Hello, I’m Maggy Burrowes, welcome to my website
I am steadily expanding this website to become both an information hub for all aspects of The Feldenkrais Method® and an expanding resource for anyone interested in exploring continuing personal growth and maturing into their fully potent self.
What’s coming up Online…
*All fees are suggested-rate-or-any-donation-welcome
Deep Core Alignment
Integrating Spine, Psoas, Sphincters & Diaphragms
Jan 31st – Feb 4th
1 pm – 2.30 pm GMT [8 am – 9.30 am EST]
£75 / £50 (low income) / Any Donation Welcome
Embodied self-integration and alignment are part of the process we are all engaged in when we are ready to take charge of developing and maturing ourselves.
This path to self-maturation is what Feldenkrais is all about, and it can be experienced in many ways.
It can be your path to greater self-awareness
your path to self-healing
your path to more spontaneity and authenticity in your daily being
your path to joy
Bio-mechanically this dynamic alignment can be experienced as a lively, responsive interaction between your skeleton, your deepest core muscle systems, and the sensory-fascial web that contains, interconnects, and enlivens your bodily sense of self.
Emotionally we become more aware of – and more at ease with – the feelings that bubble up from inside, and thus much more able to allow ourselves to just be in the moment, even when experiencing intense sensations.
Awareness Through Movement allows you to progressively unravel everything you are doing that controls your feelings, and blocks the flow of energy, vitality and pleasure that we could all experience with ease as very young children – although it is important to recognise that, for some of us, this flow had already been stemmed by our experience of our mother’s stresses while we were still in the womb.
This daily class is designed to begin the very deep releasing processes from our core musculature that allow us all to regain the ability to experience fully the joy of being alive. It will be a very practical course and you will receive notes and supporting materials to help you maintain the improvements you experience from this immersive Awareness Through Movement experience.
Please do get in touch with me if you would like to chat, or make a booking
Toning, Overtoning, Vagal Toning
Tuning Your Ears & Your Nervous System
Sunday February 13th – Online + Recording
2 pm – 5 pm GMT [9 am – 12 pm EST]
£35 (suggested fee, or any donation welcome)
In our previous workshop we began to explore the possibilities of the sustainable consonants – mainly the fricatives and the nasal consonants.
In this workshop we will begin to explore the carrying power of the vowels. These are the vocal qualities that enable us to sing with musicality and intensity; they are what makes a voice distinctive, colourful, and resonant.
The vocal overtones are the subtle frequencies that shape and colour the voice, and calibrate our listening skills. They are the sounds that enable us to distinguish the different vowels of our own language so precisely that we can easily detect the presence of an accent in a non-native speaker, even if we don’t know what the origin of accent is. Overtones have many names: instrumentalists may refer to them as ‘harmonics’, in audio technology they are known as partials . They are very common in forms of chanting, and are fundamental to the popularity of the sound [Om].
…and Vagal Toning
Many self-development systems have a meditative process at their core – sitting in contemplation, and communing with an inner sense of ‘oneness’ with ‘the universe’ is pretty universal. Prayer, and affirmations are both standard tools for promoting emotional health the world over.
Dr Stephen Porges PolyVagal Theory provides an explanation for the efficacy of these practises at a neurological and evolutionary level. Our nervous system is focussed on our safety, and our sense of safety is fundamental to our sense of wellness. The vagus nerve manages both our older reptilian stress management circuits and our newer mammalian circuits, and we can use the management of our to soothe ourselves, increase our sense of safety, and shift our nervous system into our rest-and-recuperation mode – the neurological state that switches on our self-healing mechanisms, and helps to promote our physical and mental resilience.
This is I am sure why so many of the systems designed to integrate mind, body, and soul involved a chanting element – mantras and formal prayers such as saying rosaries all encourage the extension of the exhalation which enables the switch from stimulating-sympathetic to palliative-parasympathetic functioning.
Every time we inhale we briefly stimulate our sympathetic state-of-readiness (known as our fight-or-flight mode), and then, as we exhale again we shift back into our rest-and-recuperate mode – so all we need to do to soothe our nervous system is to exhale for a little longer than we inhale – it is that simple. This is I am sure the reason why there is so much evidence that singing is proven to be good for the health. When you examine the evidence you quickly discover that it is all based on research into communal singing, but once you understand Porges theories then you can easily see how to use these practices in a way that is effective even when you are singing while home alone.
