The Feldenkrais Method® is Easy for Oldies!
Older people often give up exercising as such. It’s too hard, too difficult, too hot, too cold, my back aches or my knee is stiff or I haven’t got the energy! The simple, slow, small movements used in the Awareness Through Movement® lessons can be done safely in sitting, lying, standing or kneeling. Everyone learns at their own pace and rests when they need to. If some movements are too difficult, they can be done in the imagination only. There is no pressure to compete, just playing and exploring what is easy for you and learning how to make it even easier.
What is different about the Feldenkrais Method®?
We all have habitual ways of doing things, we couldn’t exist without them, but as we get older they become stronger and deeper. We even sleep in our habits! Simply being right or left handed has a huge effect on our skeletons. Protective movement patterns from old, long forgotten injuries are another form of habit. These layers of habits slowly pull us more out of alignment as we get older. The Feldenkrais Method® offers many gentle non-habitual ways of doing activities that can release us from these faulty patterns or habits and make us more efficient in everything we do, even helping our balance. This is neuroplasticity (being able to change the pathways in the brain) at its’ best. The side effects are often relief from pain and the discovery that you improve in other areas of Life. As you clear your brain of unnecessary clutter, your thinking can be clearer too.
Challenge Your Habits
- Begin to notice how you stand. Do you have more weight on one foot than the other? Try shifting the weight to the other leg or to both legs.
- Try cleaning your teeth with the brush in your non dominant hand.
- Put your jacket on with the non dominant arm going in first.
- When you go for a walk, vary your path or change directions.
- Open a door with your non dominant hand.
- Find different ways to sit.
- Sit on the floor or, on your bed, each day for a few minutes. We were not designed to sit in chairs, so sitting naturally on the floor with crossed legs or side sitting helps us to use our hips, pelvis and spine in the way they were designed to be used. This keeps the hips more supple so that they are less likely to break if we fall. We also retain the ability to get up and down easily no matter what age, thus reducing the fear of falling.
The future is yours and you don’t have to deteriorate as an Oldie! I am 74 and still practicing and learning!