Awareness Through Movement® lessons are taught by Feldenkrais practitioners who instruct students primarily in groups (can also be taught individually), in a series of positions and movements. By noticing aspects of sensation and movement that they have not noticed before, new learning and discovery occurs. The lessons are progressive from simple to more complex within a lesson and within a series. In moving easily and lightly, complex actions become possible with new connections emerging giving a greater sense of wholeness and expanding one’s sense of self.
Awareness Through Movement lessons work to:
- Find comfort more easily
- Decrease effort and trying
- Increase ability to move more easily and fluidly
- Create a more harmonious sense of coordination
- Alter one’s sense of what strength is and how to obtain it
- Increase flexibility and agility
- Discover greater self awareness
- Gain a sense of expanded potential
- Allow for a greater sense of potency
I first learned about Feldenkrais® when I was still living in NYC. I had an older friend, an artist, who had encountered the Feldenkrais® philosophy in an exercise class for elder women. She had recently fallen and badly fractured an ankle and was exploring different avenues to health and strength. It happened that my workplace was just a block away from the Feldenkrais® center in the city, so, intrigued by my friend’s enthusiasm, I dropped by and signed up for an introductory workshop. The calm, measured tones of the instructor’s voice, the lack of judgment, and the simple, small movements we were taught were a revelation. I left the workshop feeling less stressed than I had in years.
Shortly afterward, I completed my plans to move away from NYC. While packing to go, I took time out to look online to see if anyone was teaching the Feldenkrais method® near my new home-to-be in Portland, ME. I e-mailed Lindy Ost, of Movement Matters, in Brunswick. She was warm and welcoming and told me to get in touch as soon as I was settled into my house.
It’s been more than three years now–and I have been attending the Awareness through Movement® classes that Lindy offers on Wednesday nights as often as possible. My workload and Maine weather occasionally intervene, but I think of my Feldenkrais® class as a priority–a way to hold body and spirit together.
Lindy is a wonderful teacher. She has a comfortable and deep connection with the Feldenkrais Method®, and clearly an affection for the man, Moshe Feldenkrais, himself. The readings that she sometimes shares with us at the beginning of a class and her use of his ideas to explain specific exercises have helped me understand and appreciate his personality and philosophy in a more intimate way.
I think the most important characteristic that Lindy exhibits in her teaching is authenticity. This can mean many things, but to me, it means that in her own ability to be a genuine person, open to life and sensitive to the moods of people around her, she gives her students permission to be the same way. I think that’s what committing to any kind of forward-looking practice is about–permission to be, to change, to improve, (to have bad days!), to question, and to grow. So, it’s a combination of the subject matter and the teacher that keeps me coming back for more–that, and the same wonderful calmness I experienced from my first Feldenkrais workshop, and which I now carry with me after every session.