Hello, I’m Maggy Burrowes, welcome to my website.
I am steadily building this website into both an information hub and an expanding resource for anyone interested in the potential of The Feldenkrais Method® as a tool for self-transformation.
Learning To Learn
Feldenkrais is all about increasing the awareness of self, expanding our capabilities, taking charge of our own continuing personal development, so that the day-to-day living of life gets better and better as we get older and our self-awareness, self-knowledge, and self-mastery grows. As a teacher of this process my goal is to enable as many people as I can to experience the benefits of “learning to learn” in this way.
& Awareness Through Movement®
In the hands-on format––Functional Integration–– it can come across as being on a par with having a treatment of some sort, such as osteopathy, chiropractic, or the more gentle forms of massage. In the group classes––known as Awareness Through Movement––it can easily, but inaccurately, be confused with other kinds of group work. Unlike in Yoga we strive to avoid stretching, and the improvements come as we learn to move with a particular sensibility, rather than by managing ourselves in stillness*; unlike Pilates we continually encourage releasing the abdomen throughout our lessons, and emphasise that there are very many ways to perform any natural movement, so there is no need to conform to a corrected version of your self use. Instead we encourage a self-monitored version of ever improving self-organisation. What we share with therapists is the intention to release the client from their self-limitations; from undetected and unrecognised areas of blockage and “stuckness”, from the unconscious rules that are governing their lives. The group lessons have this same goal, and are an ideal way to work with, and benefit from, Feldenkrais in the long term.
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 usually issues with mobility come first, and are a useful sign that something needs to change in the way we are going about our day-to-day lives.
Awareness Through Movement classes are a very affordable way to find out if the Method is for you; please note that you will 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 can be a challenge for the teacher to find a lesson that you are able to perform if your movements are seriously limited due to 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, plus I always include mini-lessons to practise at home, to help you maintain your improvement between sessions.
Online Training Sessions
The second possibility is still in development, but I am very excited about it. I have refined those aspects of Awareness Through Movement that most directly relieve pain, and thus allow greater mobility throughout the self, and developed an individual process that can be taught online. This is still in development, and for that reason I am offering online one-to-one sessions at special rates. There is more information on my Online Training page.
As part of this same project I am developing a course in Feldenkrais-enhanced meditative techniques, focussing on both pain relief and stress relief–as pain creates stress, and stress creates pain, these two are somewhat inseparable. New science exploring the self-healing potential of our neuroplastic and bioplastic nature means that the healing response, most often recognised as the ‘Placebo’ effect is becoming better understood all the time. The evidence is that the effects of stress on our health are global, and often reversible––at least to some extent––and the route to this shift is via our brain and nervous system. If we can unlearn our chronic stress responses we can reboot our own immune system and make valuable changes to our own health. This is more usually recognised as an effect of meditation, but the science supporting the benefits of “moving meditation”––Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and of course Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement––is growing at the same time.
I was particularly excited to discover Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais’ life-long interest in the potential of self-hypnosis––also known as ‘auto-suggestion‘––as I discovered its value for myself back in my 20s and am very much enjoying developing this aspect of the Feldenkrais Method now.
I will continue to expand on these themes as this site grows. Please do not hesitate to contact me in order to chat whether or not you feel ready to make a booking. I am sharing a lot of background information on my FaceBook pages, so do have a look there if you want to know more about the science behind my Quintessensual Consciousness course.
*…although resting is vitally important to the learning process, for so many reasons it will justify a whole article as soon as I get a chance to write it!
The Potent Voice
I am also organising my voice and performance teaching under the banner of The Potent Voice. There are many overlaps with my Feldenkrais meditation work, as the benefits to the health of the nervous system generated by sustaining and attending to the vocal sounds we make has been recognised by science thanks to the pioneering work of Dr Stephen Porges. Of course those of us who love to sing don’t need outside evidence, but the science behind this valuable self-healing tool is fascinating and the ramifications are huge, so I will be writing more about it, as and when time allows.
If you are not aware of Porges Polyvagal Theory this film is a useful introduction––he details the relevance of breathing, the importance of our hearing, and the healing qualities of music beginning around 23 minutes in, but watching the whole film will make all this this clearer still:
Questions, and feedback, are welcome––this is a work in progress, as indeed we all are!
Still figuring out the layout of the site, so for now, for my current ongoing classes click here…
…and workshop information will remain on the Home page for the time being…
Feldenkrais Self-Healing Class SE14
Monday Evening Classes
7.00-8.15 pm, September 9th and 23rd,
then continuing on alternate Mondays
£15 – booking essential
Using the Feldenkrais Method to enhance our awareness of all our wonderful human senses…
…the original five exteroceptive senses, plus the kinaesthetic, proprioceptive, interoceptive, and neuroceptive*…
Feldenkrais is a form of self-development, as is Meditation, and many aspects of these two practises overlap and enhance each other.
For those of us with chronic pains, muscular tensions, stresses, anxieties, sleep problems, chronic respiratory issues, or who are simply feel blocked by their own habits of thought and behaviour, the more meditative aspects of The Feldenkrais Method can be the most effective way to create long lasting changes that steadily improve our sense of physical and mental well-being. Anyone keeping up with the science will be aware that relying on medication is not the best answer in the long term.
