Tuesdays, 9:30-10:30 a.m. at Zuzi Move It Dance Studio
738 N. 5th Avenue (Historic Y Bldg)
12 sessions for $160, $15/class or class cards available.
A new Awareness Through Movement session will start in September!
Tuesdays, 9:30-10:30 a.m. at Zuzi Move It Dance Studio
738 N. 5th Avenue (Historic Y Bldg)
12 sessions for $160, $15/class or class cards available.
Tesla Healing Metamorphosis (R) has the intent to bring the frequency of light in the human body into the perfect balance. Any illness, being manifested physically, mentally or emotionally, is a result of an imbalance of the universal life-force within the body which is visible as a frequency of light. Once the balance of the light is re-established, the healing takes place. Healings are very often fast and amazingly transformational. Clients experience disappearance of tumours, cancers, HIV, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, back pain, to the limits where spine and other physical injuries and even birth deformities are reconstructed.
Saturday, Feb. 20, 7-8 pm
LOCATIONCaritas Healing Center
330 E 16th Street
Register by contacting
> Simone at 520.940.5840 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
> Tammy at 520.305.5393 or email@example.com
My good friend Jennifer Pollack responded to my post on using intuition during Feldenkrais sessions with how she uses it teaching PIlates Method.
As I got more and more confident in teaching Pilates, I was able to move away from the disciplined thought pattern of "Right and Wrong". Instead I was able to use my skills as a kinesthetic dancer and learner to sense what a client's body needs as they start to move. Basically I feel in my body what to do next with my Pilates client.
I recognized early on that this ability was similar to dancing in "unison" on stage. This is the ability to dance exactly at the same time as the dancers near you on stage. You start to develop imaginary large antennae to pick up what the group is doing, or what your dance partner is about to do before a big lift.
My original Pilates training gave me a good outline of what to do in a session. This worked well in the beginning years of teaching as I got to follow a given path of progression of exercises. However, as I grew in my previously mentioned confidence I have successfully layered in my dancing experiences which allowed me to break free of the static choices of exercises. I highly respect my original training, yet I absolutely love to layer in what has become natural to me. This newer layer is all about taping into my intuition.
Jennifer Pollack teaches Pilates in Fairfield, CT. She is dedicated to the science and art of the Pilates Method, which she has taught 17 years.
I wrote the following article for the journal In Touch, a journal for Feldenkrais Practitioners.
I’ve always been a feeler rather than a thinker. As a dancer, I’m highly kinesthetic, easily sensing movement patterns in my body, but not always able to logically analyze them.
I remember when I started my Feldenkrais training and we would evaluate the way people walked, I thought “I’m never going to get this.” Fortunately, it was a skill that could be acquired and now, like you, I’m sure, no one escapes my scrutiny.
Still, feeling into movement is my preferred method of evaluation. Perhaps it is just a way of experiencing physics through imagination. Or you can call it intuition. Sometimes the word intuition can throw people, as if it is something too woo-woo, or something they do not have. In actuality, we all have and use our intuition, in life and in Functional Integration. Intuition really is just about picking up information on a subconscious level and using it in your lesson.
Intuition may be experienced as the idea that pops into your head for a lesson, or about a felt sense in your body, or just a curiosity you have about your client. It may be a vision, it may be an emotion, it may simply guide your hands to the next place on your client before you have made a conscious decision to go there.
Studies have proven that intuitive decisions are better than those made with focused, thoughtful minds. Ap Dijksterhuis, a psychologist at Radboud University in the Netherlands, found distraction actually helps us make better decisions. In 2006 Dijksterhuis asked study
subjects to evaluate four models of cars based on 12 variables. He found that only about 25 percent of those who were given uninterrupted time to ponder their choice opted for the best model, compared with 60 percent of people who were asked to make a spontaneous decision after looking over the cars and then performing another task. "While they were focusing on something else, the unconscious mind was processing the information and integrating it into a valid selection," Dijksterhuis explains.
The same thing happens to us when we allow for a lesson to develop spontaneously while we have a Functional Integration conversation with the client.
When I first heard about Dr. Martin Weiner’s work in connecting one nervous system with another to access an intuitive response in Functional Integration I jumped on it. Even though I had not yet graduated from my training, I suggested our region host Dr. Weiner for an
advanced training and helped organize the event. It was exactly what I craved; the Feldenkrais Method interpreted through a language I understood.
