Understanding Feldenkrais Training
It's Helena here, just finished my morning play session with Max—my stubborn but playful Jack Russell, while my parakeet, Snowy sung melodies in the backdrop—ready to share some fascinating stuff about my new undertakings. And no, this time it’s not about puppy training or bird whispering, but about Feldenkrais training! What, you ask? Well, Feldenkrais, my friends, is a holistic approach to health that beautifully blends neuroscience, martial arts, mechanics, and human psychology.
This method, named after its founder, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, is a form of somatic education that uses gentle movement and directed attention towards improved function, reduced pain, and increased ease and range of motion. The beauty of Feldenkrais method often lies in its simplicity, and the almost eerie way it works to heal your body, considering how unassuming it is. You’ll find nary a shred of spandex or neon here – just cool, calming movements that soothe the mind and the body. Yes, it doesn't sound like much, but it is revolutionary!
How Does Feldenkrais Training Work?
The Feldenkrais method works by teaching us to identify our harmful patterns of movement or posture. We all get so used to these harmful habits that they feel completely normal, even when they are causing damage. Feldenkrais training helps bring these patterns into the light, enabling us to amend them. The practice, in reality, isn’t about doing exercises or techniques; rather it's about learning to pay more mind to your body and becoming aware of what it requires.
As an example from my personal life, I used to have this nagging backache which I just pushed aside as 'part of adulthood'. It wasn’t until I learnt about Feldenkrais method that I realised my discomfort had less to do with ageing and more to do with my horrible sitting posture. Some Feldenkrais lessons later, not only am I aware of my poor posture but am also actively amending it. I'm making a conscious effort to not hunch over my computer—like a conspiring witch, my son calls it—and I can see the difference! Backache is less frequent!
Benefits of Trying Feldenkrais Training
Now that we've established what Feldenkrais is and how it works, let’s move on to why you should give it a try. Well, for starters, it’s excellent for everyone—children, adults, seniors, fitness buffs, couch potatoes...equally beneficial. Right from enhancing flexibility, improving posture, reducing stress, or increasing efficiency of movements, Feldenkrais offers a gamut of benefits.
Moreover, Feldenkrais doesn't demand you to be a yoga expert or an acrobat. Max—a little doggy yoga sweetheart in his own right—was certainly disappointed when he realised his mummy won’t be doing any amusing twisty poses. But believe me, as much as I love watching Max do his Downward-facing Dog, I appreciate the gentleness and simplicity of Feldenkrais. Remember, it's not a contest of flexibility but a mindful process of understanding your own body better.
Getting Started With Feldenkrais
If you have made it this far into my article, I am hopeful that I have piqued your interest enough to want to give Feldenkrais a try. But how do you start? Do you need some fancy equipment or an expensive gym membership? Of course not! All you need is a comfortable space where you can move without restrictions. Your living room, bedroom, or even your garden are all perfectly good options. You can either opt for individual sessions called Functional Integration or group classes known as Awareness Through Movement—both aimed at self-discovery and self-improvement.
And remember one thing—there's no right or wrong in Feldenkrais. So, don't stress if you don't get it all in the first go. It’s perfectly okay to take time to understand and work through the movements. Like my Snowy who took forever to start speaking and now never stops, things will take their own time and suddenly you’ll be amazed at your progress.
Feldenkrais for Daily Life
The beauty of Feldenkrais is that it’s not just a practice you can squeeze into your workout routine—it’s a life change. Once you've started noticing your patterns of movement, your day-to-day activities will begin to change. You'll find yourself sitting, standing, and moving better. It's not about perfecting a pose, but about reducing pains and strains and making life more comfortable.
One day, during my early Feldenkrais days, Max decided to join my session and got all tangled in my legs and arms. This would have annoyed me otherwise, but surprisingly this time, it resulted in a hearty laughter—Max running across the room with this 'what happened' look and Snowy joining in with a mad chorus of chirps. Feldenkrais training is not just for your fitness, it definitely brings a lot of fun too!
A Journey Towards Holistic Health
The Feldenkrais method is more than just a fitness regimen; it's a journey towards understanding your body better and making choices that benefit your health in a holistic manner. Yes! You just discovered another path to wellness and it’s as easy as falling off a log, or to be more apt—moving naturally like a baby does. So, my dear readers, I strongly urge you to embark on this beautiful journey of self-discovery and feel the magic of Feldenkrais unfolding within you!
As Max and Snowy continue to be my unwitting physical therapy comrades, I hope I've shared a good deal of knowledge about Feldenkrais Training. Don’t stress, don't rush, just step into it gently, just as you would in a calm, still pool, and let the weight of your worries wash away. Okay, now I'm off to another learning session with my Feldenkrais trainer. Hopefully, this time, Max won't feel the need to demonstrate his Dog Pose on me!