The Feldenkrais Method® is taught in two formats:
Awareness Through Movement® (ATM)
Awareness Through Movement ® lessons are often used to teach groups, but can also be used by individuals. Lessons usually start by lying on a comfortably padded floor and gently progress to a variety of positions. You explore how specific parts of the body cooperate in basic movement.
Verbal instructions guide your attention as you perform carefully chosen movement sequences that provide multiple options for learning. Movement repetition and comparison are used to connect the movement of one body part to the use of other body parts. During lessons, the emphasis is on sensory learning and an enriched experience of your whole self in action.
These individual lessons address specific needs through gentle hands-on instruction. The Feldenkrais® Practitioner observes your habitual movement patterns and assesses what work would best help you. During a Functional Integration® lesson, the Practitioner starts with movements which come easily to you, and gradually guides your body to expand your range of ease. The movements bring awareness to the interconnected functioning of different parts of your body. Functional Integration® lessons can be taught in a variety of positions, but most often they take place on a special table or on a carpeted floor.
for more information about Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais, D.SC, his Method, quotes and links to related articles and videos, click here
Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais, D.SC and his Method
Dr. Feldenkrais (1904-1984) was a nuclear physicist and engineer, who had a 2nd degree black belt in judo. In the 1940s, Moshé Feldenkrais seriously injured his knee. When medical science could not cure his knee problems, Dr. Feldenkrais decided to help himself. He used scientific principles from physics, motor development, biomechanics, psychology, and martial arts to develop an effective method to learn about his movement patterns and expand his movement possibilities. Through self-study, he restored his ability to walk and made revolutionary discoveries that became the basis of somatic learning method called The Feldenkrais Method®.
The Feldenkrais Method® is based on the principles that the brain is the coordinator of movement and the brain and the nervous system are capable of learning throughout your lifetime. In Feldenkrais® lessons, your nervous system is encouraged to continue to learn in the organic experiential way in which you learned as an infant. The focus is on how the movements of your individual parts can interrelate in different ways. The Feldenkrais Method® gently explores these dynamic connections. Through carefully chosen movement sequences, your brain is encouraged to compare the movement choices available to you. As you become increasingly aware of how muscles work together and influence each other, your brain creates new patterns of coordination that integrate the function of individual parts with the function of the whole. The result is an enriched experience of your whole self in action, an increase in ease of movement, and a decrease in unnecessary muscular effort. The lessons are pleasurable, and the movements are easy to do. Through sensing, feeling, resting and moving, you learn how to replace old inefficient habits with new awareness and skill.
Some Moshe Feldenkrais Quotes
“Movement is life. Life is a process. Improve the quality of the process and you improve the quality of life itself.”
“When thinking in words, even subliminally, we are logical and think in familiar patterns, in categories that we have thought, dreamed, read, heard, or said sometime before. Learning to think in patterns of relationships, in sensations divorced from the fixity of words, allows us to find hidden resources and the ability to make new patterns, to carry over patterns of relationship from one discipline to another. In short, we think personally, originally, and thus take another route to the thing we already know.”
“We do not achieve … by repetition, muscle exercising, or by increasing speed and force, but by widening and refining the cerebral control of the muscle range.”
“Through awareness, we can learn to move with astonishing lightness and freedom at almost any age.”
“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.”
“The only thing permanent about our behavior patterns is our belief that they are so.”
“Find your true weakness and surrender to it. Therein lies the path to genius. Most people spend their lives using their strengths to overcome or cover up their weaknesses. Those few who use their strengths to incorporate their weaknesses, who don’t divide themselves, those people are very rare. In any generation, there are a few and they lead their generation.”
“What I understand by maturity, is the capacity of the individual to break up total situations of previous experience into parts, to reform them into a pattern most suitable to the present circumstance, i.e., the conscious control effectively becomes the over-riding servo-mechanism of the nervous system”.
“Recognizing our insignificance, the unimportance of what we think, do, or cannot do, we find ourselves in full mastery of ourselves to the potential limit of our ability. That sort of unstable equilibrium that is abandoned in each action and recovered for the next is the essence of human maturity."
“No matter how closely we look, it is difficult to find a mental act that can take place without the support of some physical function.”
“What I’m after isn’t flexible bodies, but flexible brains. What I’m after is to restore each person to their human dignity. ”
“To make the impossible possible, the possible easy, and the easy elegant.”
Links For More Information
The Feldenkrais Guild of North America®:
International Feldenkrais Federation:
Dr Weill’s article on The Feldenkrais Method®
A short video showing Feldenkrais Awareness through Movement lessons and their benefits
Free audio files of a Feldenkrais® ATM
The Feldenkrais Store is a resource for videos, audio downloads, printed material about the Feldenkrais Mehtod®