Updates from the Feldenkrais Project and Twin Cities Feldenkrais during the pandemic
July 1, 2021 update: My efforts to share Feldenkrais online as generously and widely as possible continue as our household of six navigates the new opportunities and uncertainties of this summer. For now I’m not updating this page regularly, but if the pandemic again changes things for The Feldenkrais Project I’ll let you know here. -Nick
The info below is current to May 21, 2021. My family and I are safe and healthy and all of us over 12 are vaccinated. Summary and newest info are in bold.
A listener comment from Aliza Nizet on our free introductory lesson collection, Getting Oriented, as quarantine began:
I’m a Pilates teacher and I did Lesson 1 of Getting Oriented today on March 16, 2020 – the first day I am not teaching myself because of an effort to protect my family and community from COVID-19 and the first day both of my young daughters are home from school. I have been following the Feldenkrais Project since last fall and know that it is a powerful place for me to find a sense of calm and grounding. Thank you, Nick, not just for making this amazing method widely available but also for your gifts as a teacher, to invite us all in with such ease and grace and clarity. I’ll be sharing the Feldenkrais Project with all my students as a resource to rely upon as they navigate the challenging times ahead.
A note from Nick Strauss-Klein, creator and voice of The Feldenkrais Project:
Since the pandemic began I’ve been regularly receiving notes like the one above both from our Feldenkrais Project audio collection listeners and participants in my quarantine-inspired weekly online public Zoom classes. I’ve learned from these emails and comments that it’s essential right now to keep working vigorously toward our vision of spreading the life-changing benefits of Feldenkrais study as widely as possible, with the help of all our listeners and the generous donors who make this website possible. Please help us share our amazing FREE and Pay-What-You-Can resources!
Now and always, our 52 public audio lesson recordings are available anytime, to anyone with an internet connection, with no paywall or password. Our web traffic doubled when quarantine began in March 2020 and has remained high since. I’m overjoyed that home Feldenkrais study is a balm to so many right now. Through the Feldenkrais Project (the FP) and Twin Cities Feldenkrais, LLC (TCF) I’m doing my best to offer the grounding, calming, life-affirming support of as many online study opportunities as I can create!
Thanks for your understanding and patience while I run the FP and continue to add content to it, teach the weekly TCF Zoom classes, and do my part as a husband and father of four children (ages 5-15) to maintain a happy home and support my wife’s essential work as a clergy person. Our big three kids remain home in “digital academy” for school. On the advice of my favorite source of straight talk about COVID-19 (The Osterholm Update) our pre-schooler is in school and we are watching the situation closely. I haven’t yet returned to in-person TCF work but I’m starting to look at the possibilities for later this year. They’ll depend on the Covid situation and availability of childcare or in-person school for our kids.
In response to many requests from Zoom students and because of the popularity of my pandemic-inspired weekly Zoom class I plan to continue it even when I return to teaching in person.
FP listeners know how passionate I am about learning, adapting, making the world a better place, and communicating clearly and openly. I’ll keep this page updated as the situation changes.
Here are topics and summaries for what’s below. Use the headings if you’d like more details. You’ll also find at the bottom more testimonials about what the FP recordings and TCF live video classes mean to our web visitors during the pandemic.
- For all listeners: some inspiring statistics. In short, the FP is free to use, available 24/7, and more valued during Covid-19 than ever before.
- Info for FP donors: Thank you for your support! It is critical right now. All our donor benefits are continuing as usual, and we’ve enjoyed three new benefits inspired by quarantine: recordings are available for four donor “thank you” Zoom classes with Q&A discussions, we’ve enabled more lesson downloads, and we launched three new Deep Dives in 2020.
- Info for renewing or prospective FP donors: Like what we’re doing and want to help out? Thank you! Due to global economic instability we’re extending our best donation/benefits rates indefinitely.
- About Pay-What-You-Can live video classes: My in-person teaching has been halted by the pandemic, so I’m offering additional online Feldenkrais study in the form of weekly live Zoom classes and their recordings.
The world changed just as we celebrated our website’s first birthday in March 2020. Here’s a few statistics from our second birthday celebration about how we’re delivering high quality Feldenkrais study globally:
- From March 2019 to March 2020 we had 23,000 visitors. In our second year we had 46,000 unique visitors, a 100% increase.
- In our second year users loaded 122,000 lesson pages!
- About half our visitors are in the USA, the rest are from all over the world. The UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, and Israel are numbers two through six.
- We’re welcoming a lot of new Felden-fans! Getting Oriented, our collection of short lessons and talks introducing Feldenkrais study, is our most popular series of lessons.
- Our online community is engaged: our site has hundreds of user comments. Listener comments, emails, mailing list subscribes, and Facebook likes all significantly increased when the pandemic began, and this trend continues.
- Our Find a Teacher page had almost 1500 views in its first year, and trended about the same in 2020, despite the fact that most live teaching remains closed due to Covid. We’re generating interest in Feldenkrais Practitioners and classes worldwide, which is part of our vision!
