The starter’s guide to Feldenkrais A complete video Q&A
Meet Alan Questel in this Feldenkrais starter's guide with videos to answer your basic questions. You will find concise and pertinent information about the Feldenkrais Method, it's founder Moshe Feldenkrais and joining a Training Program.
About the Feldenkrais Training
What often comes out from students in Feldenkrais training is: "I had no idea what I was getting into".
The benefits are both personal, in the sense of learning to know oneself and to be in the world in an unusual way; but also professional: to become a practitioner and to help others in this learning, to get out of pain or to improve their quality of life.
A Feldenkrais training is for anyone with an interest in the method, regardless of experience. Because it addresses our ability to learn, anyone can benefit from it
A musician, for example, can learn about the way he or she uses his or her instrument; a person with limited mobility can learn how to overcome certain limitations; a physical therapist can deepen and enrich his or her contribution to his or her patients; a high-level athlete can improve his or her physical and mental performance; a computer scientist can find more comfort and attention to his or her body...
There is a variation in the years of training. The first year will develop the ability to learn about oneself, as well as the quality of touch. Basic theory will also be taught.
In the second year, the focus is on the ability to teach Awareness Through Movement lessons, to understand the structure and strategies that build a lesson.
The third and fourth years will be devoted mostly to deepening the reflection and practice of Functional Integration, allowing for the development of creativity in practice.
There are many reasons why students come to Feldenkrais training. Sometimes to integrate it into their professional practice and enrich it, whether it be medical, therapeutic, artistic...
Sometimes to leave their current profession and acquire a new one.
Others come for personal reasons, to improve something about themselves, more or less specific.
No specific prerequisite or background is necessary.
Throughout the training, concepts of psychology, physics, motor development, learning, human development... are addressed in an unconventional way.
The emphasis is on experiencing through movement and exploring these ideas.
"When the experiential and sensory aspects of an idea combine with cognitive understanding, there is a concrete understanding of something that can be applied to different people and situations."
The Feldenkrais practitioner can practice in a wide variety of areas: privately, for different audiences; in medical offices; or in art education settings.
The question might be, "What activity or area would not benefit from an improvement in the way you move?"
A good idea would be to take an individual or group lesson with a practitioner near you, or simply to come and try a first segment of training.
About the Feldenkrais Method
One of the characteristics of the method is the variety of people with whom it allows to work, whatever their age, profession, condition; whether it is a child with special needs, a high level athlete...
Through movement, allow them to improve something in their quality of life. "If the quality of our movement improves, then the quality of our life can improve."
The Feldenkrais practitioner proposes something unusual, by focusing on a more skeletal use of ourselves.
When the muscular habits calm down, and we reside in our skeleton more fully, function improves, pain dissipates...
The wide range and variety of applications in which this occurs is one of the things that characterizes the Feldenkrais Method.
The Feldenkrais Method is based on learning.
Unlike a diagnostic model, a learning model will first include the person involved as a participant, working with someone rather than on someone.
Learning to learn refers to the unconscious strategies we bring to any learning context.
The Feldenkrais Method is one of the few methods of this nature. It is a place that can go in an unexpected direction that may be more satisfying than anticipated.
The Feldenkrais Method is practiced in two complementary ways.
On the one hand, Functional Integration, which refers to the individual lessons originally developed by Moshe Feldenkrais, where the intention is to help discover something about oneself with one's hands, in a "blind spot" away from perception, and to incorporate it into the self-image.
On the other hand, the collective lessons of Awareness Through Movement, sequences of movement guided verbally, which affect changes in posture, breathing, range of motion, etc...
One thought for different applications.
When Moshe Feldenkrais was once asked to define his method in one sentence, he replied "Getting to know yourself".
The next question might be, how do you do that?
By focusing on the use of the skeleton, the connection from the ground through our skeleton, to the action and towards the outside world. Through this, functioning improves, pain dissipates.
A possible answer would be that the essence is the connections.
Probably one of the most important aspects of the Feldenkrais Method is how you can apply it to your daily life.
The way we explore ourselves is through movement, and it is present in all aspects of our lives. A simple action, such as sitting down or getting up from a chair, could become a source of pleasure that is accessible in everyday life.
The Feldenkrais Method uses movement as a way to explore ourselves.
Movement is something immediate and concrete, which can be felt instantly and returned to, making it an effective and efficient way to make a change in ourselves.
About Moshe Feldenkrais
At the foundation of the method, Moshe Feldenkrais started with his own knee injuries, and became his own laboratory to understand how to move without pain. Then he wanted to adapt these explorations to other functions and actions, how to achieve his intentions despite his damaged knees.
Inspired and influenced by many people of his time, he drew from different places to bring these applications to another way of thinking. One way of thinking that is unique to the Feldenkrais Method is to think systemically, in terms of function and relationship to a life action.
Feldenkrais understood something about the functioning of the human being that is still being discovered. Working with neuro-plasticity, nowadays in the forefront of science, or the idea of the system.
Whether it is in the direction of being kinder to ourselves, getting to know ourselves better or making our daily life more comfortable, the assumption is that everyone can improve beyond their expectations, from a different way of thinking and a different approach.
About Feldenkrais Education
These are people who bring a level of commitment to the process of becoming a Feldenkrais practitioner, not only in the pedagogical approach or space created, but also in the values they bring to the entire learning process.
It is also a unique educational medium, allowing students to study at will between segments, and even after their training is complete.
The trainings in the Cantal and in Brussels have the particularity of offering an environment that is conducive to learning, and that gives space to more than just the Feldenkrais Method itself. Art, music, the opportunity to get together, form a community...