Tag Archives: feldenkrais method

1950 “Review” of Body and Mature Behavior.


A moment ago, I stumbled across a reference for what I though was a review of Feldenkrais’ book “Body and Mature Behavior” from a 1950 psychology journal. Unfortunately, it was more of a fortune cookie note than a review. None the less, the unsigned review is notable for it’s outright dismissal of the book and apparent need to show no supporting details.***

 

From Journal of Consulting Psychology, Vol 14(3), Jun, 1950. pp. 235.

FELDENKRAIS, M. Body and mature behavior. New
York: International Universities Press, 1949. Pp.
viii + 167. $3.75.

“The perplexing subtitle of this small book, “A Study of Anxiety, Sex, Gravitation, and Learning, may seem like a cross-out-one-wrong-word test item until the author’s thesis is disclosed. Feldenkrais examines the implications of the erect human posture, and of various modes of carriage and movement, for the development of personality and for psychotherapy. The theory has its points of interest, but does not quite persuade.”


***That being said, I must say I am only now after 15 years of experience and study coming to appreciate the utility of the book and its ideas. I’m going to believe that makes me an early adopter. After all, it is widely reported that a cure for scurvy was found in 1601 by the British Captain James Lancaster. Though it was not until 1795 – nearly 200 years later – that the cure was mandated by the British Navy.

Beware Trainers Bearing Grudges

“Sed quis Custodiet ipsos Custodes?” – Juvenal

A small investigation of something Moshe Feldenkrais attempted to teach….and what a few of his students actually learned.

 

Moshe Feldenkrais Lecture and Demonstration

Thursday, June, 23 1977, From the San Francisco Training Transcripts.

Moshe speaking during a Functional Integration demonstration:

“I used to take it differently. This is Yochanan’s way. [Demonstrates] Yochanan was watching me and finally he brought to my attention that I was doing this. I thought it was so simple to take that. I never thought I’d do something like this …[Demonstrates] Then I just do that …[Demonstrates] Yochanan showed me that it means doing that … so it is a movement. There are many things like that which I learned from Mia [Segal], Gaby [Yaron] or Yochanan [Rywerant]“

Above Moshe is speaking about one of his earliest students, Yochanan Rywerant (recently passed away), who worked closely with him in Israel for many years. It’s a lovely demonstration of the kind of man and teacher Moshe was. He was not just demonstrating about the Method, but about his own ability to be a true man of learning. He was open enough, wise enough, and yes – humble enough to learn from his own students. And he doesn’t just talk about the idea – he demonstrated it for all to see.

Moshe speaking to his students again:

“I want you to feel halfway between what you feel now and Mia, Ruthy [Alon], or Gaby. It is not that you do better than them. You should feel that in a year or two you will be capable of doing something similar. They will always have their twenty years experience. They have twenty years of watching me work all the time. People who [come] watch in Tel Aviv a month or two can see some of the things that are worth learning.”

Pretty wonderful, isn’t it? He is orienting his new students in San Francisco towards the eventual achievement of their own competence and ability to learn. It seems to me that he is also giving them an indication that there is much that they can learn from his original students with whom he worked for so many years in Israel.

If you know a little bit of the history that arose from Moshe’s American trainings, you may be aware that some of his San Francisco students were instrumental in creating what is now known as the “FGNA” or The Feldenkrais Guild of North America. Many have now taken to calling themselves “trainers” and they hold trainings that give people the right to use Service Marks such as “Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner” etc. That’s all well and good, but the question I want to ask is,

What did the San Francisco students learn? Do they comport themselves in a manner similar to Moshe? Did they in fact, learn to interact with, learn from, and value his original students from Israel and their own students?”

While you can rarely make valid generalizations about an entire category of people, there are a few comments from the San Francisco students that might shed light on what a few of them believe.

Trainer Emails

The quotes below are from emails that were forwarded to me earlier this year. They are from an email conversation in which a request was made to the Feldenkrais NATAB (North American Training and Accreditation Board) to discuss students in non-guild trainings getting educational credit for attending those trainings so that they could then finish and become “Guild Certified.” Several of Moshe’s original students, including Mia Segal and Yochanan Rywerant whom he mentioned above, have run their own Feldenkrais trainings outside the auspices of the Guilds (i.e. “non certified”) and have been doing so for nearly 40 years.

I don’t know the names of everyone who was involved in the email conversation, parts of which I am posting below. I saw responses from half a dozen or so from the San Francisco Feldenkrais training, and a couple from the Amherst training. Presumably some NATAB committee members and some FGNA directors were involved as well, though I do not have their responses. And though I received a great many emails, I did not get them all.

