This post contains how-to info for everyone, plus journal templates for Feldenkrais Project donors.
As to the idea of a journal: I felt a need to have one after I joined the Feldenkrais Project. I do a lesson, then write in a notebook the date, name of the lesson, and a comment. The comment can relate to how I feel, what to pay attention to, maybe a detail to remind me more clearly of the lesson.
– Niva, Feldenkrais Project Patron
Like all potent learning methods, Feldenkrais study often takes us in surprising directions. Organic human learning is a wonderfully messy non-linear process, and keeping a journal is a great way to identify trends and track progress. A Feldenkrais journal gives many Felden-fans a place to write down questions, mark breakthroughs, and dive in more deeply.
Journaling can be simpler, too: just making note of a lesson’s title and where to find it makes it easier to return to your favorites in the future. Hint: copying web links is a great way to keep track of Feldenkrais Project audio lessons since they each have their own permanent web address.
Earlier this year I had a spontaneous conversation with donors about Feldenkrais journals during our quarterly Feldenkrais Project update for Patrons. When we finished, they were excited to coordinate to offer something simple and awesome to the whole Feldenkrais Project community: they wanted to share their enthusiasm, ideas, and examples from their journals. In the days after the call a handful of emails appeared in my inbox.
(Patron-level donors can view the January 2021 Zoom update here.)
What to write about
Like Niva above, many Felden-fans described keeping journals to remember lessons, and to track what was especially valuable to them. Others get a sense of accomplishment from writing down the lessons they’ve done, and the journaling process is in part a reminder to “get on the mat” with Feldenkrais regularly.
One person reported “mostly just writing down the ‘a-ha!’ moments.” Another wrote that she makes a note if a lesson was particularly soporific so she can try it again at the right time of day – either to aid or avoid sleeping! Or if she explored a lesson in a way that exacerbated a familiar pain she makes a note to be in her best self-care headspace when she tries it again. Brilliant!
Many listeners also make note of lingering questions, and ideas about what they may want to study next. One wrote that she writes down who in her life she wants to recommend the lesson to! Some make notes about the movements of the lesson to use for later ATM improvisation and mental practice.
What kind of journal?
While some Felden-fans prefer a good old-fashioned physical journal, several donors and I agreed that it’s great to keep an electronic journal in the cloud on a service like Google Docs or MS One Note. Some of us even add the newest entries on top. This way whenever I have a Felden-thought it takes me only a few seconds to type it into my journal on whatever device is at hand. Once in a while I’ll even jot an entry on my phone while I’m still lying on the floor after a lesson – though it’s usually best to stand up and enter post-lesson life in a non-electronic way!
An electronic journal also allows you to easily search it by date, teacher/source, or keyword. Several listeners who emailed me even keep their journal in spreadsheet form so they can organize and sort their notes rapidly.
Do you journal about your Feldenkrais studies? Or would you like to start? In the comments section below you’ll find sample entries from listeners who’ve reached out to share their journals. Take a peek, and then hit reply to add your own ideas about journaling, your experience with starting, or sample entries from your journal. This way we can build a valuable new resource for all Felden-fans!
BONUS for Feldenkrais Project donors:
We’ve created digital Feldenkrais journal templates as a little extra “thank you” to our Members and Patrons. They’re in Google Docs, Sheets, and printable PDF formats. There are blank versions ready for your entries, and ones with examples to help you get started.
Journal Templates for Members and Patrons
Here are a few sample entries. Some are based on descriptions of journaling from listeners, some based on actual entries listeners sent. Please leave a reply with your own thoughts about keeping a Feldenkrais journal, or to share journal entry examples!
12/21/20 The Buttocks, free at Feldenkrais Project. It’s the funny “clenching” one. Really nice! Could feel the difference in groin area left and right, and left side tightness seems to contribute to the issues in my hips. Nice notion about the power of the glut in walking.
12/14/2020 Easing the Jaw, Neck, and Shoulders, free at Feldenkrais Project. Supine, really quiet. Great before bed – really helped me sleep! Last time I remember overdoing it, but this time was easier. Try some of the jaw movements while going to sleep.
11/30/20 The Lamprey, Sheryl Field Fundamentals. Entirely in the plane of the floor! Fantastic! Great in right shoulder and shoulder blade able to lie more flat this time than last w/out pain.
8/27/20 Did Rolling and Hips Like a Baby in the Patrons collection. Very useful for lower back. Look at related lessons and try the one he did for a subsequent class.
8/25/20 Wow. It’s been a while. Did the short jaw practice under patrons only. Very relaxing.