The Feldenkrais Method ® of Somatic Education
We improve our well being when we learn to fully use ourselves. Our intelligence depends upon the opportunity we take to experience and learn on our own. This self learning leads to full, dynamic living.
Ordinarily, we learn just enough to function. For example, we learn to use our hands well enough to eat, our legs well enough to walk. Our abilities to function with a greater range of ease and skill, however, remain to be developed. The Feldenkrais Method teaches--through movement--how we can improve our capacities to function in our daily activities.
We in The FELDENKRAIS GUILD ®, guided by the creative ideas of Moshe Feldenkrais, dedicate our work to this expanded vision of learning and living.
Awareness Through Movement®: Lessons in Self Help
In Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lessons, the Feldenkrais® practitioner verbally guides you through a sequence of movements: sitting or lying on the floor, standing, or sitting in a chair.
You discover how you do the movements and notice the quality of change in your body. You learn to relax and to abandon habitual patterns. Through the subtle ATM movements, you develop awareness, flexibility, and coordination. You experience relaxation and a sense of release.
Functional Integration®: Individual Lessons
In this one-to-one learning process, the movements are communicated through slow, gentle touch. Comfortably clothed, you lie or sit on a low padded table, or you may be standing, walking, sitting in a chair, or in other various positions. The practitioner guides you through a series of precise movements that alter habitual patterns and provide new learning directly to the neuromuscular system.
Functional Integration is especially useful for people who want to learn to overcome limitations brought on by stress, misuse, accident, or illness. It is equally beneficial for people who want to perform and feel better physically and mentally.
The information on this page appears in the 1997 Directory of Members available free of charge from The Feldenkrais Guild®, 524 Ellsworth St. SW, P.O. Box 489, Albany, OR 97321-0143 (541)926-0981- Fax (541)926-0572 - Email: email@example.com - (800)775-2118
A FELDENKRAIS AWARENESS THROUGH MOVEMENT® MINI-LESSON
In all Feldenkrais lessons, it is important to:
Move slowly and gently.
Stay within your range of comfort and ease.
Continually observe the quality of your movement.
Look for ways to reduce effort.
Lie on your back on a rug or padded surface. Notice how your body contacts
the floor. Observe especially how the floor supports your shoulders, rib
cage, spine and pelvis. How much space is there between the floor and the
back of your neck? And between the floor and the small of your back?
1. Place your arms along side your body at a comfortable distance. Bend
your legs and cross your right leg completely over your left. Gently begin
to tilt both legs to the right and bring them back to the middle. Repeat
about 10 times, starting with a very small movement, and gradually
increase the scope until you find your full, easy range. Each time you
tilt your legs, notice the effects on the rest of your body: what parts of
your body lift off the floor; where does your body lengthen, and where does
it get shorter; can you feel your spine rotate; do you breathe in, or out;
what other sensations are you aware of?
2. Rest. Stretch out your legs. Notice any change in the way your body
contacts the floor.
3. Again, bend your legs and place your feet on the floor about the width of
your hips apart. Raise your arms toward the ceiling with your palms
together, to form a triangle with your arms. Keep your elbows straight,
but not rigid. Slowly begin to tilt your arms to the left and bring them
back to the center, about 5 or 6 times. Pay attention that you keep the
triangular configuration, with the palms together and the elbows straight.
Gradually increase the scope of the movement, until you find your
4. Continue tilting your arms to the left, and let your head and eyes follow
the movement of your hands 5 or 6 times.
5. Stop and rest. With your arms on the floor beside you, notice how your
shoulders, back and rib cage feel.
6. Again raise your arms to form a triangle and tilt them to the left. This
time, turn your head to the right while you follow your hands with your
eyes a few times. Then do the opposite: turn your eyes to the right, while
you follow your hands with your head. Then turn your head and eyes to the
right while you continue to tilt your arms to the left. Stop and rest a
7. Now repeat step 4: tilt your arms to the left and follow your hands with
your head and eyes. Is it easier to do now? Rest.
8. Cross your right leg over the left and tilt them to the right a few times.
Has this movement improved?
9. Repeat steps 1-8 on the other side. Cross the left leg over the right and
tilt them to the left. Then form the triangle with your arms and tilt them
to the right. Even though you are familiar with the movements now,
continue to move slowly and gently, gradually seeking your comfortable
The best way to work with these instructions is to have a friend read
them to you while you do the movements, or tape them yourself.
Maintained by WebWright Don Ricklin, Updated 11/17/97.