Here are a few excerpts. All of what is written below is from “trainers”:

I cannot begin to express what a slap in the face it would be if the Guild now decides that Baniel and/or MBS [MBS is the Mind Body Studies Institute, Mia Segal and Leora Gaster's organization], will given permission be – for every intent and purpose – to offer the first 90 days of legitimate training with none of the constraints we have agreed to, none of the loyalty to the community we have demonstrated, and having paid none of the fees we have paid and continue to pay. A “cross over agreement” for students from these or any other organization would mean nothing more and nothing less than permission and encouragement to take the 90 days of class with an unaccredited program and then to join an accredited one for 70 more days with that plan bringing the same graduation as if the student had been in an accredited training all along! Once again, those people who have supported the Guild and have followed common agreements will have been taken for fools.”

I don’t know what the person means by “loyalty to the community.” But it seems to me that loyalty would involve a discussion about what would be healthy for the growth and needs of the various Feldenkrais organizations and members. But if the person views change as a personal “slap in the face” there’s really not much room for a discussion, is there? I guess his personal needs are more important to him. He is not in favor of inclusion.

Later in the same email:

When she [Mia Segal] and Yochanon started their programs I had already left my positions with the Guild and the Feldenkrais Foundation. However I told Guild board members then that they should sue both Yochanon and Mia for improper use of the terms.  Instead a cross over policy was initiated.  If Moshe wanted either and or both Mia and Yochanon to be the only  trainers he had the opportunity to do so.

Sue Moshe’s most experienced and capable students? For what purpose? Who would that benefit? I believe Moshe wanted his students from San Francisco to learn from two of his most experienced students and colleagues. In fact, regardless of what Moshe wanted, one would have to be an idiot not to do so. Would you not want to learn from the most skilled practitioners you could find?

But the person above did not get the message. He wanted to sue them. Perhaps he still does. Why? What is it about Mia and Yochanon that gets this person so angry? After all these decades is he jealous about their personal relationship with Moshe Feldenkrais? Is he upset that they chose to independently teach their own training programs? What is it?

The idea of “suing them for improper use of the terms” seems like a smoke screen. Improper according to whom? According to guild lawyers? Could you imagine Moshe suing Mia or Yochanon because of how they used the service marks?

Why this is important

These are important to questions to ask for a variety of reasons. As you may know the FGNA went through a lawsuit 10 years ago. It spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend itself, nearly going bankrupt in the processs and then mysteriously settled out of court, giving the plaintiffs nearly everything they wanted.

Now, I’m starting to wonder if the guild is getting ready to start a lawsuit of its own. It recently convened a “portability committee” whose report is so convoluted and technical that it sounds like something written by one of Richard Nixon’s lawyers. (You can read the report online, you’ll need to scroll down the page a bit: Feldenkrais Portability Committee.)

I’d like to give you a full analysis of it, but I don’t want to step into the frame of reference that it represents. To me, the committee member’s report seems like typical political double speak and dissembling. They simply don’t have the guts to say, “We are worried about non-FGNA sponsored trainings happening in the U.S. and want to create a legal framework that will make it easier for us to sue.” [And bankrupt FGNA for yet another 10 year period?]

Here’s another response from a trainer residing in Europe:

It seems to be unofficial policy that most people should follow the training policies, but some people seem to be exempt from those policies, and the people who are exempt are those who express the least respect for those policies. Most of the accredited trainers in North America have made agreements to abide by the policies of the TAB and have done so as far as I can tell from my observer post in [names country]. While they are doing so, they are confronted with others who are publically ignoring those same policies. Now the question is if the students of the people who have basically thumbed their noses at the training policies, should be able to join the guild. If they are accepted, most likely on their own terms, or the terms are dictated by their teachers, then what is the training policy worth to those who have been abiding by it for many years?

That to me is one of the most fascinating responses. It is essentially saying that those who are not part of the Guild system are “thumbing their noses” and ignoring its policy. I simply do not understand the concept. If they have their own trainings and training policies what would be the purpose of following Guild policy? And remember the history. The people about whom he is speaking – Moshe’s original Isreali students – each had over 20 years of experience working with him and also developing their own work – before the Guild was created. Why in the hell would they now or – decades ago – have taken orders and directions from Moshe’s newest students?

His final comment “what is the training policy worth to those who have been abiding by it for many years” is also interesting. Is he asking what the policy is worth to himself and the other trainers who created the policy? Is he asking how it would affect his own trainings? It’s unclear to me. But again, it would be great to have a conversation about what inclusion would do for the entire system, including the guilds, practitioners and students.

For the record, the first two years of trainings after Moshe’s trainings were essentially carbon copies of the Amherst training. I mean that literally. The first two years of the original trainings consisted of playing the video tapes from Amherst. Can you imagine? That was the skill level of the original group of self-named trainers. I don’t mean that as in insult, we all have to start somewhere. But the first few trainings after Moshe’s involved a huge amount of taped calls. With the newly minted “trainers” adding their own commentary where they could.