Is is exciting to understand that this is the mechanism that allows us to synchronise our heartbeats via our breathing, whenever we are singing, or chanting, or praying together, and that it also works when we are playing games or performing dances that allow for movements to synchronise our rhythms. Many cultures that rely on physical labour use rhythmic sounds and work songs to both coordinate their movements and generate a heightened sense of community spirit and ‘togetherness’. This research enables us to understand how this sort of activity bonds us as communities and generates communal health benefits.
This workshop will be beneficial for:
Anyone interested in the potential for improving their vocal tuning in particular, or their hearing in general
Singers, presenters, performers, and anyone interested in the voice, and any aspect of self-expression
Anyone dealing with chronic stress and/or tension in the face, jaw, and throat
Anyone interested in meditation, chanting, and neural self-regulation
To Be Announced
Sunday February 20th – Online + Recording
2 pm – 5 pm GMT [9 am – 12 pm EST]
£35 (suggested fee, or any donation welcome)
When we move well we barely notice the muscular power we are using …
More dates for your diary in Feb/March 2022…
Daily Immersive-Feb 28th-Mar 4th-Theme TBA
Potent Voice–Sunday Mar 13th–See Above
Fundamentals–Sunday Mar 20th–Theme TBA
…All online sessions include recordings and notes. For more details click here for workshops, and here for regular classes…
More About Feldenkrais
Learning To Learn
Feldenkrais (fell-den-cry-s) is all about increasing our awareness of self, expanding our capabilities, taking charge of our own continuing development as an adult, and realising our full potential.
When we fully embrace our capacity for both neuro- and bio- plasticity (new terms for our uniquely human capability for life-long mental and physical self-improvement) the day-to-day living of life gets better rather than worse as we get older, because our self-awareness, our self-knowledge, and our self-mastery continue to develop. As a practitioner my goal is to enable as many people as I can to experience the benefits of “learning to learn” in this way.
Here’s why Feldenkrais is different…
There are two ways to learn Feldenkrais…
In our hands-on teaching sessions – Functional Integration – at first the experience can seem similar to having a ‘treatment’ of some sort, such as osteopathy, chiropractic, or one of the more gentle forms of massage. After a few sessions as your sensitivity develops, it becomes more natural to learn directly through your sensory-motor experience again, just as you did as a young child. People often choose private tuition when they have severe movement issues or neurological conditions. Private sessions are also more appropriate for babies, children, and younger people with motor and/or learning difficulties.
Awareness Through Movement
In our group classes – known as Awareness Through Movement – it can take a while to realise that what you are learning is very different from other movement classes you have taken in the past.
Unlike classic Hatha Yoga and similar techniques we do not encourage active stretching, and the improvements come as you learn to move with an expanded consciousness of your own sensory-motor awareness
Unlike Pilates we continually encourage releasing the abdomen throughout our movement sequences.
The process is closer to training in an individualised form of a martial art, and if you have trained in Tai Chi, Aikido, or Judo, you will recognise many similarities in both the movements and the style of teaching.
There is no one right way to do the lessons…
We Feldenkrais teachers have access to hundreds of Awareness Through Movement lessons, and we are always devising more – and when teaching all these distinct movement sequences, we constantly emphasise that there are very many ways to perform any natural movement, so there is no need to strive to maintain a “correct” version of self-use, an idea that is often associated with the concept of having good “posture”. Instead we encourage the ongoing practice of self-observation-in-motion, preferably on a daily basis, with the intention of steadily improving our self-organisation through the expansion of our self-knowledge.
What we do share with more traditional therapists is the intention to release those we are teaching from their self-limitations; from undetected and unrecognised areas of blockage and “stuck-ness”.
The goal is to enable anyone who desires to do so to rewrite the unconscious rules that have been governing their lives, often since early childhood. The group lessons may be more general in focus, but they also promote this self-development goal, and are an ideal way to work with, and benefit from, Feldenkrais strategies in the longer term.
Functional Integration – why choose private tuition?
Because of the natural confusion with hands-on therapy, many people only consider exploring Functional Integration® once they are in pain, which is a pity, as it is usually the case that issues with mobility come first (our sense of balance can begin to deteriorate in our 20s, long before we notice the effect this loss is having on our capabilities).
