The Ground Within
Article from the November 2021 edition of the Australian Feldenkrais Journal. Made available courtesy of the Australian Feldenkrais Guild.
Soft Ground, Soft Feet
Accompanying lesson from the above article. This video is taken from the Australian Feldenkrais Guild Online Summit 2021.
Introducing the feldenkrais method
Article written for The Otway Light, Issue 11, 2022. Introducing myself and the ‘Method’ to my local community. And discussing the pitfalls of thinking getting older means deterioration with age.
demystifying the method
Why the Feldenkrais Method is so hard to describe…
Demystifying the ‘Method’
What is the Feldenkrais Method?
A body therapy?
An emotional development tool?
A psychological process?
A relaxation method?
A learning exploration?
In various ways it is all of the above…and depending on the practitioner it can hone in on particular focus areas.
For this reason The Feldenkrais Method is notoriously hard to describe… in a simple way. For to hone in on one area does an injustice to the rich gestalt of the method.
The FM sees life as a complex of FEELING, THINKING, SENSING & MOVING. So the practice of method touches all of them. And yet the practice of the method, both in FI with a practitioner and in ATM where the process is largely a self exploration, uses MOVEMENT as the chief operable element. In this way the method is in the SOMATIC domain of learning. It is in essence a way of learning through the body’s experience of moving.
And here’s the thing: MOVING requires THINKING, FEELING and SENSING. Movement simply can’t occur without the other 3. Through the process of entering into a somatic experience, thinking, feeling and sensing are both being acted upon and enacted. And this creates the opportunity to learn. With the super bonus prize: not only to learn, but to learn how to learn. It becomes a meta experience. And one that not only remains with a person for life, continues to contribute to ones evolution through life.
The chief architect in the process of learning how to learn is AWARENESS. With awareness we are afforded the choice to act. Awareness is the base from which adjustment can be made and habits can be identified, modified, broken and reformed (consciously to ones betterment).
To this end (what is awareness?) FM brings to bear key principals like reducing effort, spreading attention, softening focus, encouraging exploration, making mistakes, noticing discomfort and creating the circumstances and learning to arrive at a state of comfort and ease.
And coming full circle, whilst the chief vehicle is the body, the driver is movement: the journey toward comfort and ease here, traverses the terrain of thinking, feeling and sensing which leads to comfort and ease there.
Therein lies the gestalt of the Feldenkrais Method, it is an inclusive learning process, it respects the human experience as a whole experience; and has at it’s philosophical heart an interest in setting up the understanding that can bring one to a satisfying sense of wholeness for and in themselves.