Juxtaposition : Feldenkrais Method and Authentic Movement
The Feldenkrais Method and Authentic Movement both enhance our presence in the world. They both do that through attending to movement and sensation and they both encourage us to listen and develop a respectful attitude to ourselves while learning. But they do all that in very different ways.
The Feldenkrais Method confronts us to recognise our perceptual and kinaesthetic habits by inviting us to pay attention to ourselves while we move through a highly structured labyrinth of possibile pathways and connections.
Many different ways to organise yourself for a particular action are suggested. Some feel familiar while some feel unknown and very odd. Through directly experiencing many variations, you will find that all movements get easier and easier.
It’s like the trial and error explorations of a baby. The learning happens at a deeper level in the nervous system that we consciously recognise; some call this organic learning.
In Authentic Movement, the invitation is simply to listen and follow any impulses you have to move. As the practice develops, we refine our ability to notice, allow and follow movements that arise, while suspending any judgments or interpretation while we move.
Often, we create a space for another to safely drop into this place of listening and moving by stepping into the role of witnessing. Witnessing offers us the opportunity to observe interpretations as they arise in us while simply trying to be present for someone else.
You are offered no guidance while moving; you are rather offered a time and place to listen to yourself and move as you like; many experience this as an opportunity to unwind patterns of tension and holding in ourselves.
I think of the experiences we create for ourselves while doing a Feldenkrais Method class as food for our nervous systems. In this workshop I’ll propose Authentic Movement as a way of digesting and integrating that experience. We’ll alternate between the two practices. My experience is that the unfolding and unwinding nature of Authentic Movement is especially rich and satisfying when combined with the Feldenkrais Method.