More than a floor….Feldenkrais Training: Day Two

Since I had survived the first day of Feldenkrais Training, I decided to show up for the second day. I still kept an open mind. Which meant that I could leave anytime I wanted to, and quitting was always an option, even if it was in the middle of the segment. Heck, even if it was in the middle of the day. Anyway, I walked into the dance hall that doubled as our training venue, and did a mental eye roll as I walked past the large poster proclaiming “This is the first day of the rest of your life.” Sheesh.

I picked a spot on the floor, unrolled my big purple mat and set up my camp site for the day. Then I heard those magic words…”Lie on your back.” Ahhhhh, now you’re talking! “Sense your contact with the floor.” We began to sweep our arm slowly out to the side and overhead. “Slowly, very slowly…many times. Continue to sweep your arm and slowly grow the movement to sweep over your head and bring yourself onto your side.” Deep sigh. Yep, this was exactly why I was there. I could feel my shoulder joint relax and my ribs begin to open.

Eventually my fingertips swept against the floor as my arm went over head and then back down to my side. That’s when it got really interesting. My fingers glided across the wooden dance floor. Something about the feel of the floor captured my attention. I moved even more slowly and I could feel the individual fibers of the wood. I felt the seams in the floor, and the little imperfections that comes from the normal wear and tear over 60 years of thousands of people dancing on a floor.

I couldn’t get enough of that floor. I wondered about the many people who had danced over that exact spot I was lying on over the years. Who were they? What were they like? What kind of clothes did they wear? What were their shoes like? As I thought about this, my tactile sense of the floor became even more awake and alive. “Rest on your back.”

I rolled onto my back, but I continued to stroke the floor as if there were tiny little question marks on the tips of my fingers, looking for the answers to some of the questions that were forming in my mind. I looked up and saw the gorgeous chandelier directly above me. Mmmm…pretty! Why hadn’t I ever notice it before? I had spent several weekends in that room during the year of pre-training workshops, but I had never noticed how beautiful and how detailed the chandeliers were.

Maybe it was the Valentine decorations hanging from the chandeliers that caught my attention. And perhaps it was those same decorations that captured my sense of romance as I went back in time and imagined the thousands of dancers that had glided over that beautiful floor. You know, the floor that I just couldn’t stop touching. Yes, that must have been it. After all, it couldn’t be anything else that was awakening all of my senses as I moved through the lesson…or could it? Feldenkrais….accessing your nervous system in a gentle but powerful way, through movement!