In some ways, the Feldenkrais Method and Authentic Movement take opposite approaches to supporting our growth as humans. While both encourage us to listen to ourselves and develop a respectful attitude to learning, the first confronts us to recognise our perceptual and kinaesthetic habits, the second supports self-regulated unwinding.
In this workshop we’ll dip into both. I think of the Feldenkrais Method as offering food for the nervous system. Here I’ll propose Authentic Movement as a way of digesting and integrating that information.
In the Feldenkrais Method, you’re invited to direct your attention around yourself while exploring very particular pathways and connections. Often, many different ways to organise yourself for a similar action are suggested. Some feel familiar while some feel unknown and very odd; patterns of organisation you would never have selected for yourself. Through directly experiencing many different variations, you are invited to select what feels easier. And by “select”, I don’t mean cognitively; it’s more like the trial and error explorations of a baby learning to move for the first time. It happens at a deeper level in the nervous system; 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 trying to simply be present for someone else. You are offered no guidance while moving; you are rather offered a time and place to listen to yourself; many experience this as an opportunity to unwind.