Albert Rosenfeld, recipient of many major science writing awards, wrote a fascinating article about the work of Dr. Feldenkrais in 1981 for the Smithsonian magazine.
The article starts with our watching a young boy and his mother approaching Dr. Feldenkrais. The boy has cerebral palsy. We listen to the conversation, and then watch how Dr. Feldenkrais works with the child. Then Dr. Feldenkrais says,
"See how much easier it is to have your knees open? To close them requires work. To keep them open, you don't have to do anything at all." The boy moves his legs in and out, in apparent disbelief, then bursts into a peal o[ delighted laughter.
Rosenfeld goes on to describe how he became interested in the work -- with none other than Jean Houston. He summarizes his understanding:
... we can, with the conscious brain, instruct the body to move in ways that will in turn instruct the brain to permit the body (and hence itself) to function at a level much closer to its full human potential. Through awareness, [Dr. Feldenkrais] believes, we can learn to move with astonishing lightness and freedom - at almost any age-and thereby improve our living circumstances not only physically (he says we may even find ourselves an inch or two taller) but also emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.
Click to read the full article.
The Lightness of Being, The Joy of Learning
This is a unique opportunity to study with a top professional, an internationally recognized teacher who comes to us from Australia.
In each location, the workshop has two topics, one for each day.
Day One – Through sensing the support of your skeleton, how does this change your sense of yourself and your possibilities moving and acting in the world? ……In other words, find your ‘lightness of being’!
Day Two – Learning to Learn – we are all learning beings throughout our lives, and our ability to understand the HOW of learning can greatly influence our quality of acting and interacting in the world.
Come along and
March 7 & 8: Julie in Vancouver with Alice Friedman, VanDusen Botanical Gardens. Click for more information & to register.
March 14 & 15: Julie in Calgary with Rob Black. Click for more information & to register.
March 21 and 22nd. Julie in Toronto with Gisele St. Hilaire: Lithunuanian House. Click for more information & to register.
An interesting article by Dr. Feldenkrais was published in 1979 titled, "On Health".
After posing the question, What, then, is health? Dr. Feldenkrais then goes through a number of different considerations from essential functions, to recognizing the complexity of the human body and mind. He poses the connection between health and resiliency:
The healthier the person, the more easily will he regain the conduct of his life after considerable sudden shocks by changes in all the necessities for life
But Dr. Feldenkrais sees that considerations of health takes us further in to person's wishes and dreams and conjectures that
.... a healthy person is the one who can live his unavowed dreams fully.
Click below to read the full article.
Coordination - the hidden factor in falling
One of the missing components in health and fitness is coordination. We know about the strength component, the aerobic component, and flexibility, but what is missing is coordination. “Coordination is a hidden skill and at the same time, so obvious,” states Anastasi Siotas of New York.
Where many systems promote a kind of “magic pill” approach to wellness, the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education is a kind of anti-pill, explains Siotas, a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner. “In order to improve, you have to engage, to work with your whole self. There is no limit to improvement. You can continue into old age. “ He adds, “The Feldenkrais Method is a productive habit that counteracts the many counter-productive things that happen to all of us.”
Lack of effective coordination, results in our operating at less than our full abilities”’ says Rob Black, a Calgary Guild Certified Feldenkrais practitioner. “Coordination is an essential component of development”.
Siotas explains, “The Feldenkrais Method is an approach that addresses coordination by unpacking the details of how we organize ourselves to do any movement; how our brain understands movement. As children, we learned to walk by falling over, trying again, and learning from our errors. Balance is not a ‘thing’. It is a process of constantly finding centre and organizing yourself to be balanced around that centre. Balance requires active coordination. For adults, Feldenkrais lessons address coordination in an enjoyable, playful, safe, environment.”
In Siotas' two-day workshop in Calgary starting Nov 9, “Coordinating Balance”, participants will learn how to refine and improve their coordination, particularly in relation to balance. “It’s something you will feel,” he says, “and learn to cultivate in yourself.” For more information see the video on youtube (https://youtu.be/1S9QJ0Imjcg). To register, use this link: http://bit.ly/CalgaryNov.
Siotas invites people to be curious, even skeptical. He is offering a free introductory presentation on Friday, Nov 8. “Once you’ve had the experience, it all makes sense.” He will talk and respond to questions. He will provide practical ways that demonstrate the efficacy of thinking and moving in this way.”(To register for the free presentation, use this link: http://bit.ly/CalgaryNovSeminar).
Is there a Feldenkrais training in Canada? Yes! A team of four Canadian Feldenkrais practitioners researched locations across Canada and chose Kelowna in which to hold the training. “It’s the right location, the right climate and there are direct flights from and to many cities in North America,” says Alice Friedman of Saltspring Island, BC, one of the organizers. The group also searched for the best teachers in North America, and even world-wide.
“The training will be superb,” says Rob Black, one of the four organizers. “We have top teachers, an innovative curriculum and great support for the learners.” He adds, “A Feldenkrais training is one of the most profound educational experiences, both personal and professional, you will have in your life. After each segment you will not only feel more alive, more spontaneous, and even more intelligent, you will also feel that each segment was the best yet!” For more information about the training, please come to: https://kelownafeldenkraistraining.ca/index.html)
In the article, "Mind and Body", Dr Feldenkrais wrote,
I believe that the unity of mind and body is an objective reality. They are not just parts somehow related to each other, but an inseparable whole while functioning. A brain without a body could not think; at least, the continuity of mental functions is assured by corresponding motor functions.
To read the article in full, download here:
We hope you had a chance to do Alice's Awareness Through Movement lesson: Rolling Right and Left.
To listen to our discussion about the learning meta-theme in the lesson, click here.
These discussions may stimulate questions for you as you listen. We’d love to hear what you’re thinking and what questions arise. You can share these by commenting below the video.
You have probably read a lot in our posts about the upcoming workshops in September.
Here is more news about events around these workshops:
Nanaimo, B.C. September 21 & 22 Gisele will also be doing short presentations on Gabriola Island and in Nanaimo before the workshop.
Vernon, B.C. September 28 & 29 Gisele will also be doing short events in Kelowna, B.C. before the Vernon workshop.
You can always check our Events page to find out about future workshops, webinars and events, and to see all the details as they become available.
This post brings us to an expanded newsletter posting in which several topics are covered.
First, the ATM. Alice, a core member of our team, is an Assistant Trainer and has a very refined way of leading our intention in lessons. She is part of the teaching team and is a real treasure as a teacher. She has shared with us a lesson taught live. Consequently you may notice outside sounds, and occasionally her voice is a bit faint when she is away from the microphone. Never fear - in no time you will again be following her theme of rolling.
Through the gentle process of increasing awareness, you will find your upper torso, shoulders, neck and back become softer, more supple. Then, when you stand, you will discover a new you! Click here to listen to the recording.
Click to listen to the lesson.
Second, Check your Calendar for upcoming workshops. Gisele is travelling to Nanaimo mid-September, and to Vernon the final week of September. Click here to go to the Events section of the website to get the details of the workshops.
Enjoy Cathy Lidster's touching story about her first encounter of the Feldenkrais Method for her mother and how this led her to become a practitioner herself in this short 2-1/2 minute video.
The Kelowna Feldenkrais Training started with a dream, and is coming together through daily and weekly work by the team.