If you were someone like Mia Segal, already training “live” and in-person, not only with Moshe’s blessing and help, but also with well over 20 years of teaching experience, would you have agreed to teach by VCR? Would you have agreed to let new students from San Francisco – that you had helped train – dictate to you how to proceed and how to train? I think that was the original “sin” of Mia Segal and Yochanon Rywerant and many of the other Israelis. They were mature, independent adults who kept teaching according to their own desires and needs. They didn’t give in to the pressure and machinations of Moshe’s american students.

As to the current crop of American trainers who I have been quoting? (It’s interesting that the angry, self-righteous ones often seem to be males and americans. Excluding me, of course. I’m full of love and peaches and cream.) Their fear and insecurity is still plain to see after all these years. Here’s a few more choice quotes:

…this question is being asked to accommodate people who have been spitting in our faces for years and the best we can do is to be obsequious towards them. Its incredible. Where are your spines? They take away our students for two years and then their students want to come to our Guild to be called Feldenkrais practitioners.  People organize advanced and mentorship programs for them, is it any wonder that practitioner referrals for prospective students are for their ‘trainings’?  We actually elevate them to some sort of super status.  This situation is absolutely absurd.” 

Wow. Talk about fear and loathing. Who is spitting on whose face? “They take away OUR student’s?” Our students, really?! Someone seems to have entitlement issues. And notice the bit about other practitioners organizing advanced workshops “for THEM.” What’s wrong? Are his feelings hurt because people don’t want to organize advanced workshop with him? Poor fella. Sounds like a clear case of professional jealousy.

Here’s a quote from someone else:

I hold no grudges towards Mia, Yochanon or Anat for starting their own versions of the “true” Feldenkrais Method according to them.  More power to them.  However it is chickenshit of them and their students to slam us and then expect to be welcomed into the fold.  I was never a fan of the crossover plan even if I benefitted from it.  Either they believe in what they are doing and accept the consequences or they are fudging it and hypocritically somehow claiming the high road.  If we want to allow for crossover on what basis is it acceptable other than monetary?

hmmm. Have you ever heard of incongruent communication? “I hold no grudges against you, but you’re a chickenshit.” Gee, thanks.

I’m not personally aware of Mia, Yochonan, nor Anat “slamming” the guild. Perhaps they have. But ultimately, why would they? They have been too busy doing their own work and developing the method. That’s the funny thing about organic development. When you are deeply involved in tasks that you find pleasurable and are evolving yourself you don’t have too much time to look askance at what others are doing. On the other hand, when you rely on legal distinctions and social control while simultaneously look backwards to what your dead hero was doing 30 years ago…you have plenty of room to slam others. The FGNA trainers that I have quoted are doing just that – and they seem to be the ones doing the slamming.

As far as Mia Segal or Yochanon Rywerant starting their “own versions” of the Feldenkrais Method? For the love of god, what a load of nonsense. Words simply do not suffice. It’s an idea that is delusional and flies in the face of the facts, common sense, and simple human decency. It would be more accurate to say, that Yochanon and Mia kept teaching and doing the work in the way that Moshe taught them and that they learned. Neither did Anat start her “own version” of the work. She simply decided it was not in her best interest to abide by rules set by others. She created her own marks and her own brand.

Ultimately what Mia, Yochanon and Anat refused to do is bow down. They did not become slaves to the service marks, nor to the Guild, nor to lawyers, nor to what Moshe was doing 25 years ago, nor to a VCR, nor some delusional American licensing scheme which attempted to label and bottle up Moshe’s work like some type of McDonald’s hamburger franchise.

And the American trainers that I am quoting? They did a power grab. With Moshe’s service marks in-hand, and the videos of the Amherst trainings, and some legal and ethical shenanigans, they created an organization that they have done a pretty good job of controlling…and choking the life out of. Organic learning and development by way of committee and the approval of lawyers? How in the hell is that supposed to work?

What’s not in the emails?

There are dozens of other choice quotes that I could share with you. But I will stop for now. It’s too depressing. Perhaps it would be better to talk about what is not in the emails. There is virtually no mention of what would be good for the Guild. There is no mention about what would be good for practitioners. There is no mention of how to provoke development and growth of the work. No. What we have here, is the same thing that we have had for 25 years. A small group of narrow-minded and selfish people fighting to preserve the institutionalization of their own prejudices and arrogance. They are kicking and screaming like children as they have been for years. In their minds, they own the work and they are in a fight to control it.

If you are in the FGNA hold onto your wallet. Because with angry men like that in the background, and I’m sorry to say, a toothless, cowed Board of Directors – who knows what will happen next. Personally, I have kept my guild dues in my wallet until such a time as it becomes a practitioner-oriented organization that lives to promote the Method and its ideas.

