By Bette Stephens, P.T., G.C.F.P.
“Harmonious efficient movement prevents wear and tear. More important, however, is what it does to the image of ourselves and our relationship to the world around us.” (Moshe Feldenkrais)
What is Awareness Through Movement?
Welcome to increasing your AWARENESS through Movement from “The Feldenkrais Method”. I’d like to tell you a little bit about my classes offered through 5 Koshas Yoga & Wellness in Wausau, WI. Each lesson begins with very easy movements, that you are instructed to do gently, slowly, and repetitively. As the lesson progresses, interesting, non-habitual variations are weaved in; at this point, it is very helpful to engage your curiosity as you listen to your body following the instructions.
“Learning happens when the brain is confused, out of its habit and then learning can happen.” (Ruthy Alon)
Guided scans are led in the beginning to enable you to learn more about some of your habitual patterns; later scans allow you to acknowledge changes that are happening throughout the lesson. The scanning supports your learning process and allows you to adjust the way you are interpreting the instructions.
I remind you to treat yourself with complete self-respect: “do less than you could”, and to “feel, not strain”. And, when you feel the pleasure of the gains, you’re encouraged to enjoy them and accept them as benefits to your learning experience; this AWARENESS leads to neurological responses, that gradually provide lasting effects or “neuroplasticity”, benefits that you can “keep” or at least, quickly regain.
There are a wide-range of lessons, but, you will find they all benefit your breathing and ability to be in the moment (a kind of “Movement Meditation”); your neuromuscular system relaxes, allowing tight muscles to let go of holding and regain their more normal length; coordination of body parts are reawakened with a sense that your skeleton and muscles are more organized when you stand up, with a more stable base, a feeling of lengthening upright and opening of your upper chest, all leading to lighter, easier movements in your life activities:
“The lessons are designed to improve ability, that is to expand the boundaries of the possible: to turn the impossible into the possible, the difficult into the easy, and the easy into the pleasant. For only those activities that are easy and pleasant will become part of (your) habitual life and will serve (you) at all times.” (Moshe Feldenkrais)
There are many benefits to a wide spectrum of people, the only requirements are an ability to listen with curiosity and an openness to new possibilities. “The Possibilities are Endless”, words I often heard and embodied with Gaby Yaron; thankfully, she was my trainer in the early 1990’s. If you have never experienced “ATM” lessons, you do have that opportunity through “5 Koshas Yoga and Wellness”. And, if you have done “ATM” lessons, previously, wouldn’t you like to do more?
Bette Stephens, P.T., G.C.F.P., teaches Awareness Through Movement Classes at 5 Koshas Yoga & Wellness in Wausau, WI. You can find her class schedule at https://www.5koshasyoga.com/yoga/class-schedule/.