Self-Image: The Way we Feel and Function | With David Hall
It is my experience that every movement you make or action you take is influenced by an internal representation of your body and environment that is developed over time through your experience of life.
It’s your self-image and it changes with your state of mind – consider those days when you’re on top of the world or those days when you find it too hard to get out of bed. The most frequently experienced states of mind begin to shape the way you move and function. They express your character and can be seen in your posture and habits of movement.
Sometimes your body image is at odds with what is actually there. This can lead to poor posture, unnecessary aches and pains, and unnecessary anxiety.
The Feldenkrais Method asks you to consider your body as your vehicle for living and that your task is to understand how it works and to refine the way you use it. Many people are initially drawn to the Method to relieve pain but they soon see that it offers so much more.
The Method enables you to cultivate your loves, predispositions and inspirations so that you can adapt yourself more easily to the opportunities and challenges of life.
It enables you to experience your body and your life as an evolving expression of beauty and art.
I’ve been practicing it for over 30 years and I still find the journey absolutely fascinating. This talk includes a practical experience of the Method.
Video to come on 20th August
Group Lessons: Restoring Dignity Through Movement | With Mary Kelsey
When we listen to ourselves with quiet and sustained attention, using curiosity rather than our critical voice, we are moving into a state of composure. This composure is a dynamic state, and through it we may feel an authentic sense of dignity. This may allow us to be open to learning about ourselves, others and our environment from a state of “not knowing”.
In group lessons – known as Awareness through Movement lessons – we often use the ground as a source of support. In this talk, Mary discusses her extensive knowledge of Awareness Through Movement practice. She also offers a full-length lesson using a different idea of support within ourselves – the plane that divides our left and right, leading us towards internal composure.
Initially elusive, you can learn to develop a tangible sense of this central plane, and how it supports you, your actions, your life.
Video to come August 21
School-aged children: Meeting Children with Diverse Needs | With Gail Dawe
Why is it that some children don’t thrive at school? In this talk, we aren’t necessarily looking at huge or obvious learning difficulties. We talk about children who try hard and just don’t get ahead. We also explore how the principles of the Feldenkrais Method, including fun in “failure”, create an ideal learning environment for children who might otherwise struggle in their learning.
Children can benefit greatly from Feldenkrais Method’s effects on neurochemistry and neuroplasticity to affect changes in the brain. The Method provides many principles for learning : - quiet environment, not failing but exploring, clear instructions that client can follow, adjusting our instruction if they are misunderstood, that you need boundaries (constraints) to learn, that we repeat things in many different ways and with Feldenkrais we don’t push through strain or do what is difficult we start where easy and move from there.
Video to come August 22
Walking: The Challenges & Joy | With Margaret Kaye
In this talk about the way we walk, Margaret Kaye discusses the elaborations around how humans walk, and how Feldenkrais and Bones for Life can be accessed for locomotion: getting from here to there on our two legs, so we can move freely in the way we wish to.
We all have our unique way of walking. We have bio-mechanical possibilities, and cultural input to the way we walk. So how do we interpret and navigate the constraints, meanings and intentions of our different ways of walking? Margaret discusses some ways we make those choices.
Biological optimism is the overriding element we bring to this work, in order to gain, or regain, the organic patterns of natural gait that are available for many of us. Some of the strategies can be complex, and/ or simple. The challenges and joys of walking are also discussed, and some movement strategies are explored to enable you to move with more efficiency and better enjoy your navigation.
Video to come August 23
One-on-One Lessons: How Learning Changes Everything | With Maggie Slattery
Why come to a Feldenkrais practitioner? This video demonstrates an actual lesson, step by step, tracing the experience of both the student and the practitioner.
Why is a session with a Feldenkrais practitioner called a lesson? What kind of learning is involved and how is it related to the pain or difficulty that is troubling a person? What changes?
You’ll see in this one-to-one Feldenkrais lesson that the practitioner is not trying to solve a problem, to be sufficient for everything. That would get in the way of the collaboration between student and practitioner that values something elusive and remarkable — that we are not as far away as we think from possibilities in us that are greater than the ones we live with.
By the end of the video, you’ll recognise something of how the learning involved in human movement can change our thinking, our feeling, our ability to do what we do more efficiently, with greater ease than was possible before. Everything changes! And the learning continues.
Video to come August 24
Trauma: Perspectives, Possibilities & the Value of Feldenkrais | With Holly Huon
Faced with current, confronting, rapidly-changing times – COVID-19, climate change, social and gender equality, racial struggles – it has become clear that recognition of individual and collective trauma is an essential part in personal and community transformation, agency and change. We are all carrying some sort of trauma, from life-altering events to minor instances that change how we act and perceive or experience the world. Trauma is also inherited generationally and socially through news and media. Very few escape!
The current consensus in dealing with trauma is that it’s in the body and often remains in the body, not being realised or released. The initial event can be re-triggered, causing all sorts of maladaptive responses to new situations and perhaps a continuing numbness of emotions and often an inability to express.
Feldenkrais is a unique tool for mapping the body and bringing to consciousness our holding patterns that develop throughout our lives. The Feldenkrais process promotes personal discovery by slowing down, listening, questioning our senses and identifying our body image. This potentially allows us to better locate and deal with trauma in our bodies.
There is now a crucial opportunity for practitioners and students to connect the Feldenkrais method with trauma-informed practices. This video is an exploration of my own discovery path into a trauma-informed practice and an invitation to further discussion in the community.
I will be expanding on this topic through an Awareness Through Movement based on the work of Thomas Hanna (informed by Feldenkrais) who himself identified trauma and healing somatic practices. This will be offered on the Summit day of live teachings on 29 August.
Video to come August 25
Balance: Finding Safety in Your Surroundings | With Linda Hardey
Balance is a dynamic process of paying attention to the cues your body gives you and how you respond to them.
In this dialogue between Linda Hardey and Molly Tipping, we learn how Balance is an important part of keeping yourself safe, allowing you to restore equilibrium when you move too far from your centre. It prevents falls and injury. It allows you to feel comfortable, relaxed and live your life more easily and pleasurably.
Balance is not just about what you do but also how you sense that you are off-balance. How do you know that you need to respond to an upset?
We rely on our senses to tell us that. Our eyes may tell us that we are no longer upright, we may feel that we are off-balance through our vestibular system in our inner ear and neck receptors, the change of pressure in our feet and receptors in our joints of our legs and spine may relay that information to our brain that we need to do something to stop us from overbalancing. Only then can our muscles respond to restore our equilibrium.
The more sensitive we can be to these messages the less upset we need to experience. However, changes in our life such as advancing years, trauma, stress and injury can affect our ability to sense these cues. Linda narrates two scenarios to illustrate how events in our life and compensatory pattens can affect our balance and ability to feel secure.
Included also are two short and simple Awareness Through Movement lessons (in sitting) to reawaken our sense of our base of support and how we can free up our ribs to help us gently find our way back to safety.
Video to come August 26
Gardening: The T.A.O of Gardening | With Linda Pontecorvo
In the lush setting of her subtropical home, Linda Pontecorvo discusses how the Feldenkrais Method has enriched her approach to working with the garden and on the land.
Before training in the Feldenkrais Method, Linda was finding herself overwhelmed by the prospect of continuing to garden and care for country. But by using central concepts, of the Feldenkrais Method, especially the importance of Timing, Action and Orientation in everything we do, Linda is not only managing the land, but thriving in the process.
Linda offers ways to bring awareness back to yourself within the context of the garden, to be much better connected with your environment, reducing injury and overwhelm, and increasing pleasure in the plant and animal world.
Video to come August 27