THE FELDENKRAIS METHOD
The Feldenkrais™ Method was developed by Moshe Feldenkrais starting in the 1940s up until his death in 1984. The main goal of the method is to allow anyone to improve the quality of his/her life, to express his/her full potential and bring out the best of him/herself regardless of the initial situation, at any age.
It belongs to the Somatics field, and more specifically to the Somatic Education field. Soma could be defined as “the living body as experienced from within”.
This means a practitioner will consider his/her students as a whole being, going beyond the “body-mind” duality, and the practitioner will address the demands of the student from the movement perspective knowing that improving the quality of movement will lead to changes in every dimension of the person (thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, and general behaviour).
From a broader perspective, the Method aims to enhance one’s general capacity for learning and can be therefore described as learning to learn. This special kind of learning, which Moshe Feldenkrais called “organic”, is based on awareness: knowing what you do and how you do what you do in order to reduce the gap as much as possible between what we think we do and what we actually do.
The purpose of the Method is indeed to improve what Moshe Feldenkrais called the self-image. It consists of integrating in our field of attention as much as we can of ourselves while carrying out any action, in a very concrete manner: for instance, while turning the head to one side, we pay attention to the distance between the chin and one shoulder, or the chin and the sternum; to the relationship between the movements of our eyes and the muscular tonus in the neck, etc.
We can extend this self-examination from head to foot, and the more of ourselves that we will be able to integrate, the more complete our self-image will be. This self-image can of course also include our feelings and thoughts.
The teaching approach consists of creating the conditions for discovery and learning through the exploration of different series of movements without imposing any external “answer”. There is no model, the student does not copy the teacher, we do not correct (either the other or oneself): we observe ourselves and become aware of how we do what we do, we try different possibilities and let ourselves choose the one that is more convenient at one particular moment.
In following Feldenkrais lessons we engage in a self-discovery process whose content belongs to us alone, we are guided along a road that nobody else can walk. Each discovery and improvement that we find in our way is unique to our own experience.
« You can’t do what you want until you know what you’re doing. Once you know what you’re doing, you can do what you want. »
«Movement is life, life is a process. Improve the quality of the process and you improve the quality of life itself»