What is Feldenkrais?

In Brief

Why are you curious about Feldenkrais? Did a friend suggest you try it? Norman Doidge’s book, The Brain’s Way of Healing may have intrigued you? 

The Feldenkrais Method® provides a learning environment for change – improving how the whole person moves and thinks. It doesn’t focus on a specific point of pain or restriction.  This whole body approach changes your thinking from “this part of me is sore” to “how can I improve the whole of what I do”.  It uses gentle movements to allow you to notice your subconscious or automatic movement habits.  It provides space to develop and re-organise yourself for easier movement.

Our habits are us and have their good points. Habits serve us well and don’t use up much brain power.  They allow us to move and act without thought, leaving our brains free to attend to more interesting things in life.  The bad thing about habits is when they are getting in the way and you can’t see it.  Feldenkrais helps you identify your unhelpful sneaky habits to find some better ones.

A Bit More Of An Explanation

Feldenkrais expands and improves habits of movement. Novel movement puzzles are used to challenge you to find a different way of doing something simple. Your brain is re-wired when challenged with new movement opportunities, neurons lay down a new path for that new movement. That neural pathway is weak at first. Time and practice are needed to embed the new pathway as an alternative to habitual movement patterns.

A simple analogy is that this is how babies and children learn to move. Our earliest years are our apprenticeship for movement. Life and all it throws at you will also influence how you move. No two people have the same life; no two people move the same way. With a childlike curiosity about movement you can certainly learn to move better and feel better and younger.

How is Feldenkrais Done?

Feldenkrais is presented in 2 formats:   Group lessons called Awareness Through Movement® (ATM) classes and one-on-one Functional Integration® (FI) sessions.  Both approaches are designed to improve functional movement with more information about that HERE.

“What I’m after isn’t flexible bodies, but flexible brains. What I’m after is to restore each person to their human dignity.”  – Moshe Feldenkrais