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Tell Me Again, How Will Feldenkrais® Help Me?

October 10, 2012

It’s so hard to categorize Feldenkrais. What is it, what does it do for you, what is the goal, how are you supposed to feel during class, or afterward? In a restaurant or exercise class or lecture hall, we know the script. We know what we’re supposed to feel and focus on while we are in those activities and we are comforted by the predictable nature of it.

But, in Feldenkrais, we aren’t sure and that’s where the problem lies.

Some people like not-knowing. For others, not so much. In fact, it’s common for folks to spend their energy in class focused on figuring out what they are supposed to feel, think, sense, and do. But, in Feldenkrais classes, looking at your neighbor on the floor reveals few clues. It is frustrating.

A client recently asked me the question, what am I supposed to get out of this? I answered, “You’re supposed to learn to play the violin with your whole self.”

He looked at me quizzically. I reminded him of his story of his teacher who said he couldn’t get any faster the way he was playing. Thus, his job is to learn how to play the violin with his whole self and his computer with his whole self and drive the car with his whole self.

So, how can Feldenkrais be categorized?

It fits in education.

  • Feldenkrais is not about appearance, though when you use your whole self, you’ll feel better and look better.
  • It’s not about exercise, though when you use your whole self, you’ll be stronger,  more flexible, and able to do more than you thought possible.
  • And, it’s not about being trendy, though when you learn to use your whole self, you’ll be joining a group of folks who willingly dive into the unknown before everyone else tells them it’s okay. They bravely explore their strengths and weaknesses and they learn to knit the disparate parts of the self together in a way that works, gracefully and elegantly.

Feldenkrais teachers teach; students learn, then they grow, and become educated about themselves.

At some point, they become a teacher to the self, with the enormous potential of that position.

P.S. I’ve been advised that words like teach and learn are too threatening for some people and that many have bad memories of a time when learning was not so positive. I have decided to show respect for my students and clients by sharing what I believe is the essence of this amazing work and not try to make it all wrapped in a pretty package for easier consumption. In fact, if you aren’t put off by learning something about yourself, you’re likely ready to begin the journey. As one of my students says, “this isn’t for the faint-of-heart.”

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Register for Change Your Age®, November 17, 9am-4pm, lunch included by October 27 for the $87 registration fee. After that, it goes up!

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