The Punchline

Ok, ready for the punchline? It’s pretty unbelievable. The conversation from which I am quoting above is not really about non-guild students wanting to join the Guild. There are no students who are doing so! According to an FGNA committee member who I spoke to in an unrelated email conversation, there are no Anat Baniel Method practitioners who are involved in the “cross over policy.” None of them are involved in becoming Guild-Certified. And I don’t believe any on Mia’s practitioners are doing so either. So what’s all the fuss about? Why are the trainers getting so upset about something that’s not happening?

Good question. Sounds to me like we are dealing with people who have some dependency issues. They are fighting battles from the long dead past – afraid of the shadows of past conflicts that they have not resolved. Whatever it may be, you may want to ask yourself:

Do these people have a vision? Do they speak for you? Do you want them setting policy for the Guild and Trainings? Are these people who are going to lead us into a new era and bring the work in its many guises and moral implications deeper into the world?

I don’t think so. But perhaps you think otherwise.

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Question: Were all the emails angry and negative?

No. There were some comments from other trainers that had a more “positive” slant. I will write them up in another post. Though as usual, the “reasonable” trainers never quite have the courage to challenge the system. I suppose it’s difficult to give up on a scheme that gives you a monopoly on service marked terms and the right to sell them. Some trainers are willing to criticize and provoke. But to date, only a few have developed the maturity and independence to do more than that.

Yochanan Rywerant: Teaching by Handling

Yochanan: Teaching By Hanlding

I’m recently back from two days in Austin, Texas where I had a chance to talk to, and record, multiple conversations with Mia Segal, Leora Gaster and their business coordinator Danielle Polfus. The first podcast from these conversations is nearly ready and should be up in a few days.

While talking to Mia, I mentioned that I was in the process of returning to my practice after 18 months off. I took the time off to better focus on self-application of the lessons from Alexander Yanai and the Esalen workshop. She asked me what resources that I would use to begin giving functional integration sessions again and I mentioned: The Feldenkrais Method: Teaching by Handling by Yochanan Rywerant. Mia was supportive of the idea.

I want to take a moment and give a full recommendation for Yochanan’s book. I’ve heard one or two people say that the book is too complicated for beginning practitioners or students in Feldenkrais training programs. I strongly disagree.

Though there are some descriptions and scientific explanations that may requite multiple readings or referring to external references such as an anatomy text, Yochanan has very explicit and detailed ways of illustrating Moshe’s ideas and demonstrating the work. Reading the book is well-worth the effort.

If you are a practitioner or student in need of a clarification of some topics, such as giving hands-on sessions, you can pick and choose chapters that meet your needs. For example, Chapter 9: “Schematic Outlines of A Few Model Sessions” contains detailed descriptions of 6 sessions, including sketches of starting positions and verbal descriptions of how to proceed.

There is nothing particular subversive about the book. Unless clear and explicit teaching is a threat to some in the community. However, if you are a student in one of the few training programs in which the trainers discourage students from seeking this type of information, feel free to buy and read the book and not tell anyone that you read it. You will be well-rewarded for engaging with Yochanan’s writing.

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Conflict of Interest on the FGNA Board of Directors?

NOT IFF Approved

 

IFF and FGNA: Anatomie de L’Enfer

I could write volumes about the conflict of interests, parasitic actions and cross-motivated behavior at the “official” Feldenkrais organizations. Quite frankly, there are so god damned many that I wonder if the system was designed to be dysfunctional. To whom would such dysfunctions be a benefit? Perhaps we can talk about that later.

Conflicting Roles

For now, I will just speak to one: What I see as the inappropriate dual relationships of Robert Black and Jaclyn Boone who serve on both the FGNA Board and hold positions on the International Feldenkrais Federation Distribution Center or IFF DC.

Robert Black is the President-Elect of the FGNA board of directors. Jaclyn Boone is the Vice President. Robert is also the chair of the IFF DC organization and Jaclyn is the secretary. Ostensibly, the IFF and the FGNA are separate organizations, with different bylaws, different purposes and different sources of funding. Normally, I would say that it is simply a bad idea for the organizations management to be co-mingled and blurred by having dual appointments.

But given that the IFF DC is actively limiting access to materials by filing copyright claims (See: International Feldenkrais Federation Files YouTube Complaint) Robert and Jaclyn’s positions seem to be in direct conflict with each other. The FGNA website clearly states that the organization’s purposes include:

“Educating the public, in all its diversity…” and, “increasing public awareness of the Feldenkrais Method of somatic education…”

The IFF’s actions limiting access to material is in direct contradiction to that. Looks like a pretty strong conflict of interest to me.

And that’s just one example. I do not personally know any practitioner who is happy with access to archival material. Some of the materials, such as the Alexander Yanai sessions are extremely expensive – $935 for the complete set. And it had been nearly 30 years – THIRTY YEARS – since the Amherst training began. And currently only Feldenkrais Trainers (as per the script) have full and unfettered access to them. Everyone else can only rent them – at exhorbant prices.

