If you are not already one of my “regulars” then my guess is that you already know how much Feldenkrais can improve your life, but are waiting for the right moment to begin a regular practice…
In my early years as a newly qualified Feldenkrais teacher–33 years ago now!–I soon realised that my chosen profession was not going to be an ‘easy sell’. I had been lucky; in my very first Awareness Through Movement workshop an attack of sciatica cleared up in just a few hours, rather than easing gradually after I had been limping around for a week or so.
I am all too aware of how much my work as a practitioner relies on similar lucky experiences for my potential students, and the hands-on Functional Integration lessons are the same as the classes – anyone who does not detect an immediate improvement may be much less likely to come along for a second lesson.
To add to the complexity of the situation, anyone who improves too radically may fail to recognise the importance of their own contribution to their improvement and stop coming after one or two lessons – thus, when their chronic issue returns–as it usually will, because chronic problems do not disappear overnight–they may then decide that “Feldenkrais doesn’t work after all”, and go looking for yet another modality with “instant” results.
The benefits of working online…
So, for me, teaching online was an exciting development. For the first time it became possible for my students to DO ENOUGH FELDENKRAIS to really change their lives, as I had done during my four years of professional training plus weekly classes. Of course I do want to be clear that this ‘changing your life’ thing is always a slow process – any skill worth having takes time to fully develop – pluseveryone I know is very busy – particularly the sort of people (like myself) who need Feldenkrais the most!
This is why I am encouraging you to join a regular online class, so that at least once a week you connect with yourself in a deeply beneficial way, and remind yourself of how much difference you can make to your own wellbeing by simply lying down on the floor for an hour and listening intently to every part of your self…
…I also firmly believe it is particularly valuable for you to get into the habit of doing Feldenkrais at home.
The benefits of practising at home…
The benefits of the Feldenkrais approach to self-development accumulate over time – the more Feldenkrais you do, the more improvements you will experience. Everyone knows and understands that this is true of Tai Chi, or yoga. The difference with Feldenkrais is that we are not teaching you a ‘form’, or a series of ‘exercises’*. Instead you are immersing yourself in the process of learning itself, not strategies tied to any one ability, but instead to master the skill of learning new skills.
Ultimately you are learning what you need to learn to change your life for the better, which means of course there is no end to the process – but sometimes that means there is also no clear beginning!
Online classes give you a range of practice options; they are chance to make an appointment to put your self at the top of your to-do list for just one hour a week, and, thanks to Zoom you will be gathering an archive of lesson recordings to draw on whenever you find some time for practise.
All my regular classes are “drop-in”, and you will continue to receive the Zoom invitation unless you cancel with me directly. Once I know a particular student’s needs I will sometimes share a recording for a class that person did not actually attend – my main concern is that you discover just how beneficial Feldenkrais can be, so once you are committed to my classes I am committed to you.
The benefits of regular practice…
Regular practice is what makes the benefits of Feldenkrais most readily available, and I have been comparing studying Feldenkrais to studying music, using the metaphor of learning the piano, as a way to make this concept clearer.
When you are learning to play piano, there are practical movement-based skills to master, and while it is wonderful to be able to play an instrument, yet the concept of music covers a much greater area of human experience, one with a history that goes all the way back to the beginning of our origins as a species, and which has a great many joyful and creative applications for our lives, both as individuals, and within our wider communities. Music can even bring diverse cultures together, partly because it speaks to us directly on a deeply embodied level that does not require a shared verbal language.
Just as with learning music, learning Feldenkrais has no end point, and the satisfaction I experience as a person with a committed Feldenkrais practice continues to grow with every passing year.
I am all too aware that it is easiest for we teachers to commit ourselves to regular Feldenkrais practice – however, just as with Tai Chi, and yoga, and learning music, you can become a very accomplished practitioner without ever becoming a teacher.
We humans have a truly magnificent instrument in our physiological design:
There is no reason why we should ever stop improving our sensory-motor awareness, and our self-knowledge.
There is no reason why we should rely so heavily on chemical and surgical interventions for our ongoing well being.
There is certainly no reason to put off committing to Feldenkrais until you are reliant on pain-killers or threatened with surgery – the sooner you get going the sooner you develop the skills to manage your own pain and maintain your own mobility more successfully.
My monthly programme
The Daily Classes
These courses give me a chance to explore a theme more deeply, and give attendees a chance to experience the benefits of daily Feldenkrais. They happen early in the month, and consist of – usually 5, sometimes 4 – daily 90 minute classes of Awareness Through Movement combined with group discussion.
One Sunday a month I teach a 3 hour workshop on a specific theme, as a way to explore the basics of Feldenkrais.
One Sunday a month I teach a workshop specifically aimed at Feldenkrais for the voice, and for performance – however, there is not pressure to perform and the constraints of Zoom mean that you get to play with your voice in privacy!
My regular weekly online classes
Tuesday At Noon ~ 12pm–1.30 pm GMT/BST ~ £15/Donation
A general Awareness Through Movement class, usually with plenty of time to chat afterwards.
Wednesday Evening ~ 7pm–8.30pm GMT/BST ~ Inner Voice ~ £15/Donation
A very gentle class focussed on exploring subtle Awareness Through Movement lessons, breath-work, sounding/toning, and imagination-based auto-suggestion/self-hypnotic practices, for self-calming, tissue-tension-release, and pain-relief.
Thursday At 6 ~ 6pm–7pm GMT/BST ~ £10/Donation
A very gentle ATM class suitable for anyone with movement restrictions.
Details of all my regular online classes can be found here. I attempt to keep my website updated with my monthly classes, but I can be a bit slow at times!
If you are not in the UK then you can easily check my class times using the World Time Buddy website.
One-to-One Online Teaching…
I am always available for individual sessions, and am happy to offer the same kinds of discounts that I offer for my in-person teaching. An individual session can be very useful if you are hoping to get the best results from the group classes. I am always happy to chat first, and emailing me is the best way to make an appointment.
Very best wishes,
*I do not mean to sound in any way dismissive, I simply wish to make a clear distinction–my goal here is to clarify why the most useful way to practise Feldenkrais at home is not as obvious as it can be for other effective methods. In Feldenkrais work it is not as useful for us to do the same thing in the same way every day– we use repetition in a very specific manner, as a way of undoing unhelpful habits, and we are careful to avoid inculcating new replacement habits too quickly…