January-February 2011 Intro Series

In this six-week series in January-February 2011, we were following along (more or less) with the lessons Moshe taught in an evening class for the general public, during his first training of practitioners in the US, in San Francisco in 1976.

  1. Tilting Pelvis Sitting
  2. Extensors
  3. Coordinating Flexors and Extensors
  4. Classic Rotation Sitting
  5. Rolling Arms (not recorded, but I later recorded a version here)
  6. And a last class out of sync with the SF Evening Class, but one I wanted to share with the group, and a nice return to a theme of the first lesson: A Clock

This excellent intro set focuses on control of the pelvis in the context of global movements, before homing in on the shoulders.

Face down, circles with the head

Where does flexibility come from? Why is it that we can only move so far, and then we stop? Tight muscles? Bad joints?–Or habits?

What are habits anyway? Feldenkrais had the idea that our limitations are the things we do really well. They work for us. So we do them again and again and forget that we can act differently. And what dissolves the power of habits isn’t willpower, but perception. A habit is like a blind spot, and the process of change is a process of changing perception.

This was a “free intro” night at the Yoga Loft. This lesson does a nice job of showing an impact in the first 10 minutes of the student’s experience.

Found it! Lesson re-attached, May 2013.

Flexors, aka folding

Feldenkrais and his first assistants often taught a lesson exploring flexion as a first lesson in a series. I myself rarely do that! Partly because the movement challenges me at all my weakest points; partly because these lessons are the most likely lessons to remind people of doing a workout. So no matter how many times you say “do less; feel more,” people work hard. I gather from transcripts of Feldenkrais teachers three decades ago that it was the same story then.

I attempted to up the volume on the sound this week; let me know if this helps. It seems to have made the file size larger, even though the lesson is shorter, so I apologize to those of you with dialup connections.

Typical to the Feldenkrais Method, even though I just told you all about how the general body pattern of flexion (anxiety) is the cause of all sorts of ills of modern society and the human condition, this lesson refines and clarifies our ability to do this thing (that we already do so much of) well. In this way Feldenkrais aimed to be a polite conversational partner: let us talk first about what already preoccupies you. After we have done that for a while, we can talk about something new.