Except, of course, the public. They are completely shut out. They can neither buy nor rent archival video or audio. And thanks to the IFF and the actions of Rob and Jaclyn they cannot see the materials on YouTube.

As an aside – the list of ways that the IFF has limited access to the materials is truly astounding. You may have heard that the IFF is going to release the Amherst Videos as DVDs? Great idea. I applaud. I hope you will too. But you might not have known that DVDs of Amherst have been available for quite some time through the Israeli Guild. So why not just buy them through that Guild? Can’t do it. I tried. Apparently the IFF threatened them with a lawsuit and they stopped selling them.

I’ll stop for now. Detailing what the IFF has or has not done is not my purpose here. What is important to understand is that Robert Black and Jaclyn Boone are supposed to be elected representatives serving the needs of the FGNA and its members. As should be clear, the needs of the FGNA and IFF are not identical and each organization has different stakeholders.

If you are an FGNA member, you need someone working for you and your interests. Rob and Jaclyn have conflict of interests that prevent them from fully serving that role. If you – like most members – want greater access to archival materials, and at a more reasonable price, Rob, Jaclyn and the other FGNA board members should be lobbying on your behalf. In the case of Rob and Jaclyn, how can they do that? Their roles at the IFF preclude acting in your interests.

For this reason, I call on Rob Black and Jaclyn Boone to immediately resign from one or the other boards. Their roles have inherent conflicts of interests that prevent them from doing their jobs effectively.

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Moshe Feldenkrais Amherst Clip: July 13, 1981

I found this clip on YouTube a few minutes ago. It is from the Amherst training, July 13, 1981. I love seeing the playful part of Moshe that can be seen in the beginning of the video. From what I can tell, the class was watching a video of Moshe working and then he began talking about the video that they had just watched.

There is a portion from the video in which a line from Moshe is repeated many times, like a record that has been scratched. I don’t know if that was in the original Amherst release or if it was added later. I find it incredibly offensive when someone takes a sound bit or thought from Moshe and repeats it over and over again. Force feeding ideas on a person by mindless repetition rarely leads to creative thinking and creative behavior. Rather than “learning how to learn” it turns the work into “learning how to quote Moshe.” Something that not a few people in the community have mastered.

People have the right to hear what they hear and to learn what they learn – regardless of what we think they should be hearing or think they should be learning. As Feldenkrais practioners we don’t impose movements on people. We don’t try to force them to move a certain way. We don’t want them to imitate how we move. I don’t see how language and thinking is any different. Thinking and speaking have their own developmental progression, they have their own scaffolding.

Moshe Feldenkrais Video Amherst

Feldenkrais Around The Web

Age of the bedrock underlying North America, f...
Image via Wikipedia

 

Last night I received my once-a-week google alert for the term “Feldenkrais.” Google sends me an email with every mention of the the word “Feldenkrais” that it picks up around the web. The list includes blogs, websites, forums, and all points in between.

I took the list, inserted links, cut out the spam and pasted it below. I thought you might like to take a look at what your colleagues, friends and the general public are saying about the method.

Google News Alert for: Feldenkrais

Google Blogs Alert for: Feldenkrais

Personal Euphoria: Feldenkrais
By Maggie Downie
Feldenkrais, from my understanding, is about body awareness and learning how it feels to move your body in different ways. We spent the majority of the workshop moving our pelvis in different directions (up and down, left and right, …
Personal Euphoria – http://personaleuphoria.blogspot.com/

feldypt: This feels like Feldenkrais®!
By feldypt
The best part was when the exhibitors told me that when the pariticpants tried out the SR, they either said, “oh this will be much better for my older clients, or they said “this is truly Feldenkrais.” This was the biggest show room …
feldypt – http://feldypt.blogspot.com/

Feldenkrais® Centre Vancouver
Tags: Feldenkrais Method, olympic experience, Olympic volunteer, Vita Kolodny. This entry was posted on Thursday, February 18th, 2010 at 12:59 pm and is filed under Olympic Experiences. You can follow any responses to this entry through …
Feldenkrais® Centre Vancouver – http://www.feldenkraisvancouver.com/blog/

Simple Horse: I Dream of Judo

The day before I had begun reading Higher Judo by Moshe Feldenkrais. Feldenkrais is best known as the originator of the school of movement education that bears his name. He was also a physicist and engineer as well as an early student …
Simple Horse – http://simplehorse.blogspot.com/

Wish you were more flexible? | evolutionvt.com

You do not need prior Feldenkrais experience to enjoy this workshop. If you have never taken a Feldenkrais class before, please show up 10 minutes early, so Uwe can explain the main principles of the Feldenkrais-Method. Saturday, Feb. …
evolutionvt.com – http://evolutionvt.com/evoblog/

