Hello, I’m Maggy Burrowes, welcome to my website
My ongoing project is to organise this website into both an information hub for all aspects of The Feldenkrais Method® and a continuously-developing resource for anyone interested in exploring on-going personal growth, and maturing into their most fully potent self.
What’s coming up Online…
*All online class fees are ‘suggested rate, or any donation welcome’
The Daily Class – Immersive Courses
Once a month I teach a course of daily classes – usually 5 days/Monday to Friday – but occasionally I teach a 4-day course (around holidays).
Why Come Along To A Daily Class?
I am keen to make the benefits of regular lessons available to as many people as possible, and once a month I teach a week-long course of daily classes on a particular theme.
You do not need to be able to make it to every class in order to sign up for my immersive daily courses – if you miss a particular session you will have the opportunity to catch up before the next one, as you will receive your recordings and any extra materials I am providing each day as we go along. This means you are welcome to simply join us whenever you are free throughout the course week.
You are also welcome to sign up to receive the Course recordings and extras even if you are not able to join us live at all. I am scheduling intermittent Q&A sessions on Zoom in different time slots, with the intention of giving more people access to the individual attention which I am keen to include as an essential element of all my online teaching. I will be trying out several different time slots in the next few months to see what works best for the most people. Please note I am also always happy to respond to individual voice-message questions on WhatsApp.
Please do get in touch with me if you would like to chat about any of my classes, or to make a booking.
…next – the Daily Immersive for December…
Techniques for improving your Health & Wellbeing Through Enhanced Neuro-Somatic Self-Regulation
5th – 9th December
Daily Class – Online + Recording
Monday–Thursday 2–3.30pm GMT/9–10.30am EST
–& earlier on Friday 1–2.30pm GMT/8–9.30am EST
£90 (suggested fee, or any donation welcome)
Breathing in a ‘well-organised’ way is the most fundamental of my Feldenkrais fundamentals; during Awareness Through Movement lessons, whatever we are doing we always paying attention to the ease and flow of our breathing as we are doing it.
Using carefully designed breathing patterns for health and well-being is so fundamental that their history goes all the way back to our most ancient cultures, and many of the processes our ancestors discovered are still in use today – Qi Gong and Pranayama are particularly well-known, but even a brief stint on google reveals links to other, less well-documented traditions from all over the world, and of course as a singer I am well aware of just how fundamental singing and chanting were to our earliest tribal communities – some researchers even believe that singing pre-dated speech in our evolution.
Breathing remains one of the most effective, most affordable, and most portable of our natural self-healing tools. Our modern-day shamans use different, more secular terminology than their original counterparts; the term “hacking” is a particularly popular metaphor, and if you google “breath hack” you will get 13 million results.
I am going to condense the field into something more practical and manageable; five sessions over five days, covering…
*Breathing in a naturally-well-coordinated manner – exploring anatomy and function
*Breathing as a self-calming practice
*Breathing as a self-healing practice (these two naturally overlap; we will be exploring breathing as an energising and vitalising process, as well as a soothing and quieting process)
*Breathing as a chanting practice – a core aspect of working in harmony with your vagal nervous system.
*Breathing as a practice for improving posture and accessing graceful motion
Many of these practices benefit us in multiple ways, as you would expect in the effective maintenance of any complex system – it is the same when we choose to drink the right amount of water to hydrate ourselves optimally –more than one aspect of our health gets a boost.
Ancient techniques seem familiar because they are naturally similar to our well-researched modern updated versions. In essence, we can inhale in a particular manner, and we can exhale in a particular manner, and we can pause our breath at a particular moment – it is a testament to human ingenuity that there are so many alternative methods to explore!
So, this week will be very good fun, as I intend all my Feldenkrais Fundamental courses to be. I will be writing more about this very soon, but in the meantime there are already quite a few relevant articles on my website, and I am beginning to post recordings up on YouTube as well, to make regular practising as easy as possible for you
You will need to book with me directly to get the Zoom link, and a recorded version of the lesson is included in the fee. Bookings are by email, or via my contact information page.
This 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.
Monthly on Sundays…
Establishing & Maintaining Your Inner Calm – for Xmas
Sunday December 18th Online + Recordings & Notes
2 pm – 5 pm GMT [9 am – 12 pm EST]
£40 (suggested fee, or any donation welcome)
Feldenkrais “Awareness Through Movement” is often discussed with the emphasis on the “movement” side of the equation rather than the “awareness” element, however much of what people come to Feldenkrais for is actually a ‘side effect’ of this ‘mindfulness in motion’ process.