As I develop my own practice, I am learning more and more how to access my intuition to best assist my client. One of the things Marty told us was to throw away the plan--to show up and see what happens. I work best if I can close my eyes and really listen into what I’m feeling,
so in fact, I do develop a plan. I check in with my intuition before the client arrives, getting impressions and seeing what lessons pop into my imagination. When I act on those impressions, when I follow that plan, the lessons are always successful. When I second guess myself and try to use my best logic and reason, or pick a more “tried and true” Functional Integration approach. The lessons still work, the Feldenkrais Method is magical that way, but they don’t seem to be quite as momentous.
As you begin to act on intuitive hits, they may not always be correct; however, in acting on them, you begin to refine your understanding. If you never acted upon them, you would never improve. Intuition is much like any muscle--it gets stronger when used.
I want to reaffirm that we all have intuition and we all are already using it in Functional Integration. However, using it consciously, making a point of really listening in and trusting, can make a huge difference. As our job is already to listen, extending your listening to your own gut
response is not too big a leap.
In fact, by acknowledging intuition in our practice, we can consciously intend to bridge science of Feldenkrais with the science of the heart.
We know as practitioners that when we work with a client, we are connecting our nervous system with theirs. Research has documented that the heart itself has a complex nervous system that transmits information, generating practical intuition. In a study by Rollin
McCraty, PhD, Mike Atkinson and William A. Tiller, PhD, titled "The Role of Physiological Coherence in the Detection and Measurement of Cardiac Energy Exchange Between People," researchers found when two people are at a conversational distance, the electromagnetic signal generated by one person’s heart can influence the other person’s brain rhythms. When an individual is generating a coherent heart rhythm, synchronization between that individual’s brainwaves and another person’s heartbeat is more likely to occur.
This study’s findings have intriguing implications, suggesting that individuals in a physiologically coherent state (able to listen with all their senses) become more sensitive to the subtle electromagnetic information encoded in the heart signals of others around them.
Individuals report becoming more aware of deeper and more subtle aspects of the communication that are not contained in the words alone. This is often described as an increased sensitivity and intuitive awareness of the other person’s underlying feelings and the ’essence’ of their communication.
By acknowledging the nervous system of the heart, practical intuition can be integrated into your practice. I have found paying attention to practical intuition increases results, expands my understanding (of the Feldenkrais Method) and revives my practice, increasing my sense of fulfillment as a practitioner.
Although this article is about using intuitive guidance for Functional Integration, we certainly use it in teaching Awareness Through Movement, as well. How you choose your timing--when to move on and when to rest, when to repeat a sequence, when to break things down, is a matter of sensing the students in the room and using that information.
Another way is just to go wherever you are drawn while you work with your client. I think most of us naturally use this method at some point during every lesson. Again, I think it is important not to curb the direction you are led, even if it does not make sense logically. Often, I find I am drawn to work with a certain movement movement function and I do not understand how it relates to the lesson until the entire pattern is complete. For example, I am drawn to work with a client’s hands and discover an entry point for accessing the ribs, or I suddenly see how the palate of the mouth relates to a diaphragm and pelvic floor lesson.
When I was in my training, Elizabeth Beringer said she had long since let go of the idea that there is one perfect lesson for a client. I was profoundly relieved to hear I was off the hook in that way and in fact, have come to understand the method stands on its own no matter what lesson we choose. And yet, what if there was a perfect lesson for that person on that day and all we I have to do is listen in to my guidance to choose it?
I would love to hear about how you use intuition, or any special experiences you have had when you have used it. My email is tucsonfeldenkrais @ gmail.com
I was invited to speak to a group of ballet students in a summer "Ballet Boot Camp" recently. I decided to give them an Awareness Through Movement(R) lesson for improving their flexibility in the classic straddle stretch (sitting on the floor with the legs spread wide). It was a great pleasure to watch this group of teenagers, many of whom believed they simply weren't flexible enough and never would be, improve in small increments throughout the lesson. Afterward, I gave them a brief discussion on stretching.
One of the main principles of the Feldenkrais Method(R) is to use the entire skeleton to support an action. Although it may seem strange, this includes a stretch. Awareness Through Movement or Functional integration (R) lessons subtly communicate with the nervous system to make connections with other parts to gain support. For example, showing the nervous system how the legs can use the pelvis for support could allow the hamstrings to lengthen and allow for higher battements (kicks).
