What to Do When the Lesson is Over…

As a Feldenkrais Teacher, I often hear: "I feel great after that lesson! How can I make the improvements last and maximize the benefits?" To support the benefits of a lesson, first consider this: Awareness Through Movement lessons do not end when the movements stop.

For approximately an hour, as we do an Awareness Through Movement lesson, our brain has an opportunity to sample new options. Old, habitual patterns become flexible, and our brain has a chance to learn something new. New neurological pathways begin to develop, which allow for better posture, easier movement, and better organization. But those new pathways are unfamiliar. If you stand up after doing a Feldenkrais lesson, and immediately start rushing around or grab your cell phone, you will miss the potent minutes--or hours-- when the lesson's effects are the easiest to feel, and the most easily integrated.

Your awareness immediately following a Feldenkrais lesson is very powerful, and helps to ensure the...

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Free! New Online Lessons

access news Apr 09, 2020
The threat of the coronavirus has activated our ‘sympathetic’ nervous system, and we are feeling it with stress indicators like anxiety, aches and pains, tension, shortness of breath, indigestion, and difficulty sleeping. Our 'fight or flight' response is great in an emergency, but it is not healthy for us to maintain it -continuously- for long periods of time. Prolonged sympathetic activation is exhausting and associated with high blood pressure, high cortisol levels, muscular tension, inflammation, anxiety, and a suppressed immune system. During these unprecedented times, we are offering numerous free lessons to help you maintain a healthy nervous system: 
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Still Reverberating

moshe feldenkrais Feb 25, 2020

Over the last year, a new approach to Functional Integration® has blossomed in my Functional Integration work. I call it 'Harmonizing' because that's what it feels like; a dynamic, three-dimensional way of working with a strong undercurrent of joining in action. In the past, I've used this idea at the end of my FI® lessons to help clients integrate their new learning in an upright position. But recently, a new avenue opened up, and I find myself giving entire lessons this way. I was surprised when it started happening; for a moment thought I'd invented something new. But then, I remembered that actually, this approach invented me.

In 1975, I was a student in the San Francisco Feldenkrais® Professional Training program when, on a Thursday or Friday toward the end of our second month, Moshe invited me to come to the front of the room and sit on the edge of his table. He began to work with me, and as I recall, his goal seemed to be to find an effortless path to...

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Wholeness vs Segmental Thinking:
On the Path to Becoming a Feldenkrais Practitioner

western thought Jan 17, 2020

From a talk given in response to a question during the second year of the New York VIII Feldenkrais Professional Training Program

Transcribed and Edited by Morgan McKenzie Kauffman

It is your ability to turn towards your own sensation that brings another to sense themselves. It is your ability to feel and know yourself in your wholeness, that enables the other person to feel their wholeness and to act in a more integrated way.  

A common idea in Western thought production is that knowledge derives from the cutting of things into fragments or pieces. Of course, cutting things into parts can lead to a certain kind of useful knowing, but it’s a different way of thinking than the one I find most useful to us as Feldenkrais Practitioners. It is tempting to think that by “segmentalizing” the self into this muscle or that muscle and focusing on individual parts, we will understand what needs to be fixed or what is relevant to know about a person in order to...

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Further Thoughts on 'The Teleceptors Organize the Head and Neck'

functional integration Jan 14, 2020

I recently posted a clip of a short, spontaneous FI demonstration filmed during an advanced training that I taught in England, in September 2019. It was graciously recorded by Feldenkrais Trainer, Raz Ori. In this particular clip, ‘The Teleceptors Organize the Head and Neck,’ the student sits on the table while I stand to work with her. For some of the lesson, her head rests against my chest. This is an extremely versatile and effective approach which allows the practitioner to move freely with a dynamic stability while at the same time being connected to another person in such a way that they feel themselves to be weightless. However, it presents some obvious challenges which I’d like to discuss.

First, I’d like to explain that the participants in this workshop were experienced Practitioners, with the exception of some fourth-year students from the London training program. They understood that we would not be focusing on individual FI skills, but instead on...

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Looking for Clues: Mystery Novels & Functional Integration

functional integration Nov 13, 2019

Sherlock Holmes was one of Dr. Feldenkrais' heroes. Moshe enjoyed reading Conan Doyle mysteries, and Sherlock's devotion to clues. I'm into my fourth John Le Carre book now, with George Smiley. Agent extraordinaire Smiley makes inferences from tiny fragments of evidence and gathers clues not only by observing the environment and the people in it but also by listening to his own sensations and feelings. Smiley allows himself to trust his intuition in search of information. He goes to places without knowing why he is going there and lingers in places allowing his sensations and perceptions to coalesce, in search of clues. Since reading Le Carre, I've been watching strangers on trains differently, and thinking about the interviews I saw Moshe conducting with people before giving them their first Functional Integration lesson. They were a marvel of curiosity, investigation, compassion, and reframing.

Moshe often said that the FI lesson begins when the person walks in the door...

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A Meeting of the Minds: Margaret Mead and Moshe Feldenkrais

moshe feldenkrais Oct 02, 2019

During the third year of the San Francisco training program, Margaret Mead visited us for most of a week. At the time, she was considered the pre-eminent cultural anthropologist of North America (and a very public intellectual). Friends had introduced Moshe and Mead, and as she became familiar with both Functional Integration and Awareness Through Movement, she became an advocate for him and his ideas. Some months later in an article, Mead wrote,

"Feldenkrais' method is the most sophisticated and effective method I have seen for the prevention and reversal of deterioration of function. We're condemning millions of people to a deteriorated old age that's not necessary."

Throughout her visit, she made herself available for conversations during class breaks, which were often quite long. I remember talking with her about language and abstract thinking and hardly being able to keep my end of the conversation going because I was so completely knocked out by her unique brilliance and...

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