My teacher Stephen Rosenholtz would say all the time, “You’re not in church! This is life! Teach ATM like you’re having a conversation.”
I was puzzled. Like a conversation about what? The Iraq war? Family gossip? It took me quite some time to figure this one out. But that’s a story for another day. It has something to do with the title of one of Moshe’s books.
I think at the beginning I taught more like it was a relaxation/awareness process.
Yochanan Rywerant has a section called “Modes of Control: Sedate, Aroused” (no. 13) in his book Aquiring the Feldenkrais Profession.
A tentative classification of the modes of control, not really exhaustive but pertinent to our subject, could yield the following: the sedate (or calm) mode, subdivided into apathetic (not interested) and inquisitive (curious, interested); then the aroused (or stimulated) mode, subdivided into euphoric (well being), alarmed (sensing some immanent danger) and distressed (sorrowful). For the purposes of Feldenkrais, you might prefer the inquisitive mode of control. (p. 12)
My favorite phrase from Feldenkrais for the mood of a lesson is where he admonishes people to do the lesson like they’re wasting time. Wasting time with a point, but wasting time.
I’ve got my eye out for somewhere in an AY lesson where he says more about this. I can’t put a finger on it right now, but when I do I’ll post it.
How do produce pictures that capture that feeling of wasting time? But with focus? And with the “inquisitive mode of control” as Rywerant puts it? It isn’t the same as relaxation; it isn’t the same as a spiritual awareness exercise.