Wake UP Feldenkrais: sitting and side bending
Passions: Permaculture, yoga, gardening, walking, being in nature, the work of Byron Katie, the Feldenkrais Method, the Anat Baniel Method, raw and whole foods, wild foods, ongoing love/ happiness/ ecological usefulness, …
Wake UP Feldenkrais – http://wakeup-feldenkrais.blogspot.com/

Franklin Humanities Institute » Blog Archive » Singin’ on Broadway …

… by Leda Scearce on healthy vocal production, a talk by Cathy McNeela on auditioning for college and for professional work, master classes by Wayne Wyman, Sandra Cotton, and Leda Scearce, and a Feldenkrais workshop with Maxine Davis. …
Franklin Humanities Institute – http://www.fhi.duke.edu/

day 25 Moshe Feldenkrais, San Fran « blogosfeld

I’m sure there are many Feldenkrais Practitioners out there thinking that I am making a big deal out of something they do every day. For example if you have a private practice you probably practice Feldenkrais everyday for more than an …
blogosfeld – http://blogosfeld.wordpress.com/

NorthEast MD Feldenkrais: practice, practice, practice

NorthEast MD Feldenkrais. A student’s view of the process of learning to be Feldenkrais Practioner. Feldenkrais links. Feldenkrais Guild of North America. Blog Archive. ? 2010 (1). ? February (1). practice, practice, practice …
NorthEast MD Feldenkrais – http://northeastmdfeldenkrais.blogspot.com/

How do you exercise the neck muscles that controls moving the head …

I was having chronic headaches and neck pain and I went to my son’s Feldenkrais PT (he has CP) and after 4 months, I no longer have neck pain or headaches. Feldenkrais is different than traditional PT and it works really well for people …
No Exercise Klub – http://www.noexerciseklub.com/

Primal Wisdom: Primal Feet Update: Biomechanics of Barefooting and …

Some years ago, when I got some Feldenkrais Method “Awareness Through Movement” education sessions with Jeff Haller, he noticed that I spent more time on one foot than the other when walking, but I could not detect it myself — at least …
Primal Wisdom – http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/

USAF Mom’s Tour at Home: Exercising the SMART way

Moshe Feldenkrais originated one method of neuromuscular re-education. A Russian-born physicist who grew up in Palestine and was educated at the Sorbonne, Parishe conducted some of first experiments in atomic research and is …
USAF Mom’s Tour at Home – http://www.usafmomstour.com/

Full Bridge! – Dragon Door Forums

I have been taking a Feldenkrais Movement course and I was able to apply one of the lessons to bridging. What I discovered is that you need to elongate the pelvis and create a slight arch in your upper back to place the hands firmly on …
Dragon Door Forums – http://kbforum.dragondoor.com/kettlebells-strength-conditioning-forum/141347-full-bridge.html

Conscious Musing: Video: To Correct is Incorrect

Video: To Correct is Incorrect. This video explains some of the qualities of the Feldenkrais Method that are nearest and dearest to my heart. I hope you enjoy this small window into one of my greatest passions. …
Conscious Musing – http://consciousmovements.blogspot.com/

Taking Steps « Somanaut’s Blog

IMG_0221. Dan Schmidt is a Feldenkrais practitioner and a bodyworker in Salt Lake City, UT. He has been working in private practice and clinical settings for 18 years. He teaches classes for the public and for massage therapists. …
Somanaut’s Blog – http://somanaut.wordpress.com/

Uncensored Magazine | Help Your Child To Learn (book review) and …

… could be identified – were also utilised as appropriate as well as referrals made to therapists offering sound therapies, Feldenkrais and other relevant therapies in the cases of children who would benefit from these treatments. …
Uncensored Magazine – http://uncensored.co.nz/2010/02/22/help-your-child-to-learn-book-review-and-move-to-learn-dvd-review/

Breathing Quotes « The Breathing Blog

Page 37 of Awareness Through Movement by Moshe Feldenkrais. “To have a minimum of stress, and therefore of strain, within the body, not only must the structure as a whole be in balanced relation with the outside forces, but each part …
The Breathing Blog – http://mountainpeakmusic.wordpress.com/2010/02/21/breathing-quotes/

Google Web Alert for: Feldenkrais

Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement (ongoing)
Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement with Iren Romoda These lessons use the innate capacity of the human nervous system to learn new patterns of moving, …
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/cls/1596979827.html

Inside Dance: Feldenkrais Awareness Through movement at Springstep …
Find info about Inside Dance: Feldenkrais Awareness Through movement, happening on March 11 at Springstep. This class uses verbally guided movement
http://calendar.boston.com/medford-ma/events/show/101818825-inside-dance-feldenkrais-awareness-through-movement

