(This post will be one of many to come that will fit into the “All Things Feldenkrais: The Amherst Diaries” feature which you see on the right side of the page. Here you will find writings, ideas, practical application, video, audio and ‘all things Feldenkrais’. Moshe Feldenkrais’ theories and principles I use when working with clients and teaching groups.)
For those reading this who ARE NOT my Feldenkrais colleagues, or who have NO CLUE what Feldenkrais is, sit tight. Don’t cancel your subscription.
In time I will post more pieces that will slowly unravel – simply of course – the complexity and beauty of Feldenkrais.
First and foremost, Feldenkrais was a person
To give you a quick bit of information, Feldenkrais was a human being. Moshe Feldenkrais was the name and he lived from 1904 to 1984. He was a man of many things. For a brief bio (if you can’t wait for mine) you can read about him HERE.
Feldenkrais’ theories, principles (and practice) are a very big part of what I do in my private practice. You can read a bit about those I have worked with HERE.
These two little video clips are taken at a Feldenkrais advanced training
The instructor, Jeff Haller, is demonstrating the difference between having your hands pointed in a forward (first clip) and then backward (second clip) position. This subtle difference, often overlooked when teaching Feldenkrais lessons that require the support of the hands behind you, can make a HUGE difference in the movement potential of the entire body. You must actually watch the two clips to see the difference. Pay particular attention to the movement of the pelvis and ribs and shoulder girdle. It is clear that Ethan (our brave subject) has much more fluidity in the first (forward) clip.
A little bit of Feldenkrais History. (or, how would a ninja sit?)
He was a martial arts expert. Which means that he really understood human survival and positioning yourself such that you could escape and move at any moment and with the least amount of preparation or hesitation. Try this. If you sit with your fingers pointing backwards and had to do a roll backwards, or simply lay back, you’d have to shift the position of your hands. Now, imagine yourself as a ninja. If your life depended on moving back quickly, a need to do a simple change in hand position would leave you, um, like burnt toast. Dead. BUT, if you were to sit with your fingers pointing forwards, then BOOM, you can roll back with no need to change your hand position. You Live. Try it, you’ll see!
Of course you may say, “but I don’t need to fight off ninja’s on a daily basis.”
But, you never know when you might.