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.
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.
Short Immersive 5 Day Courses
Potent Self – Feldenkrais Fundamentals
Daily Class At Noon – Online + Recording
November 1st – 5th
1 pm – 2.30 pm GMT – please note later time
£75 / £50 – low income rate*
*Suggested fee, or any donation welcome
With The Feldenkrais Method, movement is the tool we use to improve our ability to learn. This makes complete sense once you understand just how central movement is to the functioning of our brain and nervous system – see this quote from neuroscientist Daniel Wolpert:
“We have a brain for one reason and one reason only – that’s to produce adaptable and complex movements. Movement is the only way we have affecting the world around us… I believe that to understand movement is to understand the whole brain. And therefore it’s important to remember when you are studying memory, cognition, sensory processing, they’re there for a reason, and that reason is action.“
…you can see his TED talk on the subject here. I have included a short clip below.
Greater sensory-motor self-awareness is our goal, and carefully designed movement sequences are the approach we use. Feldenkrais himself claimed that the central principle of his Method was that it had no principles, and in actuality the skills you are practising in these lessons are really flexible strategies for learning how to learn, rather than fixed and unchanging principles that must always be adhered to.
There are an enormous selection of movement sequences to choose from. This is similar to learning to play an instrument – you have an endless number of songs you could practise while learning to play the guitar, but what improves your playing is getting “the hang” of how your fingers move over the strings, learning to be relaxed throughout your whole self as you handle the instrument, and steadily improving your ability to coordinate your thinking, feeling, sensing, and acting, in order to bring the music alive.
With Feldenkrais our complex human bio-system is the ‘instrument’. It is easy to get caught up in the movements we are exploring – just as it is easy to get obsessed with one particular song – and forget that what we are actually learning to do is to increase our adaptability, our creativity, and our ability to act spontaneously, in a way that supports our own individual and ongoing self-development.
I go into more detail about these learning strategies in this article. Moshe encapsulated his Method as a way to make “the impossible, possible; the difficult easy, and the easy elegant“. These strategies are not as simple as they sound, or no one would need Awareness Through Movement training, but once you learn to recognise their value you can begin to apply them to your daily life in a way that can bring more grace and elegance into every aspect of your day.
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 form.
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.
Potent Voice & Feldenkrais Fundamentals
Freeing & Coordinating Ribs, Spine & Breast Bone
Sunday October 10th
2 – 5 pm BST
This workshop is full length and combines this month’s voice class with the Feldenkrais Fundamentals monthly workshop, hence the slightly higher fee…
£35 (Suggested fee, or any donation welcome )
It is easy to overlook the essential role of a well-organised rib “cage” when you are exploring ways to improve your mobility – and easy to see how the persistence of the cage metaphor is a natural result of just how unusual it is to see free and easy motion in every part of the chest unless we are looking at a dancer or a gymnast.
The rib structure is an amazing example of evolutionary design; just as with our diaphragm, our ribs need to keep working all the time, keeping our system fully replenished with freshly oxygenated blood from birth until death – and just as with the diaphragm it is easy therefore to edit out the kinaesthetic sensory feedback coming to us from our ribs and thoracic spine, despite the complex organisation of their many interconnecting joints…
…more details about this workshop will be on their way soon!
This workshop will be beneficial for:
Singers, presenters, performers, and anyone interested in the voice, and issues around self-expression
Anyone dealing with chronic tension in the spine, jaw, neck, and throat
Anyone interested in improving their physical stamina
Use the contact form to ask me any questions or make a booking.
I am using Zoom, and you will need to book with me in advance by email. When I hear from you I will send you a secure link to access the broadcast.
*NEW LIVE CLASS STARTS AUTUMN 21
Awareness Through Movement
Potent Voice & Mindfulness
Telegraph Hill Centre – Studio 2
Kitto Road, SE14
Monthly extended class – Saturdays 2 – 5pm
Two 90 minutes sessions
…you can attend either – £20/£15
…or both – £35/£30
October 16th; November 13th; December 11th
“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.