I took this short video at the start of a 3-hour workshop I was teaching in Vancouver titled “Ditch Those Orthotics“.
As with most Feldenkrais-based teachings you start with self-inquiry and the act of simply noticing what you do.
- What are the discrepancies to your right or left when you move?
- How much contact do you experience between you and the ground?
- Do you hold your breath when you move?
All the while, I encourage you to resist the urge to change things at the beginning.
Linger in the habit.
Sense what you do.
This ability to simply notice what you do first – at the start of these classes – is critical for changes to be noticed within the exercises and movements. This preliminary lingering and sensing is the gateway to being able to shift and change not just your movement, but also your thoughts and actions for the better.
Many of my students, when they are new at this whole “linger in the habit” and “sensing” game, are completely perplexed when they are not told what to do.
This skill of being able to take it upon themselves, the exploration of their actions, how they relate to the ground under them, and most importantly how they relate to themselves when a challenging and/or foreign movement is given, is just as foreign as the new movement they’ve been presented with.
For some it creates joy and a “wow I’ve been waiting for this my entire life” factor.
For others it breeds utter anxiety.
But here’s the thing, without taking the time to actually be curious while paying attention to what you do, and make friends with your habit, it becomes hard to successfully change it into something different, potentially easier and something that might actually propel you forward in your evolution.
Self-awareness that is grown through curiosity, as opposed to the sought after theme of perfection, goes much further when it comes to making changes that last.
A BIG P.S. if you are still wondering what this has to do with the video above, be sure to watch the video. For those who have never attended one of my classes or are unfamiliar with the principles of the Feldenkrais work I teach, the actual positive physical changes that occur throughout a class or workshop (e..g., less pain, greater flexibility, better performance, movement ability etc.) are a very welcomed by-product of the real work going on (i.e., gaining greater self-awareness of how you relate to yourself and the world when you are encountered with challenging and new situations.).
It’s all very tricky, amazing, simple and complex!