Our themes will be:
Learn to expand your focus of attention – both externally and internally
Meditative movement – Feldenkrais as “mindfulness centred on the body”
Self-quieting – using the nervous system to calm the nervous system – drawing on breath, toning and enhancing our listening abilities
Sitting With Ease – many forms emphasise the importance of sitting upright to increase the benefits of regular meditation practice. Learning to sit with lightness, balance and poise, so that you can meditate in comfort for longer, will be a key part of this class
Becoming your own neuro-feedback device – the current emphasis on expensive gadgets for enhancing our nervous system’s ability to self-monitor and self-regulate is outsourcing abilities we all have the potential to access naturally and directly through our own senses. The advantage of
learning to enhance your natural sense-abilities in this way is that you begin to feel better straight away, long before you have actually mastered the skills you are practising.
*Neuroception overlaps with interoception and could easily be defined as one aspect of it. Porges intends to highlight this aspect of our internal self-sensing abilities to improve our understanding of the role of social engagement in the healthy functioning of the mammalian nervous system.
My intention with this class is to develop this process into an effective practice, with the advantage of being performable anywhere, in any position, for any available length of time. You will be learning to enhance:
your sensory awareness
your muscular awareness
your skeletal awareness
your interoceptive awareness, and…
your ability to focus your attention simultaneously on both your internal and external awareness.
This class will enhance the aspects of Feldenkrais that overlap with self-hypnosis / auto-suggestion, with meditation, and with the internal alignment necessary for chi and chakra work – it will also be good fun!
I have a lot of material to share, and unlike a classic Feldenkrais class we will be developing themes for a daily practice, however one with all the flexibilities of the Feldenkrais process built in – ideal if you find meditating difficult; nourishing and stimulating if you find meditating easy.
I have a lot more to say, but am attempting brevity!
Please do let me know if you are interested, even if you cannot make all the dates.
Also please note that we will be sitting for most of the time.
I have been gathering the material for this course for a long time, and there’s a lot of science and overlaps with other teachers out there included in my thinking. I will be sharing all of this as part of the class, but I am also posting a lot of links––mainly articles and YouTube lectures, but also book recommendations––up on my FaceBook page. Do go and have a look if you are curious about the course, it will give you an idea of the kind of material I will be covering.
Regular Feldenkrais Classes
Awareness Through Movement in the Crow’s Nest
We meet weekly on Thursday evenings at The Telegraph Hill Centre
Studio 3 – The Hub,
Kitto Road, SE14 5TY
Class Times – 7pm to 8pm:
We meet at 6.50pm in the Centre foyer, and ascend the stairs as a group – the room is at the very top of the building, so there are 45 stairs to climb – the view is amazing!
UPDATE – the centre is organising a system that will enable any latecomers to buzz in at the back door – I propose that once it is installed we continue to meet at 6.50pm and that anyone running late lets me know, so we know to expect you and can leave the buzzer on.
Fee per class £12 – to be paid in advance.
Payment will be in advance at the beginning of each month.
You will need to book a minimum of two classes, on the understanding that priority will be given to attendees prepared to commit to coming every week.
The benefits of this learning process are cumulative, so committed attendance is the best way to produce consistent improvement. Nevertheless I do understand that committing to pay for a class even if you then cannot attend can feel like a big step, so…
All committed members of the class are entitled to individual Feldenkrais sessions at £35, plus an extra £5 off–per session–to compensate for any class you have to miss. I am also starting up a local Feldenkrais meditation class, and once this is established you may be able to swap to one of these classes, if there is space available. Regular class members also qualify for concession rates for my workshops at The Sunflower Centre.
I now have enough mats and head rests that you do not need to bring your own unless you want to, however do bring anything else you need to make sure you are comfortable on the floor – the head rests are rather firm, so some people like to bring a softer pillow and/or a blanket (which can be folded) with them. It is useful to know if you would like to reserve a mat, so do let me know. The room is well supplied with radiators – so far we have not had any heating issues.
The Sunflower Centre
Next monthly workshop:
Unfold Your Wings:
Release Your Heart From The Back
Hilly Fields, SE4
Sunday September 22nd, 2-6pm
To use our arms well in sitting, standing, moving and doing, we need as complete a neuro-body-map of how they function as possible. The image of our arms as unfolding and spreading wings is intended to expand the mental picture we have of our arms so that we can better sense the way their musculo-skeletal system originates deep within the torso.
Both sensitivity and strength increase when we are using the whole spine and torso to organise our arms: anchored in the pelvis, extended from the centre of our chest, front and back, and suspended with ease from our neck and shoulder girdle.
Our heart is a vortex of electromagnetic energy that sits right in the centre of this structural and functional complex. When we reach out to embrace those we love we are enfolding them close to our heart. Our image of our self is strongly influenced by what we see in the mirror, and we easily identify with the frontal aspect of our heart as it sits just behind the breastbone; when we can unfold our arms more fully we can experience the heart as more three dimensional. We can begin to feel it beating in the space between our shoulder blades, filling the whole of our chest, front and back, and pulsing vibrant energy through our whole substance.
This workshop will include both Awareness Through Movement lessons to clarify and improve this relationship, and notes with practical suggestions for ways to continue to build on this improvement in all your daily activities. This workshop is ideal for movers, meditators, musicians, martial artists, masseaurs, body-workers, and anyone whose daily activity makes demands on their wrists, elbows, hands and shoulders.
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.
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.