Movement issues are a useful early indicator that we would benefit from less habit and more choice in the way we are going about our day-to-day lives. Moreover, as the long-term goal of Functional Integration is to heighten our sensitivity and refine our ability to sense our selves in action, in order to develop the natural human capacity for learning and self-maturation, there really is no need to wait until you feel there is anything “wrong” – Feldenkrais is useful when you are learning a new skill, or mastering an art, or just looking for ways to enjoy your life even more.
Awareness Through Movement classes are a very affordable way to find out if the Method is for you…
…however please note that you will usually need to be able to lie on the floor for a minimum of 50 minutes, and, as each lesson is unique and engages the whole physical self, it may be a challenge for the teacher to find a suitable group lesson that you will be able to perform if your movements and/or your ability to lie on the floor are severely limited due to acute or chronic pain.
If that is your situation I have two effective options:
First, I offer discounts for regular hands-on lessons booked in batches, to make them as affordable as possible. I am now offering hands-on lessons again, however if you are wary of working together in a live situation then 1-2-1 lessons online are still very effective for anyone with severe movement issues, plus working on Zoom has the added benefit of the lesson being recorded, so you can build your own personal archive of Feldenkrais strategies for continuous ongoing self-improvement at home.
I also have a special lockdown pricing scheme in place that means you can learn how to “Feldenkrais” with me in any format, for whatever you can comfortably afford. Whether live or online, individual lessons always include mini movement sequences to practise at home, to help you maintain and continue your improvement between our sessions.
Secondly, I have refined the aspects of Feldenkrais that have helped me to reverse all my chronic pain, and I am teaching a weekly evening class – Potent Inner Voice – that focusses on transferring this aspect of my teaching as efficiently and effectively as possible to you, the learner. I have written several articles on the background to these processes, which overlap with classic Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement, my Potent Voice work, and my Quintessensual Consciousness course for honing and refining five sensory systems. I have written specifically about some of the science behind the class in this article, and will be writing more as I find the time.
Awareness Through Movement Online
Regular Weekly Classes
I have three regular classes: pure Awareness Through Movement at 12 noon on Tuesdays, and 6pm on Thursdays. You can join either or both classes at any time (the online equivalent of a drop-in class); plus Potent Inner Voice, an extended class in Feldenkrais-informed Meditation practices on Wednesday evenings. All the details of my ongoing weekly classes are here.
I am also running online workshops on various themes, and I offer a wide array of possibilities for exploring individual Functional Self-Integration and Potent Voice online. I am particularly enjoying how working on Zoom enables me to record and share lessons with all my students.
Use the contact information on this page to ask me any questions or make a booking.
*New Live Class Starts January 2022
Awareness Through Movement
& Potent Voice
Telegraph Hill Centre – Studio 2
Kitto Road, SE14
Drop-In Class – Wednesdays 3 – 4.15pm
£15 / £12
“Movement is all important. From cardiovascular health, bone density, joint functioning to central nervous system optimisation. For the health of each and every cell in your organism, to your mental wellbeing and overall happiness. Movement is life. And life is movement!“
Rodolfo R. Llinás, MD, PhD
…but the phrase was a big favourite with Moshe Feldenkrais as well – I wrote a blog post about it…
Live class, extra info: I have enough mats and head rests that you do not need to bring your own, however in our current situation I would prefer you bring along a clean sheet or towel to lay over your mat and any headrests you might use, until our current covid-19 precautions become unnecessary. Do bring anything else you need to make sure you are comfortable on the floor – some people like to bring an extra-soft pillow or a blanket with them. The space is lovely, with big windows but also well-supplied with radiators; as the class is now in the daytime we should not have any heating issues, nevertheless it may be worth bringing a couple of layers with you if you tend to get chilly when you relax.
Customised Workshops for Companies & Organisations
I am always happy to design a workshop for a specific purpose – good ergonomic self-use for office workers, good vocal self-use for performance communities, good performance skills for everyone – contact me to discuss what you would like.
Feldenkrais International on YouTube
The International Feldenkrais community have been producing some attractive films to promote what is still a not very well known process with enormous benefits to offer. If you would like see the whole series in English click here. If you would like to see the full International Feldenkrais Federation film collection, which is available in multiple languages, click here view the YouTube Channel.