This feeling of the spine lengthening accompanies most actions of the body when they are properly carried out.
– Moshe Feldenkrais, Awareness Through Movement
In August our weekly class returns to a favorite Feldenkrais topic of mine: how to find and take advantage of our full length and height. Unlike our animal friends we function best standing upright and tall, enjoying all the freedom of movement made possible by our vertical spine and bones. Ideally our lithe, well-organized skeleton carries most of our bodyweight far from the ground nearly effortlessly.
Of course our day to day experience of uprightness often lacks this kind of grace and ease. Stress, physical and emotional injuries, and the demands of modern life build habits that make it hard to claim all the benefits of our bipedal birthright.
Each of August’s five lessons will leverage the Feldenkrais Method’s unique approach to learning, teaching us detailed sensations and images of lengthening and easier uprightness, so simple pleasures can attract us to new behavior and better habits.
As usual most of our lesson time will be on the mat. When we’re lying down the neurological patterns that govern our uprightness and length are more malleable because we’re not afraid of falling. We’ll also spend some time standing and chair-seated, connecting to the support surface to find a sense of well-organized bones, simultaneously grounded and stacked elegantly skyward.
These “Long, Tall, & Graceful” lessons often lead to improvements in posture, balance, breathing, ease of movement, and even mental clarity and creativity as much of the work of uprightness is transferred from muscles to bones, leaving our minds freer.
Those following through from Nick’s May and June walking lessons or July’s “Core & Floor” course taught by Deborah Bowes will find many connections.
As always each week’s Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lesson is designed as a standalone experience, but threads of learning will flow throughout the month’s five lessons. Explore these lessons in sequence to enrich your self-discovery process!
See you on the mat,
PS – Join us on Zoom if you can: live participants have the added benefit of unrecorded Q&A and discussion after class.