Photo courtesy of Rosalie O’Connor. Used with permission of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America.
“The Feldenkrais Method is the most extraordinary way of
enhancing human abilities I have encountered.”
-Walter Witryol, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
At its most fundamental, the Feldenkrais Method® is a system of movement education. It helps people to learn how to identify their unconscious movement habits, to become more exploratory and curious about movement, in order to discover new movement options. It is similar to yoga, in that it encourages people to move mindfully. However, it is structured quite differently than yoga, in that there are no prescribed held postures, firm exercises, or stretches. The emphasis is on the quality of the movement itself, the variety of movement options, and how every part of the structure of the body relates with or connects to one another.
Feldenkrais® epitomizes the “it’s the journey, not the destination that matters” approach. By becoming more aware of their movement subtleties and learning how to vary their movement patterns, students can find ways to overcome their limitations.
Feldenkrais® is highly beneficial in the following ways:
1) It is an excellent way to encourage people to move more mindfully (rather than on “auto-pilot”) during every moment of their movement practice
2) It can help people to discover and overcome habits which may cause limitations or injuries
3) By discovering subtle new ways of moving, it can help them to overcome a “plateau” in their practice, allowing them to move gently up to the next level
For further information on Feldenkrais®, please check out the following:
- The New York Times article on one’s Personal Experience
- The Washington Post article on one’s Personal Experience
- The Origin of the Feldenkrais Method® and a Heroic Story by Neuroscientist Norman Doidge, author of the groundbreaking neuroplasticity science book, The Brain’s Way of Healing
- BuzzFeed Video of a few people trying out Feldenkrais® for the first time
- Article on how Feldenkrais® provides the “Key Ingredients to Fitness“
- A Feldenkrais® Student’s Personal Experience
- Baby Movement Video outlining some Feldenkrais® principles of exploration and learning
- 1964 Article from The Jerusalem Post about Moshe Feldenkrais, The Man Who Stood the Prime Minister on His Head
- Anat Baniel’s Tribute Website to Feldenkrais with good information of Moshe’s Life and Work
- Video Interview with Neuroscientist Dr. Michael Merzenich, PhD, creator of BrainHQ online brain-learning software, and author of Soft-Wired: How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life