Feldenkrais : the laboratory of exploration

"Movement is life. Life is a process. Improve the quality of the process and you improve the quality of life itself."

"..Make the impossible possible, the possible easy, and the easy elegant."

"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…"
Quotes by Moshe Feldenkrais

The Feldenkrais Method is at the leading edge of the emerging field of somatic education (bodywork). Based on the work of Moshe Feldenkrais (1904 – 84) and influenced by his expertise in physics, engineering and judo, the Feldenkrais Method draws together both the science and the art of human movement. It is unique in that it is based on sound mechanical and neurological principles and yet is easily accessible through simple practical lessons.

Through its emphasis on experiential learning, the method can offer a means to improve many aspects of everyday life from sitting and walking more comfortably to performing a highly developed skill more efficiently, to easier interpersonal relations. The Technique has been proven through many studies, both individual and group research, to improve mobility, reduce pain and help with central nervous system disorders. It has been used by people to improve serious conditions as well as being used by sports people and dancers to improve performance.

Through exploring patterns of everyday movement, the Method encourages the discovery of new possibilities and choices. Dr. Feldenkrais developed what he called “Awareness Through Movement” to describe this process of exploring the body’s movement. Cristina Moya has recently returned from three year’s training in Italy in the method and now offers classes in Málaga at Yoga Centre Yantra. “For me it is like a free space, an opportunity to observe the body in movement.” Enrique Moya who has been teaching Yoga in Málaga for nearly thirty years commented that he finds the technique very effective and recommends many of his students to practice it alongside their yoga.

The key to Feldenkrais is not to think of right and wrong movement but to focus on the different possiblities within the body for any type of movement, making ourself a laboratory of exploration. By being attentive to our movements in an almost child like way we can enhance and develop our natural abilities. While movement is the source of our inquiry it is interesting to note that a shift in our movement patterns often produces shifts in the patterns of how we think, sense, feel and interact with others.

A typical Feldenkrais class involves the teacher verbally guiding the students through a series of exploratory Awareness Through Movement sequences, utilizing attention, perception and imagination. There are over a thousand different movement lessons ranging from developmentally based patterns to exceptionally innovative configurations. The movements are usually done lying down or sitting and at a pace and range that honors each participant. The major criteria for the quality of movement is comfort, ease and the development of each person’s inner authority. By bringing attention back to the process of what we are actually doing we feel lighter, more graceful, tend to look and feel younger and intentions are more accurately brought into action.

Christina Moya, Centro de Yoga Yantra, Málaga. Weekly classes 952 225 640 or 687 450 219

Yogaveda, Marbella Golf and Country Club offers workshops with Gerlinde Pohl. Call 686 235 168

Casa Ana, Alpujarras, offers Feldenkrais retreats – www.casa-ana.com

Cortijo Romero, Alpujarras, retreat centre is organising Movement For Life: Feldenkrais And CFR – Re-discover the joy of moving freely, with two very effective approaches from Saturday Aug 16, 2008 to Saturday Aug 23, 2008. Cost: €710.00. Course Leader – Carol Lessinger who trained with Moshe Feldenkrais and has been in private practice since 1978. www.cortijo-romero.co.uk or call +44 1494 765775 to book or for more information.

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