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Reflection: After the Class. A Tender, Fragile Moment

April 1, 2015

Class: April 3, 10:45am, Subud House, 3185 NE Regents Drive, Drop-ins welcome.

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The moment at the end of your Feldenkrais class is the most tender moment, ever. By that, I’m not suggesting it’s a time for shedding tears. Not that kind of tender. I’m thinking of tender to mean a delicate and fragile kind of way.

Let’s imagine you attend a Feldenkrais class. You’ll be asked to lie on your back and take a moment to scan your contact with the floor. In those moments, you’ll glean some very important information to use in all future comparison moments in that class.

Then, you do the movements, practicing over and over how to slow them, smooth them, like you were taking wrinkles out of the sheets on a freshly made bed. Gradually, gently, you don’t want to rip the corners.

Finally, you’ll be asked to lie on your back again and compare how you make contact with the floor now, against how you contacted the floor at the beginning. Then, your teacher asks you to get up and walk around and notice if the lesson echoes in your body.

I would suggest this is a moment when the new learning is so new it’s like a baby and needs a blanket to keep it warm?

I would suggest this is a moment so unsettled it needs several more moments to follow it in order for the settling of the new learning to take hold in some crevasse of the neural circuitry?

In that very first after-class moment there are many fragile new buds of intention and action that have germinated and need the just-right conditions to grow all the way to a bloom. The question is, what will you do with them?

Will you rush out of class to get to your next appointment? Will you take a few moments and reflect on your success with that particular lesson and congratulate yourself for coming to class? Will you think of all the people this lesson might help in your life, because your heart is bursting with all the people you love and would enjoy sharing the gift of feeling better?

Maybe it is all these, maybe this is the reality we live in, maybe this is a typical thing we humans do. And, if we do, maybe our lesson remains sticky and with us, or maybe it begins to fade as soon as we imagine dragging our spouse to a class or that friend who could really use the support with her posture.

Reflection: After the Class. A Tender, Fragile MomentWhat can we do to make the lesson as sticky as possible? What can we do to expand on the value of that fragile moment, that moment when the potential of behaving a different way is exponentially higher than the moment when we came into class.

We can practice keeping one internal eye on our self, specifically our posture, our actions, and our intentions while we go about the business of putting shoes and coat on. We can watch our habits, of speed, of quality, of silence or talking, of thoughts.

Our thoughts are habits too, and the patterns of them are often more ingrained than the habits of our muscles. Sometimes we speak immediately and the speaking of a story is part of our habit. Could we listen to the internal conversation rather than the external conversation? Is there some smoothing out to do inside there, in those thoughts that often won’t leave us alone, asking us to constantly compare and constantly worry?

Could we let the noticing we practiced in the class go with us out the door? How long can we keep noticing? How long should we keep noticing?

Forever. How’s that for an answer?

And, forever is the only answer that makes any sense. We are forever looking for that tender moment when our behavior isn’t so brittle and we can shift in our pattern. That is the secret of feeling better and looking better and doing better, it’s that in some moment our behavior shifted and became less rigid and less predictable and less fixed and less stilted and less a process of gripping for dear life and we opened to change.

A forever attending to what is alive in the intentions and alive in the posture and alive in the internal eye is what it will take to live with some flexibility and agility and resilience.

That is why we come to class. To feel alive and have a sense we can live in our aliveness more comfortably and with more, well, aliveness.

Aliveness can feed our aliveness. Resilience can feed our resilience.

So, the next time you move the puddle of bones you are at the end of the lesson into a standing position and sense your feet on the ground and your skeleton holding you up, go tenderly in that tender moment. Continue easing into the next thing. The next car trip, the next bike ride, or the next phone conversation.

Ease through that thing, and then next, and then the next.

In those tender moments at the end of and after class, you have the capacity to live in your aliveness.

  1. Heather Hannam permalink

    even though I haven’t seen you personnally for quite a time, I so enjoy joining into your reflections. I use thinngs I have learned in your classes with my clients; tender, alive kind of things. You remain my teacher Please keep it up!

    • Thank you, Heather! I’m just warming up, in terms of this kind of writing. It’s been a fun way to share the process. We’ll see how it continues to unfold. As always, appreciate your perspective. Be well…

  2. Kim permalink

    This is simply lovely and well-articulated as well. Thank you.

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