Or maybe just skip the practitioner phase?

“I am constantly finding out how stupid I was just ten minutes ago.” – Ryan Nagy

Following up from my post from a couple of hours ago, another option is, I believe, to skip the phase and labeling of people as “feldenkrais practitioners.” In terms of the viral potential of the work and getting it into the hands of many people, does the concept of one being a “practitioner” help or hinder? I think it hinders. Though I am not against being a practitioner and the certifications do have a certain utility (to go along with their massive liabilities), one can argue that $20,000 certification trainings represent a huge financial barrier to learning Feldenkrais. And that is leaving aside the question of effectiveness. There is not a shred of evidence that students leave trainings ready to practice. I would make the case that there is even less evidence that they wanted to practice in the first place. People want a new experience of themselves and the work.

The Feldenkrais trainings also massively limit community involvement, leaving the experience of conducting the trainings in the hands of, as I mentioned in the last post – about 70 trainers. They swoop into town, suck out the money, and keep local practitioners on the sidelines. The same local practitioners who pay for the Guild and the system itself. To use Jerry Karzens’ metaphor to a different end. Those of you who pay for the Guild and maintain it cannot even come in for a glass of water. Well. Technically you can. But it is $100 a glass. No refills. Accepting the current definitions and restrictions on being a “Feldenkrais Practitioner” is to accept the presupposition, that you cannot, must not develop into teaching and training the work in your own time and you own way. Do you accept that proposition? I do not. Feldenkrais or Feldenkrais®. Take your pick.

If we skip the idea of training practitioners what are we left with? We are left with a human relationship, not a legal one. We can learn, teach and use the principles of the work in a way that fits our own personalities and needs. And, just as important, we can meet our students. That is, we can meet our friends and colleagues, each other, in an interaction – in the moment – that is consensual – and can evolve organically. Humanly and humanely in a way that is not aprior restricted by legal definitions and “Feldenkrais” that has been transformed into an ideology.

Ok. Enough for now.

By the way…

As you can see, I deleted what I wrote below. The online psychotherapy conferences that I organize with my business partner Rob McNeilly seem to be taking more and more of my time and energy and I am starting to wonder when and IF I will get back to teaching “live” Feldenkrais classes again. I will do my best to keep you posted.

In case you are wondering, I am about to return to teaching “live” Feldenkrais classes and workshops after an absence of about 5 years. I am using blogging as a way to write and organize my thoughts as I get ready. My current idea is to teach an intensive session here in Mexico. Perhaps on Isla Mujeres which is about 5 hours aways (by car and boat) from where I live in Mérida, Mexico. If you are not already subscribed to this blog via email, click the link and enter your email below to get updates of new posts and also workshop announcements: Subscribe to Ryan’s Blog.

3 thoughts on “Or maybe just skip the practitioner phase?

  1. Audy

    So interesting, Ryan. I went into the F-K training to help myself first and second to help others, perhaps. I came with being able to “do” ATM — there’s a map, you see. FI? Really, not a clue. Just bumbling around, using my tuition, understanding from trainer(s) that F-K is a mystery, it’s unique, and feeling very much as though I would never “get it” no matter how many advanced trainings I took because they all appeared disjointed somehow. When I give FI’s I they often begin with ATMs or part of ATMs and I explore the person through them. FK didn’t come closoe to solving my stuff. PT, which was shunned and denegrated went miles to help with that. I still think FK is terrific but spending more money? Wellllll, now that’s another question.

    1. nagster Post author

      Hi Audy – I loved your comment. Thanks. Made me laugh…I have had similar experiences and feelings. Thanks for taking the time to post. It’s a bit late on my end and I have been working all day, so not much more to add, but may post something more a bit later.



  2. Life is about give and take

    I, just like many others, went straight into a Feldenkrais training. Failed to give any money to local practitioners. 16000 Euros later I’m a practitioner myself, but still not spending into the local market … basically because I swore to the mother of all cows not to spend any more money on Feldenkrais classes until this job “Feldenkrais practitioner” made up for my expenses.

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