Our habitual behaviour – which includes our ‘default’ emotional responses – naturally generates sub-conscious muscular activity, and, as that behaviour becomes more robotic, the associated muscular tensions become a part of who we are. When we learn to let go of the habits of doing that maintain this high muscle tone, most of us experience the shift in sensation that we describe as feeling “relaxed”. Within this looser, softer self, our various vital fluids flow more freely throughout our whole neuro-muscular system, and our breathing naturally becomes, slower, easier, and more expansive.
Mindfulness is the word the Western world has adopted for a secular version of an ancient Oriental spiritual practice. Jon Kabat-Zinn has popularised the idea of ‘quieting the mind’ as a tool for self-calming, and building emotional resilience, and encapsulated it in a simple phrase; according to him, Mindfulness is “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally, to the unfolding of experience, moment by moment.”
This is such an accurate description of Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement there is no need to change a single word. The main difference for me is that Feldenkrais as a practise encompasses all the complexity of neuroscience and biophysics and distills it into a Method sophisticated enough to be an updated version of a life-long mindful-movement practice like Jujitsu or Tai Chi. I suspect a man who was in at the beginning of the science of radiation and accessing nuclear power knew that what the world needed was a way of peaceful self-development, rather than yet another way to fight.
I have identified all the elements of my Feldenkrais teaching that most immediately enable me to focus my sensory awareness internally in a way that is profoundly self-centring, self-quieting, and self-expansive, and collected them together into a series called Potent Inner Voice – all the information about the next online workshop can be found here.
Practising these sequences has enabled me to enhance all the classic benefits of Awareness Through Movement, and to reverse my chronic auto-immune issues, lessening pain and helping me to better manage my tendency to hyper-arousal. I am rolling out this course in 3 hour segments over the next few months, so do take advantage of my Lockdown discount scheme and book your place now.
These fundamental strategies – for very good reasons we avoid describing them as “principles” – non-striving, non-judging, self-acceptance, breath flowing freely throughout, the focus on allowing rather than pushing through resistance – are elements of Awareness Through Movement that are so interchangeable with secular Mindfulness that I realise I need to write an article specifically devoted to the subject – when this link is lit up you will know it is done.
Please do contact me with any questions you may have, and note that BOOKING IS BY EMAIL, so you can contact me from this link if you want to reserve your place for any of my online events.
You are also always welcome to sign up for the recordings and notes of any course should you be unable to join us live.
Potent Voice: Monthly On Sundays
Moved to January 2023
Sunday January 15th
Online + Recordings & Notes
2 pm – 5 pm GMT [9 am – 12 pm EST]
£40 (suggested fee, or any donation welcome)
During my first proper gig for a local jazz festival, nerves overcame me and I forgot the melody of the first line of Duke Ellington’s lovely In A Sentimental Mood. Usually I would begin by singing the whole song as written, and play around with the melody only after the band had played a few choruses. Now I had no choice, I improvised the very first line, hoping to remember the right notes by the second verse, but my memory stayed blank, and I felt hot in the face and steadily more embarrassed as I bluffed my way to the end of the song, forced to masquerade as a much bolder improviser than I considered myself to till that moment. The audience applauded, but audiences are always kind. It was the supportive comments of a highly respected saxophonist that eased my embarrassment, and showed me that ‘winging it’ could be ok in a professional setting.
Spontaneous improvisation in the moment is precisely what you are learning to master effectively in a committed Awareness Through Movement practice. More details about this class will follow soon, in the meantime I have written more about Feldenkrais and improvisation here.
This workshop will be beneficial for:
Singers, presenters, anyone interested in the performing voice, and anyone with issues around self-expression
Anyone dealing with chronic stress issues, or breathing problems/conditions
Anyone interested in meditation and chanting
Anyone dealing with chronic tension in the tongue, jaw, neck, and throat
Please do contact me with any questions you may have, and note that BOOKING IS BY EMAIL, so you can contact me via this link if you want to reserve your place for any of my online events.
You are also always welcome to sign up for the recordings and notes of any course should you be unable to join us live.
More dates for your diary in December and January 2023
Fundamentals – Sunday – December 18th – Establish & Maintain Inner Calm – 2-5pm GMT
Daily Immersive: January 2nd–6th – Enhance & Fine-Tune Your Senses – Times: Monday–Thursday 2–3.30pm & Friday 1–2.30pm GMT
Potent Voice – Sunday – January 15th – Vocal Improvisation & Play – 2-5pm GMT
…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.
Movement Is Life!
Telegraph Hill Centre – Studio 2
Kitto Road, SE14
Drop-In Class – Wednesdays 4 – 5.15pm
£15 / £10
“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.