Learning | With Julie Peck & Lesley McLennan
Moshe Feldenkrais said “Movement is life. Life is a process. Improve the quality of the process and you improve the quality of life itself”
Many of us get caught up in assuming that the method is about making movement easier, more efficient and graceful, and YES that is a wonderful part of the work, however the deeper investigation is in how we ‘get stuck’ in our habitual ways of moving and thinking, and the Feldenkrais method offers a powerful tool to discover HOW to ‘get unstuck’.
Because life is unpredictable and ever-changing, how do we find ways to become more adaptable, see things from more perspectives, become more resilient, and discover alternative ways to achieve our intentions that help us to lead more aesthetically satisfying lives.
All of this involves our ability to learn – bringing our curiosity to the fore, and finding ways to challenge ourselves and to explore alternatives. I hope you enjoy the practical ways we will explore this in the conversation you will be watching.
Response to Pain | With Lisa Campbell & Lesley McLennan
The field of pain research and knowledge is expanding at a rapid rate and I have found that the Feldenkrais Method offers enormous opportunities for improvement, in line with new understandings about how pain works.
My clients are often surprised that gentle, subtle, comfortable movement can make such a difference to their experience of pain. My own experience of the Method has been one of expanding my self-awareness, curiosity and ability to feel, think and do things differently. This is what I would like for all my clients.
Supporting Creativity | Woth Ingrid Weisfelt & Lesley McLennan
We act in accordance with our self image” Moshe Feldenkrais’ words resonate for every body, but even more so for those of us who rely on our creativity and expressive abilities to make our living.
Performing artists rely heavily on their experiences of life to feed their artistic expression. Their embodied expression can only be as nuanced and varied as their self-image is nuanced and varied, backed up with their physical skills.
Performing artists train extensively to build the skills required to succeed in their chosen field. Practicing the Feldenkrais Method can become an incredibly powerful adjunct to other training methodologies because it can support artists on so many different levels. Not only does it provide a process by which to build physical skills and body awareness, it also supports their mental wellbeing by teaching them how to value their own experiences and not rely so heavily on external validation.
I reflect on the many similarities in my work with the two very different cohorts of students that I specialise in working with- children living with a disability and performing artists. All of my students learn how to reach, roll, breathe, transition to sitting, to crawling, to kneeling, and walking with greater ease and skill within their own expanding capabilities and potential. Both groups engage with these movements within a sensory driven learning environment based on play, exploration, experimentation and self directed problem solving. Although the learning outcomes are embodied very differently with each student cohort, the principals behind the processes by which they learn and the movement vocabulary that they are learning are exactly the same. To me, this is the unique brilliance of the Feldenkrais Method and what makes it such a powerful learning tool for any application.
Find the complete Dancers Series
Power & Aikido | With Ruth Frommer & Lesley McLennan
Having a history of scoliosis which resulted in major back surgery, prior to training in the Feldenkrais Method I would never have imagined that I could become a highly skilled Aikido practitioner and run an Aikido school. After a childhood of being told to sit and stand straight, Feldenkrais was an elixir that taught me to feel for my self how I was sitting, standing and moving. This gave me a wonderful sense of possibility and reignited my belief that I could be the master of my own destiny. The more Feldenkrais I did the more symmetrical, balanced, coordinated and confident I became.
Having finished my Feldenkrais Training in 1991, I was primed to take on the challenge of Aikido as part of my personal development journey. I used Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lessons both to warm up my body and mind before training and as a panacea after a training session to iron out any aches and strains.
Anxiety | With Molly Tipping & Julie Peck
My interest in using the Feldenkrais Method to mediate stress and anxiety harks back to the very first weeks of my Feldenkrais training. As the tired mother of a 1 year old I noticed how after gently rolling my head, moving my eyes left and right and coming up to sit I felt more calm, grounded and mentally/emotionally resilient and I became intrigued… How could these subtle movements soothe my mind?
So I put my head, heart and body into Moshes teaching and began to pursue this fascination to understand more and to find ways to embolden Moshes Feldenkrais work on the topic.
I have continued to delve into these ideas ever since and I use the method daily for my own embodiment and maturation, I apply the philosophy to my parenting, and I strive to synthesise the principals and practices in an engaging way to help my clients discover how to work with their body's intelligence to find lasting calm, confidence and spontaneity.
This talk gives insight into how I think about anxiety and how I work with my clients to get them back to feeling calm and grounded again. At the end I discuss a good daily habit that you can apply to any situation and I talk through a small movement exploration you can try for yourself.
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Awareness Through Movement | With Margaret Mayo & Lesley McLennan
Over the years I have become much more enamoured of the Awareness through Movement component of the Feldenkrais Method. The hundreds of lessons devised by Moshe Feldenkrais are the work of a genius. These lessons enable students to be curious and explore for themselves in a non-judgmental environment. The students in Awareness through Movement lessons are able to learn to make their own decisions and thus monitor their own learning. The teacher suggests where to move attention and ways to form an intention. The movements are novel and often unexpected; they surprise and delight. Because the learning is experiential, it is important to participate in lessons to learn about Awareness through Movement and the Feldenkrais Method.
Yoga & Mindfulness | With Sara Elderfield & Julie Peck
By becoming more aware of how we are with ourselves in our yoga, Feldenkrais or meditation practices, we learn to have more choices physically, emotionally and in our thinking, during our practice on the mat and more importantly, in our day to day lives. The gross and subtle shapes we make with ourselves colour our experience of ourselves and others.
Children with Special Needs | With Janet Auret & Lesley McLennan
We discuss some of the particular challenges that children and their families face when the usual pathways of development are compromised. We explore what assistance can be provided to find ways of moving and interacting with the world more easily. The best way that I have found to move forwards with children is connecting to their curiosity and playfulness as this is their natural pathway to learning. It is a delight to enter their world and marvel at their ingenuity.
Older People | With Bronwyn Fewster & Julie Peck
Seeing older clients for the first time, I often hear a comment such as, “
Oh I can’t do that anymore”. That’s when I know they need what the Feldenkrais Method can teach them, before this self-fulfilling comment begins to limit them. I see people as they age, whose worlds have become very small, narrow and focused and the FM can give them the tools to start expanding their world and then the sky is the limit.
What is so exciting for me about the FM is that we are continually exploring improving our movements to address and improve efficiency which has a flow on effect to also improving our ability to sense ourselves, think about ourselves and our potential and improve our mood, confidence and motivation. It encourages and supports change by fostering a safe way to explore change without judgement. It increases our hope that we can continue to improve and have alternatives if something fails. We begin to think more positively and feel motivated to improve.
This is definitely how I want to move forward as I grow older and the Feldenkrais Method, with its unique learning strategies and the many wonderful Awareness Through Movement lessons, will guide and support me. When I am tempted to say, “
Oh I can’t do that
anymore” I remember to say, “
I can’t do that YET”; knowing that if I want to and intend to, I can head in that direction and have the tools the FM teaches me to help me get there.