It is amazing, humbling, and inspiring to me as I look at the data and read so many spontaneous testimonials from our users. During this period of social distancing I am continuing all my normal FP activity by putting my limited work hours into sustaining and improving our lesson resource and website, marketing our free resources and pay-what-you-can Zoom classes as widely as possible, and delivering all our donor benefits. We’ve actually added three additional donor benefits during quarantine (see below).
For Feldenkrais Project donors:
First and foremost, on behalf of our worldwide community of thousands of listeners, and my family and I, thank you for your support! The Feldenkrais Project’s 52 free audio lesson recordings, though obviously not designed for a world in various states of lockdown, have nevertheless emerged as an ideal resource for many people who are struggling. This ongoing collaborative effort (which we so intentionally named a “Project”) is more important than ever before. We are 100% funded by your donations! Have you noticed we don’t have any ads on our site? I am deeply grateful for what our freewill funding model has enabled us to offer the world during this time, and proud of the donor benefits we are able to offer you.
The coronavirus has created a financial crisis in addition to a health crisis, and I know your financial situation may be changing. We make it as easy as possible to start and stop recurring donation support for the FP any time. As always, I ask donors to think of contributions to the FP like movements of a Feldenkrais lesson: please don’t do anything that creates strain.
We’ve recently added Send-a-Check and Venmo options to our Simple Donation method (no login to remember, no benefits). It was previously just PayPal.
If you have a question about donation or benefits, or want to do it differently than my usual options during this unusual time, please contact me.
On a personal note, I am profoundly grateful for your support of the FP. When I voluntarily ended all in-person teaching on March 13, 2020, I gave up much of my income, most notably the major portion provided by my one-to-one, hands-on Feldenkrais Functional Integration lessons. My family and I are blessed that during quarantine my work has segued successfully online, and hours that I’ve put into the FP and my weekly Zoom classes are providing an income. If your donations aren’t a strain and you choose to continue them, please know that they are directly supporting our family, and not taken for granted.
In gratitude to our donors, I’ve offered donors-only Zoom meetups for live video lessons and Q&A discussion when I can, including our March 4, 2021 birthday event. Feldenkrais Project Members and Patrons can access the four previous recordings here:
We also enabled more lesson downloads for Members and Patrons in 2020:
Finally I organized some of my favorite recent teaching into Deep Dives. Patron-level donors get full access, but one is free to all:
If you’re thinking about renewing donation, or donating to the FP:
Thank you! I have extended indefinitely our first birthday celebration offer to receive our best donor benefits at our launch year rates. FP Patron-level donors receive at least 16 new lesson recordings per year and other awesome benefits. You can become a Patron by donating $18 monthly, or donate quarterly for effectively $15/month, or make a yearly contribution to receive Patron benefits for $12.50/month!
The benefits for Members are great, too: you can download all the lessons in our primary collections (52 currently), and enjoy our full lesson notes and advanced lesson search, including cross-references so you can pursue a personalized line of study. There’s also our new benefit, the donor “thank you” event recordings mentioned above. Finally there’s our advanced search and sort page, which makes it easy to find exactly the lesson you’re looking for, any time. You can join the FP as a Member for as little as $3/month.
About Pay-What-You-Can (PWYC) TCF Live Video Classes:
My quarantine-inspired efforts to teach my previously in-person Twin Cities Feldenkrais (TCF) classes online are separate from the FP lessons and donor benefits that comprise most of this website.
For clarity I normally keep the FP and TCF separate, but since all my teaching is online nowadays (and time is so tight in my household) I’ve consolidated my efforts here at FeldenkraisProject.com during quarantine.
It’s amazing to be together in shared time and intention as I lead Feldenkrais lessons by videoconference! My regular in-person students and I are happy to welcome you to our virtual classroom. The testimonials have been amazing, and here’s a free sample recording of a live video class. It’s a mini-workshop I offered on March 16, 2020 called Organizing Your Feet for Balance, Posture, and Power.
I’m using a pay-what-you-can model for live video Zoom classes, and you’ll receive a recording whether you attend live or not. You can learn about Zoom, see what classes are upcoming, and buy recordings of past lessons here:
To make the world a better place and keep our now global online classes rooted in our local community, we donate 10% of gross proceeds for these classes to local (Twin Cities, Minnesota) charity working toward pandemic relief for families in need, an organization seeking to address issues of racial injustice and inequality in our state, and national charities working toward protecting our democracy and depolarizing our politics. We’ve recently added a charity that supports the global vaccination effort, too. Here’s the list of organizations we’ve supported so far:
- COVAX, through Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance
- welovestpaul.org (temporary site that funded cleanup after looting)
Early in the pandemic, in March, April, and May, 2020 we donated only to our family’s favorite charity, Neighborhood House. It’s a local Twin Cities food shelf and community support center with amazing mission, vision, and values. I received this note back:
Neighborhood House has been helping families gain social and economic well-being for more than 120 years. We are grateful to Twin Cities Feldenkrais for contributing 10% of revenue from their live online classes to Neighborhood House. These contributions allow us to help families with basic needs when they are in crisis and to provide educational opportunities for the entire family. Learn more at neighb.org. Thank you!