After doing Feldenkrais all day for ten days straight, I am reminded of the profound transformational effects of Feldenkrais. My yoga practice became incredibly easy, my driving (stick shift) became smoother, sitting in a chair became more comfortable, I can go from sitting to standing with less effort, my breathing and my head are freer, my squatting improved, and I can stand up and sit down on one leg.
But most importantly, I came home with a very clear, in-the-moment sense of what I need and want and how to express that. I again have a clearer sense of who I am, rather than who society or others tell me I should be. I noticed how often I let go of my own ideas, opinions, feelings, and needs when they don't fit with what others want or expect. To me, this is most important aspect of Feldenkrais. When you know exactly how you feel and what you need, and you know this because you've calibrated your senses and proprioception through extensive testing and experimentation, it takes away anyone else's power to tell you how you feel or what you should do. In a culture full of so much information and so many different opinions, it's hard to know what to believe. But rather than trust what someone else says, why not test it out yourself and see what you find? When you can sense things that clearly, trusting yourself is inherent.
That intimate sensing of oneself brings a Realness to life--an integrity to Self and a depth and honesty to connection with others. Exploring new or forgotten movements and one's patterns of movement brings into awareness all kinds of things. This happens as a result of the interconnectedness of our feeling (emotions), thinking, sensing (proprioception), and acting (movement).
Of course, some of the changes fade and some of the differences become normal, making re-entry into everyday life a challenge as I settle back into mundane routine. But I've got some great ideas and intend to do Awareness Through Movement lessons myself with more frequency.
We spent a lot of time working with sitting in chairs, developing a better understanding of the relationships between the mobility of the hip joints, curvature of the spine, and carriage of the head. I have a better understanding of how to work with people through Functional Integration, as well as Awareness Through Movement. And of course I got to spend time with some wonderful friends and come back to a loving home reinvigorated and inspired.
I continue to think about agency--our sense that we can make a difference in our own lives. As I get deeper into nature connection and re-wilding, I see that one of the biggest problems with domestication is that we become lulled into complacency--trading our sense of agency for unfulfilling comforts and luxuries. I see that our power arises from our sense of agency and intimate self-knowledge.
But the great thing about the Feldenkrais Method is that you don't have to believe anything I say and you don't have to understand any of the philosophy. You can test it out yourself with your own body and see what you find. You don't have to try and you don't have to know where you're going--you just do the movements and it works. Try it for yourself and see.
I'm Alex. I'm a Feldenkrais teacher and bassoonist interested in how we can live in happier and healthier lives. I live in an intentional community centered around permaculture, and I teach at a wilderness school. I think a lot, read a lot, and value connecting with people and the Earth. I write to figure out what I think.