The Feldenkrais method is a somatic educational system which offers to improve the quality, range and comfort with which you move. Since you are moving every moment of your life, improving how you move can improve all that you do. The model which the method applies to learning new movements can be applied to learning any new skill. In other words, you will also learn to how to learn better too.
The method is taught in two forms: in group Awareness Through Movement (ATM) group classes and Functional Integration (FI) individual lessons. In both cases you will be invited to engage in a pleasurable and playful process through which, simply by paying attention to the physical sensations of movement, you will develop a fuller knowledge of yourself in action.
How does it work?
You gain in flexibility and strength not through stretching or exerting yourself, but by working slowly and gently in a way that educates your whole self to move in better coordinated, more efficient and graceful way. The more you learn about how you are moving, the more efficient your movement becomes by letting go of unnecessary habits and holding patterns that have accumulated over your life. Improvements become spontaneously useful in everyday life.
What are the effects?
While the classes are not necessarily physically demanding, the challenge is to pay attention to yourself as you move. Immediately after a class or lesson, besides moving easier and more pleasurably, students often report feeling more alive, relaxed and at peace with themselves; taller and lighter and able to breathe more freely: more centred and balanced: and that any difficulties that they were experiencing in moving have subsided.
Once the immediate effects of a particular session have faded over the following hours or days, you may notice that your everyday movements become easier and more pleasurable, sometimes in unexpected and dramatic ways. I’ve heard people who reported nothing particularly dramatic in a session report, for example, being able to reach the top shelf while shopping for the first time ever or being able to look around to reverse a car without discomfort for the first time since they can remember.
What kinds of classes are there?
There are hundreds of different classes that can be taught and those classes also form the basis for one-to-one Functional Integration (FI) lessons. Each class explores a particular functional relationship in movement. Classes will often be offered together in a series around a particular theme, though with its recognition that your whole self is present in any movement, the effects of any particular class can effect your whole self.
Over time the classes fit together like a vast endless holographic jigsaw puzzle that, as you explore it, can make a huge difference to the way you experience yourself in life.