YouTube – Cerebral Palsy: Working with childhood motor disorders
Sheryl Field, Assistant Trainer of The Feldenkrais Method, has been practicing since her … Childhood Motor Disorders: Feldenkrais & The Field Center
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rKKyvUh8dA

Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement Class – Feldenkrais in Somerville, MA with TiffanySankary in Somerville, MA, 02143 – Weekly from 02/12/2010 …
http://www.teachstreet.com/somerville-ma/alternative-health-education/feldenkrais-in-somerville-ma/cl-76fhbdukps

Feldenkrais® Hawaii : Awareness Through Movement® : Functional …
Moshe Feldenkrais was born in the Ukrainian town of Slavuta. In 1918, he left his family, then living in Baranovichi, Belarus, to emigrate to Israel. …
http://feldenkraishawaii.com/moshe.php?id=5

Reviews – Steve Duke : Saxophone – Feldenkrais Practitioner
Steve Duke, Saxophone. Recording Artist, Feldenkrais Practitioner
http://www.steveduke.net/feldenkrais/appl_feld.shtml

Feldenkrais Method classes Dublin
Weekly classes in the Feldenkrais Method, a gentle and effective way of learning … Feldenkrais Method ‘Awareness through Movement’ lessons help you learn …
http://www.learningpoint.ie/courses/feldenkrais-method-classes/

Feldenkrais Workshop Schedule
Feldenkrais Associates Workshop Schedule. … A full service Feldenkrais studio in downtown Manhattan 41 Union Square West Room 1009. New York, NY 10003 …
http://www.feldenkraisassociates.com/acting/index.html
Dynamic Sitting Feldenkrais Workshop – Fredericton Health & Beauty
certified feldenkrais practitioner carolyn townsend presents “dynamic sitting” feldenkrais workshop friday, march 5, 6-9pm & saturday, march 6, …
http://fredericton.kijiji.ca/c-services-health-beauty-Dynamic-Sitting-Feldenkrais-Workshop-W0QQAdIdZ186721357

Awareness Through Movement : Moshe Feldenkrais (Paperback, 1991 …
eBay: Find Awareness Through Movement : Moshe Feldenkrais (Paperback, 1991) in the category on eBay: http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=m38&_nkw=feldenkrais

Want to Feel Vibrant Again? Try Feldenkrais Method!
Things started changing when I decided to check out a Feldenkrais Method Class at a local fitness center. Today I can hardly believe I’m the same person.
http://www.squidoo.com/want-to-feel-vibrant-try-feldenkrais

Feldenkrais Method
Read more information and articles on the Feldenkrais Method and other wellness therapies from Dr. Weil, your trusted health advisor:
http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00467/Feldenkrais-Method.html

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Feldenkrais Skiing: High-Performance Skiing and The Feldenkrais Method

A Giant Slalom Alpine Ski Racer, racing in Sno...
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Feldenkrais & High Performance Skiing

The short video below popped up in my “google alerts” a few minutes ago. It is of John Kucera from the Canadian Alpine Ski Team. Since 2004, John and his teammates have been working with Coach Kurt Kothbauer. Kurt is not only the head conditioning coach for the Canadian ski team but is also a Feldenkrais Practitioner. Here’s a quote from Coach Kothbauer about the Feldenkrais Method:

“In modern and Western society we tend to reach higher levels of performance by using more effort. In the Feldenkrais Method we learn a different approach which is based on completely the opposite idea: by reducing effort and with a clearer goal-oriented motivation, we work on the quality of action.”

How has Feldenkrais helped John Kucera?

Watch the short video below to find out:

More Feldenkrais Videos available at Feldenkrais: The Next 25 Years.

Feldenkrais Trainings: How Many Graduates Start a Practice?

Have you ever wondered how many people graduate from Feldenkrais Trainings on a yearly basis? Curious how many of those people actually start practices?

Paul Rubin’s Answer

Last month on the FeldyForum, Feldenkrais Trainer Paul Rubin stated his belief that most people who graduate from a Feldenkrais professional training program end up using the work in some type of professional context such as a Feldenkrais practice, physical therapy practice, dance practice etc.

When someone on the forum asked him where he was getting his data from, Rubin made some vague reference to a straw poll that he had conducted. I am not surprised that a trainer would want to see himself, his trainings, and perhaps the profession at large, as able to successfully launch careers in the Feldenkrais Method. However, I was stunned that Paul would simply put forth his own assertions – with no supporting evidence or data – and expect people to believe what he was saying. Several people, myself included, said as much.

Rather than owning up to the fact that he had no reliable nor meaningful data, Paul began engaging in a whole series of ad hominem attacks, many of which were directed at me. Apparently, the fact that I challenged him to provide some evidence for assertions means that I am frustrated individual, who is preaching gloom and despair – blah blah blah.

