People often wonder how I got into Feldenkrais or why it’s so important to me. So here’s my story:
I discovered Feldenkrais as a student at a chamber music festival one summer where it was offered as an elective. When you’re in a field that’s that competitive, you take advantage of every opportunity that might help. I enjoyed the classes and found that Feldenkrais was offered at the university I attended, so I signed up.
I was always stressed and anxious about school, and I slowly found that the Feldenkrais classes helped me feel more centered and on top of things. I learned to complete my schoolwork with less effort and to relate to school and my teachers differently.
During undergraduate, I was getting sick every semester, had migraines once for a month straight, and was feeling pulled around by other people and dragged into their dramas. I felt inadequate—like I always had to try harder. I would often not know how I felt about something until afterward when I could be alone. I was unclear about where I ended and someone else began. I didn’t feel strong enough to set boundaries or say no to people. I would lose myself in romantic relationships and not be able to separate my own feelings from those of my family members.
But slowly that all changed. Not through conscious effort, but gradually, as I continued doing Awareness Through Movement lessons and letting them permeate throughout the rest of my life.
I stopped getting sick so much, my migraines went away, I developed a clearer sense of self. The classes changed my relationship to school, helped me form closer friendships and connect with people on deeper levels, and I became closer with my family.
So I signed up again for the next semester, and the next, and the next. By the time I graduated college, I knew that this work was too important and made too much of a difference not to continue pursuing it, so I enrolled in a professional training program.
But the improvement didn’t stop there. I learned to enjoy playing bassoon again and to question and explore how that fits in my life. I learned to work in a way that feels sustainable rather than anxious and compulsive. My self-image began to expand and I became much less shy and afraid and more adventurous. I became able to see, hear, think, and observe more clearly and more impartially—with everything from music, to other people and situations, to myself. My bassoon playing improved dramatically and my sound began to open up.
I’ve by no means “fixed all my problems” or become my ideal self, but I continue to notice all the time as my life becomes easier, I become more skillful at all kinds of things, and my self-image continues to expand.
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.