A Life Enriched: An Interview with Carol Kress

Feldenkrais Trainer Carol Kress shares stories from her first Feldenkrais lesson, her professional training, and more in this interview with Ira Feinstein, FA Managing Director. 


Ira: What was your first experience with the Feldenkrais Method®
 
Carol: In the '80s, I was an avid runner with chronic back pain. A friend of mine had some experience with the Feldenkrais Method and thought it might be helpful, so she gifted me a Functional Integration lesson with Dennis Leri.
 
I can clearly remember the experience of standing up after that first lesson and looking at my reflection in the full-length mirror. The visual impression was stunning: The way my clothes hung on me, the way they touched my skin, I felt like I was wearing an elegant Armani creation – the epitome of high fashion at the time. I felt absolutely regal and poised and marveled at how I carried my simple clothes, my skin, and my bones in a way that felt like high-level...
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Can You Shorten an ATM lesson?

 

This question is an important one, and frequently asked:

Q: Sometimes, I want to do a Feldenkrais® lesson but don't have time to do a full-length one. Can I abbreviate a lesson, or do something shorter?

A: Yes, absolutely!

First, in most of my online series, I have provided a set of short exercises to help those attending my classes to develop and maintain the positive benefits. These short 'quickies' are intended to play a supportive role, and can be used casually, anytime.

Second, feel free to abbreviate a full-length lesson, after you have thoroughly experienced and 'learned' it. If you find a particular lesson to be helpful, I recommend that you do the full-length version again, two or three times. You will have a new experience and notice new things, each time you do it. Then, you can adapt it to fit your time constraints.

There are several ways to do this. Perhaps you can do each movement fewer times, or do only the first half of the lesson. Or, you can focus on the...

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2022 Update: Scholarship Program

access news Jan 14, 2022

Ira Feinstein, Managing Director

When I was in my twenties, my favorite job was at a small nonprofit that gave me a sense of direction, a loving and supportive work environment, and a small paycheck. I could pay my bills and go out to eat now and again, but otherwise, I lived frugally. During that time, I found myself in pain—both physically and psychically—and I set out to find ways to alleviate both. I discovered— and found significant relief from—one-on-one Feldenkrais lessons, but the cost was prohibitive. Luckily, a friend of a friend offered to give me lessons for one-quarter of his regular price! It was still a lot of money for me, but I adjusted my budget just enough to make it work. The sessions became the highlight of any given week for almost two years. A decade-plus later, I’ve realized that even if I could’ve paid full price, there is no way I could truly quantify how profoundly those lessons changed me. To say that I might not...

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A Proposal for a Strategic Hierarchy in Functional Integration®

functional integration Jul 28, 2021
David Zemach-Bersin, Feldenkrais Trainer, Feldenkrais Access Founder
 
Moshe Feldenkrais was explicit, "Improve the person, not their problem. If you improve the person, their difficulty will improve." This dictum represents one of the essential reasons he successfully improved and transformed human abilities and restored lost function. 
 
Feldenkrais is telling us that the vast majority of human musculoskeletal problems are reflections of poor organization. He understood that there is a way of being 'organized' that is optimal for all human beings; a particular organization between our skeleton, nervous system, and musculature. This organization gives us our best possible options for efficient, easy, and effective movement or action. 
 
The neutral neuro-muscular-skeletal state that is synonymous with good organization reduces the attraction and the burden of past adjustments to culture, trauma, punishment, and anxiety. The neutrality of good...
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The Importance of Rest in Awareness Through Movement Lessons

Uncategorized Jul 10, 2021
David Zemach-Bersin, Feldenkrais Trainer, Feldenkrais Access Founder
 
Feldenkrais students often ask why we take so many rests during Awareness Through Movement lessons. This new research supports what I have been saying for many years, that resting during learning allows for better or more effective consolidation, and I would add that it also allows for the replenishment of the specific neurotransmitters involved in learning. 
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Can We Improve Your Access?

access news Jun 25, 2021
During the registration period for every live online series, we receive emails from people saying, "I'd love to join you for this series, but I live in XXX, and the exchange rate makes it impossible. Can you help?"
 
The answer is "Yes!" Whether you live in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, or any other country with an unfavorable exchange rate, we're happy to help. How does it work? Simply email Ira at [email protected] and let him know the course you're interested in and the currency you pay with, and he'll provide you with a link to register at a favorable, local-appropriate rate.
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Some Thoughts on Reducing the Body Pattern of Anxiety

David Zemach-Bersin, Feldenkrais Trainer, Feldenkrais Access Founder
 
Anxiety was a problem that interested Dr. Feldenkrais for over 40 years. He devoted an entire chapter to the problem of anxiety in his first book, Body & Mature Behavior, and then returned to it again in his last book, The Elusive Obvious. 
 
Our nervous system responds to fear or stress in ways that are universal to all living organisms. These responses are unconscious, self-protective, and in every instance, involve muscular contraction. For us, this means contraction throughout our musculature, constricted breathing, inhibited movement of the diaphragm, a forward carriage of the head, an almost static contraction of the abdomen and pelvis, restrictions in the movement of the spine, neck and shoulders, and clenching of the hands, mouth, and jaw. It also means a quickening of our pulse, an inhibition of our digestion, and significant changes in our circulation.
 
This is the...
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Why Consider the Feldenkrais Method® for Relieving Stress & Anxiety

access news May 15, 2021

Ira Feinstein, Managing Director

The grooves of my anxiety were set at a young age. It was 1987. I was nine years old. My 41-year-old father went to work one morning and never came home. A fatal heart attack. This, alone, would've been traumatic enough if not for my 40-year-old mother's breast cancer diagnosis a year earlier. I spent the next two years until her death waiting to be an orphan. I lived in a state of high alert, always looking for signs that her death was imminent. Every time she failed to greet me at the door after school or was late coming home, I feared the worst. I can still remember the adrenaline pumping through my body and the freezingness of the fear. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't see. The only thing that was real was the sound of my heart thumping erratically in my chest and the refrain, "She's dead, she's dead, she's dead," playing on a loop in my mind. 

Even into my early twenties, despite years of therapy and anti-depression medicine, the same wash of...

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About Our Scholarship Program

access news Jan 04, 2021
Hi! My name is Ira. I am the Managing Director of Feldenkrais Access. Though I usually hide in the background, I wanted to come to the foreground for a minute in order to talk to you about Feldenkrais Access's scholarship program.
 
When we began announcing live online classes this year, we put a notice at the bottom of every email saying "Scholarships available." I thought those two words would be enough to encourage people to reach out. I was wrong. What was needed was an invitation. We've been doing our best to invite you to apply for a scholarship via our emails and FB posts over the last few weeks. Maybe you've seen them?
 
There has been a theme to the emails that have arrived since we've started promoting this program: people feel bad asking for one. Maybe they already received a scholarship from us early this year, or they feel like the series is worth more than they can pay, or they've never had to ask for a scholarship before, and it is an uncomfortable place to...
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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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