I don’t remember exactly what Paul wrote and I have since canceled my membership to the FeldyForum and can’t go back to check. But suffice it to say, that in the absence of having any evidence or reasoned response, Paul Rubin saw fit to attack me personally. In fact, at one point, Rubin refused to even speak to me directly, writing, “someone said…” and wrote that I was “claiming to be an expert.” Point taken. If you disagree with Paul Rubin, you become a nameless, faceless “other.” And being unable to meaningfully criticize my views he attacked my credentials. I am truly sorry that he is in that space. Not only does it serve no purpose for anyone and degrade both him and the method, but it in no way supports his case.

The Research Answer

After a few days, Paul did manage to find a survey done by Rob Black (currently the FGNA President-Elect) in 1997. (PDF Download: Snapshot of Feldenkrais Practice. Rob’s survey was a valiant first attempt, and does provide some very interesting data about the state of the Feldenkrais Method 12 years ago. For example, it has data on practitioners reported income and satisfaction with their work.

However, like most convenience sample studies it has major limitations. For example, it’s not clear that Rob had access to contact information for those who were not in the guild database and may not have been practicing. We don’t know how many attempts were made to contact people, some regions of the country where not represented, and overall, there is no way of saying that the study is representative of the population of Feldenkrais practitioners 12 years ago, let alone today.

Again, it’s great that the attempt was made, and I am sure at some point that FGNA (The Feldenkrais Guild of North Americal) will follow-up up. However, one study does not constitute an answer to the question:

“How many people take Feldenkrais Trainings and actually start practices?”

Who else might have an answer to the question?

The IFF’s Answer

The IFF (International Feldenkrais Federation) has been doing a great deal of work in the area of developing competency profiles and attempting to improve the practice of practitioners. In a 2008 report, they stated:

It’s sobering but true. Only a fraction of Feldenkrais training program graduates are still
practicing members of their guild five years later.

(IFF Competency Profile, p4)

Note: The full IFF competency profile can be downloaded here: www.feldenkrais.com/download/profession/IFFCompetencyProfile.pdf

How they know that “only a fraction” are practicing members of their guild 5 years later, I do not know. Though I would hope that the report, compiled by representatives of Feldenkrais Guilds worldwide, has some factual basis for the assertion. I would certainly give it more credence than Paul Rubin’s dubious assertions.

Personal attacks on my character and intelligence notwithstanding, I cannot find any reliable or meaningful data on the efficacy of Feldenkrais trainings. If anyone can send me information, published or not, please do so, or leave a comment on this post.

Ryan’s Opinion

My personal opinion, (yes, that’s right my opinion) is that many people who take trainings have no intention of becoming practitioners, even if they state that as their goal. Currently, it’s difficult to find intensive experiences of the Feldenkrais Method without going to a training. Many people realize the value of the work and – I think – take trainings because they want a deeper experience of themselves and the method than they can get in a weekly class or weekend workshop. If that is true, it represents a huge opportunity, not just for Feldenkrais trainers, but for practitioners and assistant trainers.

Why?

I’d be willing to bet that those taking a feldenkrais training for largely personal reasons would be willing to spend money for less-expensive, but equally valuable intensive workshops. That is, they might be willing to attend a 1-week, 2-week, or even month-long workshop that would allow them to go deeply into the work without having to pay for the additional costs associated with the certification process (administration costs, staffing costs etc.) In addition to costing less, the workshop could be conducted by any practitioner willing to take the plunge and could serve as a valuable pathway for more people to learn about the work. It might also appeal to a much larger segment of the population.

And one last time – the question of how many people graduate from Feldenkrais trainings and then successfully create practices? I do not know.

And neither does Paul Rubin, nor anyone else in the Feldenkrais community.

Like it or not.

cheers – Ryan

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Ruthy Alon: Talking To The Bones

ruthy_alon_jumpI recently caught up with Ruthy Alon while she was in preparation for an upcoming 4-month international trip to teach Bones For Life and Feldenkrais. One of Moshe’s original “gang of 13″ students, Ruthy speaks not only about the development and origination of her own work – Bones For Life – but also her beginnings with Moshe Feldenkrais.

In this podcast, you can find out how Ruthy got the idea for Bones For Life, how she integrates Feldenkrais principles into her work, and how she originally “found” Moshe. Ruthy also shares a wonderful story about how she approached Moshe with the idea of teaching his work at an Israeli University. This was at at time before he had conducted a formal training or was even calling what he did “ATM” or “FI”….

Much more that I could say, but let’s have the conversation speak for itself:


Download

*When you click the link, the file should open automatically and play in another browser window. If not, you may need to download it to your computer. Also, if you use iTunes, you can go to the iTunes store and search for “Feldenkrais Podcasts” and each episode will download automatically.

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