What is Feldenkrais(R)?

The Feldenkrais Method is a highly sophisticated form of neuromuscular re-education based on the scientific principle of neuroplasticity, which simply means that our nervous system is capable of changing and learning new patterns during the course of our entire lifetime.

Feldenkrais’ unique approach to neuroplasticity accesses our nervous system in a very gentle, but powerful way, through movement. We all have habitual patterns of moving, sensing, feeling and thinking that help us move easily through our day. However, some of our patterns may be harmful and destructive, resulting in chronic pain, joint dysfunction, headaches, neck and back pain, anxiety, stress and fatigue.

With Feldenkrais lessons, habitual patterns of stress, strain or “holding” are gently interrupted, allowing for new motor and sensory pathways to be activated, and for new, healthy patterns to emerge. Individuals experience a decrease in aches and pains, improved posture, balance, flexibility and a renew sense of energy and vitality.

Does it sound like magic? It is, and it isn’t. It’s the power and the magic of our own nervous system, and our ability to learn and change, regardless of our age and current level of function. That’s just the beginning of what Feldenkrais is, and how it can work for you!

Feldenkrais Training: Lie down and smell the coffee….

I love coffee. I don’t think I have a true coffee addiction, since I only drink it it the morning. However, I sure do love my coffee. I love the sound of the beans grinding, and I love the smell of it brewing. I love pouring my first cup. And my second. And my third. I love the taste, the smell, the heat, and even the feel of my coffee mug in my hands. Face it, I love my coffee.

But, during my second week of Feldenkrais Training, I decided to give up coffee. Like I said, I don’t have an addiction to coffee, and for some strange reason I started trying new things once I began my training.

The day I gave up coffee was grey, cold, and snowing. Coffee would sure warm me up on such a cold morning, but I was full of determination instead of coffee. I had a cup of green tea instead, even though I don’t like it. For some reason it tastes like old grass clippings. Although I don’t know why I know that.

I arrived to my training feeling virtuous but sleepy. And a little irritable. Gee, what was up with that? I walked over to the food table and noticed someone had brought freshly baked banana bread. Boy, a cup of coffee certainly would taste good with that. Tentatively, I told my litter mates that I had given up coffee. One was astute enough to notice the wild look in my eyes and the quiver in my voice. Kindly, he pointed out that there was a coffee shop just seven blocks away, and if I hurried I might just have enough time to get there before class started.

I thought about running to get my fix, but I don’t run. I have never run anywhere in my life, even as a kid. Besides, my teacher just walked in for class. And, cupped in his hands was a steaming cup of coffee. I groaned out loud. To make matters worse, as he started our first lesson he took the lid off of the cup. The rich fragrance of the coffee mingled with the aroma of fresh banana bread. I couldn’t sense my contact with the floor, because I was preoccupied sensing my contact with the coffee.

As soon as the lesson was over, I grabbed my coat, slipped my feet into my clogs and ran the entire seven blocks through the snow to the coffee shop. I ordered a triple espresso cappuccino, and finished it by the time I made it back to the training. There was still some foam clinging to the cup, so I cut a small slice of banana bread and scooped every drop of foam with the bread. Ahhhhhh, coffee!

We started the next lesson. I felt my contact with the floor. I felt the coffee flowing through my veins. I felt the energy surging through me. I felt secure in the knowledge that I did give up coffee for 24 hours, but was seduced back by a cold snowy day, fresh banana bread, and the aroma of someone else’s coffee. That was the last time I gave up coffee. After all, it’s not like I’m addicted or anything.