Another principle is to help the nervous system differentiate between the various parts. Often, when one muscle moves, others contract as well, to support the action. Dr. Feldenkrais called this "parasitic contractions." In this case, moving the other parts around the stretched muscle can help it to release more. For example, if you were in a forward lunge to stretch your psoas muscle, you could make tiny circles with your back heel or very subtly tuck and release the pelvis while in the stretch and you will find you will easily deepen the stretch.
Static stretches are the least effective way to lengthen your muscles. The traditional manner of going to your limit and holding there only helps to set that point as your maximum stretch for your nervous system. Instead, add tiny movements to any and all of your stretches. If you are stretching your calf muscle, play with lightly moving your ankle around while in the stretch or wiggling your toes. If you are stretching your shoulders, turn your head from side to side, rotate your wrists or bend from side to side.
If there is a particular stretch you'd like to improve, ask your Feldenkrais practitioner if he or she can teach you and ATM that would help you to improve that area.
There is a published study on how Awareness Through Movement lessons can lengthen the hamstrings.
I've been thinking a lot about how to interest people in Awareness Through Movement classes. I've had better results with my themed workshops-- holding a series of classes around a single topic, like "back pain" or "hip flexibility" and yet I find this to be limiting. I don't believe people should only take an Awareness Through Movement class when they're in pain and need relief. I believe Awareness Through Movement has benefits that go beyond moving out of pain. So why would you choose an Awareness Through Movement class as your activity? What benefits does it hold beyond the theme of the lesson?
Remove Outside Authority from your Inner Life
Awareness Through Movement asks you to listen to your whole self-- you become skilled and feeling where there is unnecessary tension or restriction. And the more you listen to the feedback your body provides, the better you will be able to to follow your body's lead in all activities in your life. You may find you don't want to push as hard as you usually do in yoga class, or you may find you feel more confident to "go for it" on your run. The important thing is that you will know the answer for yourself, without relying on a teacher or trainer to make a decision for you. Moshe Feldenkrais said "The object of this learning is to remove outside authority from your inner life." This is an enormous gift you can give yourself by taking Awareness Through Movement class.
Reduce the Noise in Your System
Awareness Through Movement releases chronic contractions that don't serve your movement. Feldenkrais called it "parasitic action". Like any parasite, it takes a toll on you. It may not be causing you direct pain, but it's a noise in your system. It keeps your movement from being fully functional or clean. We all have them in all parts of our movement. My focus recently has been to allow my tongue to be soft in my mouth. Apparently, It thinks it should work hard, pressing itself to the roof of my mouth at all times. The first time I released this contraction was in an Awareness Through Movement class here in Tucson with Bonnie Angelie. As my tongue relaxed it felt so thick in my mouth that I felt I would choke! Now, more and more often when I am able to let it rest and be easy I have the feeling of "home". Of "this is the real me". Not the one that is striving hard to be something else, but the true, authentic me. And that, to me, is an enormous gift. As you release the "noise" in your system, you will find yourself more grounded, less stressed or anxious and more at home in your body.
Last week I traveled up to Phoenix to teach a workshop for a group of dance majors at Grand Canyon University. It was an excellent learning opportunity for me-- I'd forgotten how, like these enthustiastic movers, I used to be impatient with slow body awareness exercises too. I could've gone in with a big movement theme (like headstands, for example)-- something to challenge them and keep their interest, but instead I opted for making ankle/knee/hip connections. It turned out to be a hard sell. I found I needed to explain a lot about WHY we were doing what we were doing, to keep it a bit more goal oriented.
What I hope they discovered was that their attention to their movement does matter. Simple awareness can make huge differences.
After four delicious years of Feldenkrais training, I am now a practitioner. I am getting set up with classes at the DanceLoft, the University of Arizona Campus Recreation and Bodyworks Pilates Studio.
As a new practitioner, my goal is to get my hands on as many different people as possible, so I'm opening a "low fee community clinic" during the times when my two year old is at preschool. For only $25/lesson, people can receive the benefits of a Functional Integration lesson for greater comfort and ease of motion.
I am also available for afternoon appointments and appointments at the client's site, as well.
Tammy Rosen Wilbur is a dance teacher, choreographer, mother of two young movers, and an enthusiastic Feldenkrais Practitioner!