Physical (Re)Education

Physical (Re)Education
Physical (Re)Education
There are two approaches to learning the Feldenkrais Method. During "awareness through movement" classes, you're verbally guided through simple sequences and encouraged to pay attention to habitual motions. "We may begin by having you lie on the floor and come up to standing, for example," says Haller. "We ask you to notice how you're lying, how you're being supported by the floor, where your shoulders are placed. Then, after you stand, we ask, 'How did you make that movement?'" The standing action may be repeated over and over, refined each time with suggestions for slight variations. In this way, you learn to integrate healthier movement patterns.

Instructors also offer a one-on-one technique called "functional integration," where they use touch and guidance according to individual need.

In either case, teachers don't use themselves as examples. "The important work is done by you, paying attention to your own body and learning," says Haller. "It helps people discover capabilities they never knew they had."

Such discoveries can yield rewards that go beyond the physical. "When you learn to move in a different way, without inhibitions or limitations, you create a more positive self-image," Cohen says. "And that can initiate a transformation."