Feldenkrais: Movement Is Life
Are you looking to try something new in the exercise world? Maybe, you are in pain and have tried well-known approaches with mixed results. Maybe, you don’t really like standard exercise classes but know that you need to move more. Maybe, you like movement adventure. The Feldenkrais Method® may be just what you are looking for.
In case you are not familiar with the method, it is named after its founder, Moshe Feldenkrais. He was born in 1904 in Ukraine, traveled and taught throughout the world, and died in 1984 in Israel. He was a man of many levels: a teacher and a martial artist, an engineer and a man of wisdom. He created a Method into which he could pour all his interests and vitality.
Feldenkrais said: “Movement is life, and without movement, life is unthinkable.”
Those words had force when he first taught in the US in California in the 1970’s. And they are even more relevant, now, fifty years later, when, as we all know, we are sitting too much. Movement is not just a good idea; it is necessary for our lives to be healthy and balanced.
The types of movements that Feldenkrais created can be summarized as “ingenious”. They show an engineer’s approach to the body. And they show a martial artist’s approach to the body. You might be asked to lie down on the floor and explore a theme such as rolling from side to side. There are different ways to do something as simple as that. And it can be improved.
While the movements themselves are comfortable and interesting, Feldenkrais had a higher purpose; he was using them as a basis for the cultivation of awareness.
While teaching a class one day, and recording his teaching, he said: “You see, it is not important if you do well, or not well. It is important, if you pay attention. It makes all the difference when you pay attention. That means, it improves, and by way of this, a person can distinguish better. But, if he begins to do an action and does not check, the movement can continue a hundred times and stay the same. So, the attention, the checking, is more important than the movement. The movement is just a means to teach the person to feel, to distinguish, and to check, because this is what makes the difference.”