’t serve us as well.

Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais – an Israeli physicist, engineer, scientist, Judo master and the originator of the Feldenkrais Method, introduced his work to the United States in the 1970’s.  The premises of his work was not about prescribed movements as in dance, Pilates, Yoga or Tai-Chi, but rather about the natural movements we learn as babies and use every day as adults to function optimally as humans.  The more optimal we function, the healthier we remain.  This doesn’t mean we don’t get sick but rather that when we do, we move through it faster, easier with less prolonged symptoms.

Dr. Feldenkrais’ method has given ordinary people the means to make the activities of their daily life more pleasurable and pain free.  It enables one to expand their range and quality of movements regardless of age, diagnosis or physical conditions. And now, decades after Dr. Feldenkrais’ innovative approach to improving our quality of life, we now see that all the latest brain research agrees with Dr. Feldenkrais about the importance of healthy, well coordinated movements to the health of the brain.  Makes no difference whether we are babies, minors, adults or senior citizens.

The movement lessons, called Awareness Through Movement® are done lying on the floor, in all different orientations as well as in sitting and standing. The movements are easy and gentle to explore.  They are designed to awaken in you what you actually do and how to make whatever you do feel easier and more comfortable.  Too often we think we are doing one think and in fact are doing something quite different!  It’s as if we are saying yes and no at the same time!

Where are you holding, where do you feel tension? Do you stop breathing? Do you habitually stiffen your jaw when you move? How much or how little do you feel yourself, is it only when you hurt?  How much of your whole self participates in a movement, do you actually use all of you? Poor Neuro-Muscular and skeletal use limits our physical, mental and emotional life. They also limit our performance, be it in athletics, music, dance, theater, or in anything we do even if it’s something like bending down, reaching for something on the top shelf, or turning to veer into traffic or park.

So what if you believed for a moment that you could enhance an improvement in how you think, feel and move, what would it be worth for you to reclaim some of your sense of vitality, potency, being able to do what you want, when you want without pushing yourself to the limit, straining, stressing, striving only to regress into discomfort?

Why not search for where you can find an Awareness Through Movement Feldenkrais class and join in, come lie on the floor and feel what a difference it can make!

The “S” Words, Which Ones Do You Choose!

Monday, July 29th, 2013

What comes to mind when you think about the “S” words.  Often we smile and think of the explosive word that releases tension in a frustrating moment.  What about the words that are so pronounced in our culture of stretching, straining, stressing and striving.  You know the dictate of, “No pain, no gain” – REALLY!

I’d like to transition our focus to the “S” words that have created so much more for me.  Think about exploring something, especially when it’s new with the focus of Safe, Satisfying, Sensing ourselves, Slow to notice what we’re doing or at least attempting to do, Small to discern little differences, Smooth vs. jerky, Soft instead of jarring ourselves and Subtle.  There are so many other “S” words to add to this list like, Silky, Sexy, Slippery, Skillful, Sliding….  When we take the time to listen, we can find a better path to travel from which we can hone our skill, improving and developing speed to go fast, strong without difficulty and finding that with NO PAIN we create a massive GAIN!  No baby pushes to the point of pain, they stop, recalculate and begin anew.  This is what we did when we were babies until maybe we were taught how to strive, stress, stretch ourselves to the limit and pay a hefty price in time.

So next time you are interested in going to the next step, “Slow down, you move too fast, gotta make the morning last just trippin down the cobble stones, lookin for love and feelin groovey”!

Don’t Want to Loss it, USE IT but it’s in the HOW!

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Here’s what I keep learning, more and more each day!

Our capacity to COMFORTABLY GET DOWN to the ground and COMFORTABLY GET BACK UP AGAIN is serious stuff!  Maybe you notice in yourself or certainly in others around you an anxiety to get to the floor and back up again.  As adults we rarely go to the ground and play around “down there”.  For many of us it scares us.  Fear of pain, a difficulty in figuring out how to do something we use to do but don’t feel as safe because of stiffness, or maybe there’s concern about losing our balance and falling?  Any of this sound familiar?

When we lose this curiosity to play and ground-time, what happens is a decrease in our ability to function efficiently.  Fear of falling becomes the norm and we slowly lose our independence.  According to new scientific research, it can even determine how long we live!

When we learned how to move and get up off the floor for the first time it happened by accident.  Think as a baby -> infant -> toddler, how you had to discover balance, skeletal support and muscular efficiency.  We didn’t think about it, it just happened, standing up on our own two feet for the first time, it took us by surprise!   In truth, it took lots of time with lots of curiosity that fueled our play, our explorations to continue to figure out how to do something that enabled more in our lives.

When we give up on this play time, the result is too often a stiff body and rigid mind, neither of which can bend and play, or discover an invent like we once did.

Unfortunately, most of us have lost this curiosity and desire to play with our body and imagination in the way we once did.  We might diligently work out, reps and sets, doing our exercises but is this with awareness or are we just in a pattern where our brain tunes out?

Remember how as a kid we made believe for hours, fantasizing in our joyful imagination of what could be.  Can you remember how that made you feel, the endorphins and good hormones that fueled our healthy growth?  Do you ever wish you could revisit those moments of feeling so good, free an uninhibited?

When we keep exploring with awareness the richness and diversity of movement that our body can offer, it opens up richness and diversity in both thought and creativity! When we cease this richness and diversity, our body and brain get dull along with it.  You know the saying, “Don’t use it, lose it!”!

Here is what I keep learning and share, continue to explore new and different things that you have a desire or interest in.  Do little bits at a time, bring your attention and awareness to what you are doing.  Anat Baniel, a phenomenal creature of learning from the origins of The Feldenkrais Method (R) speaks of “Awaring”.  Just like playing, thinking, feeling, sensing, loving, we need to keep our attention with mindfulness in action, just like any verb/gerund.

I do this daily, playing, exploring whatever I do with a freshness and newness to everything.  I bring an Awareness Through Movement (R) into everything I do, with intention and pleasure.  In doing so I keep my mind and body active, freer and happier!  Wishing you the same!