Below is a video classic demonstration of Moshe Feldenkrais working with a woman with limitations from a neck injury in 1981. Click on the link below..
How much effort are you using right now to read this? To sit in a chair? To breathe? Some people may not think they are using effort at all. But you are alive, and your body is using some effort to be upright against gravity or else would fall down. What would happen if you engaged with less effort in your activities and utilized that extra brain power to sense more around yourself?
From my experience in athletics and scholastics, if my cohorts and I weren’t giving our 100% (or 110%) effort and Continue reading
People with knee pain or injuries often are told to strengthen their knee to overcome their problem. While strengthening can be an important thing, there may be some strain or misaligned patterns that can slow healing or restrict function. Strengthening exercises without good alignment can actually create new problems or exacerbate old ones. Surgeries or knee replacements can be a godsend, and good aligned movement is important to prevent further injury or damage. I recommend Continue reading
I asked one of my clients who was experiencing severe tension in her body to breathe and exhale with an intent to connect with the sensation of contact with her bones. As she did this and commented of feeling her sitting bones, I noticed her muscle tension level dropped a bit, but I could see her shoulders still elevated. We both know this temporary relaxation wouldn’t last.
An image came to me of falling in a dream, the terror of hitting the ground and dying. This falling experience is a common in the dream state and most people wake up from the dream before they hit the ground.
But what happens when we touch the ground– both in our dreams and waking? If a child anticipates you are going to drop them (and not catch them), their whole body tenses. Likewise, if a person can’t feel her bones touching the
ground, how can she completely relax and trust her weight? What I have found is that really good contact with the ground actually tells us we are alive and OK. There is nowhere to fall.
For hips to function well, the sensation of the legs through feet to the ground needs to be clear. In an earlier post, I have a series of lessons to wake up this connection to the ground through tapping the bones of the feet and using a fist to beat or vibrate against the thighs and lower leg to connect with the bones. Once this connection is felt, it’s easier for the hips to function. Walking and standing is easier and lighter. With Feldenkrais work, these lessons work because of your attention to sensation during the activity. If you simply tap your foot or beat your leg without bringing your awareness to these feelings and sensations, there is less or minimal improvement. Continue reading
1. Sitting on a Roll: If your coccyx (tailbone) is not too tender or sore, sit on a blanket roller to help open the pelvic floor area, gently traction the hip joints, improve the organization of balance for the pelvis to carry upper body weight and provide stability. (See my post on Low Back Pain with more details on this lesson: http://sensingvitality.com/2012/05/26/reduce-low-back-pain-by-50-or-better-lesson-1-with-feldenkrais/#more-508
For those who have never tried Feldenkrais classes, or Awareness Through Movement® lessons, it’s helpful to know the results and benefits. I’m quoting past students of mine to give the reader an idea why I teach and write about this work:
1. I can’t believe such little movements can make such a big difference!
This is the most common remark I hear from students in both classes and private lessons.
As with birds in the wild, any small disturbances could be a threat in their habitat. A big, powerful or sudden movement usually erupts a shrill alarm or flight. The human nervous system, like other animals, Continue reading
What about dog poop? cow poop? motor oil, glass, etc.? Stubbing your toes?
There is definitely more risk in these areas, however, barefoot walking demands attention– out of survival. It’s up to you to be careful, to look what is up ahead and feel with your feet before committing your weight. In the Feldenkrais Method®, the ability to reverse a movement is important for survival. Like Winnie the Pooh, who forced his way through a hole too small, Continue reading
Here’s some rough highlights from the latest Feldenkrais and Neuroscience Symposium:
We develop our nervous systems in relation with our environment
Michael Turvey, PhD from UConn talked about ecology and movement development for the nervous system: ”Whatever the course of brain development, behavioral expression is entirely context dependent.” This is a hopeful message that takes us beyond genetic limitations. Continue reading
As summer winds down in the Northwest, as you may have read from the previous post, I decided to walk barefoot outdoors as much as possible. Research on the effects of barefoot walking show that many foot problems and joint injuries are relieved from walking barefoot outside, on the earth. However, even with my Feldenkrais training, martial arts, meditation and other physical training, my feet got pretty sore in the past weeks from walking barefoot too far, too fast. Getting back to barefoot walking takes patience, curiosity
and skin conditioning to develop the new coordination and dexterity. Here’s what I’ve learned from research and practice on how to begin the process of walking barefoot outside: Continue reading