A Feldenkrais(R) Valentine
I have always loved Valentine’s Day, mostly because of the pretty decorations, but no Valentine’s Day could possibly compare to my first Feldenkrais Valentine’s Day.
I was in the second week of Feldenkrais Training, and deeply engaged in an Awareness Through Movement lesson, lying on my back, sensing my contact with the floor, and gently rolling my head from side to side as invited to do by my teacher who was leading the class through the lesson. During a rest, I opened my eyes and looked up at the ceiling. I was lying directly under a huge chandelier, which could be a little disconcerting in itself if you think about it. What if it fell and landed on my head? I started to do what I did best, which was worry and perseverate on anything and everything that could possibly go wrong. You know, injuries, disfigurement, death and destruction.
I gnawed at the inside of my cheek as I imagined the most terrible and devastating result of having the poor judgement to position my mat (and myself) under that chandelier which was currently threatening life and limb, not to mention my mental and emotional and well being.
The rest was over, and my teacher invited us to begin slowly and gently rolling our head side to side. I looked up at the chandelier to keep an eye on it, just in case it showed signs of nefarious activity as it gently hung over me. But, then I noticed that draped over the chandelier were long, loopy strands of red foil hearts.
I tilted my head as my brain started to register, “Oooooo, pretty….” I felt myself smile as I tilted my head the other way. “Oooooo, even prettier!” I began to roll my head against the floor and saw the multitude of hearts strands and red crepe paper with big red bows and huge hearts dripping from them. “Wow,” I thought, “Now that’s what I call eye candy!”
I was mesmerized by the decorations which were made even more brilliant from the twinkling lights. As far as I was concerned there was nothing (or no one) else in that room but me, the hearts, and the lights. What a lovely somatosensory experience! I immersed myself in the spectacular sight above me until I lights, until I noticed my instructor standing next to me, staring down at my face. I rewarded him with a big, goofy grin.
Although he grinned back, I was sure he must have thought I was a blithering idiot. But I didn’t care. All I cared about was the magnificent scene above me as the hearts and bows slowly dipped, turned and danced with the air as their stage and the sparkling lights as their music.
It was a creative and beautiful ballet of hearts. I could hear the music in my mind as my eyes followed the secret choreography of the dancing hearts. I have never been more aware of shape, color, light, shadow and movement. And I was amazed at how a few paper hearts could so touch my own. From that day forward, Valentine’s Day was never the same for me. It was so much better. And so was everything else.
Feldenkrais….it’s the gift that keeps on giving!
awareness through movement, ballet, Feldenkrais, Feldenkrais Training, hearts, neural pathways, neurons, neuroplasticity., somatosensory experience, Valentine's Day