It was 1990 and I had just completed a 4 day workshop in the Feldenkrais Method. Using this new hands on approach with my client, she stepped off the table, stood up and without prompt said, “I feel like my arm is a part of me again!” Surprised, I stammered, simultaneously amazed and embarrassed. She had fractured her left wrist and returning to piano playing was important to her. I had worked with her before taking the workshop and so we both noticed a difference in my approach and in the results. Having worked as a physical therapist for 7 years prior, no one had ever described their experience quite like that. It was my third hook.
The second hook was at the exact same workshop. After I had graduated from PT school I was having pain down my right arm because of the stress. De-stressing after graduation allowed the pain to dissipate, but what had not dissipated was the expectations I had for myself. In the beginning of the workshop the instructor said, “If you learn one thing in these 4 days, you will have been successful!” Inside, I am like, “What? Get out! No way! That’s not what I learned.” But I took him at his word and so began the letting go of the unnecessary force of pressure and expectation that I had carried with me into adulthood.
Since then, my practice has evolved. Allowing clients to experience themselves in ways that are fresh, new and evocative; dipping them into the richness of their own nervous system and their own innate ability to transform is of the highest priority. By providing hands on intervention and movement re-education, learning unfolds and possibility enters on the horizon. Together we continually work to make movement easier, more comfortable and more satisfying. There is no end to learning what we can do to improve in order for living to be enjoyable. It is a journey….Let’s explore!
But before we do, you may be wondering about the “first hook”: Bangor, Maine–physical therapy chapter meeting. A physical therapist learning the method lead us through an Awareness Through Movement® lesson. Kneeling on the floor with our forearms resting on the seat of a folding chair, lowering our hips and pelvises back towards our heels…slowly…easily, noticing the effect–not so bad. And then, towards the right heel a number of times and then the left. To my complete surprise, I felt a difference. How could such an easy movement feel so different and how could I have not noticed it before? I had been physically active in gymnastics, running and biking since my grade school days. Not only that, I thought I knew myself. So it was both a surprise and a dissapointment….the first hook….I moved forward….discovering more….would you like to join me?
Lindy Ost is a past co-representative to the Feldenkrais Guild of North America for the New England region and a member of both the American Physical Therapy Association and the Feldenkrais Guild of North America.