Olivia Cheever

Safe Space

“If I’ve reached a saturation point and want to turn over and fall asleep on the floor in the middle of a lesson, that’s fine. It’s such a fundamental thing that you should not be uncomfortable, that you have a right to stop.” —Ann Guenzel, M.D.

Creating an environment conducive to learning has dimensions beyond just the serenity of the physical space. It requires not only the absence of judgmental pressure in both teacher and student but also the presence of a particular quality of mind — let’s call it detached involvement or mindfulness.

Encouraging students to find their own pace is a basic tenet of this practice. You can’t force change. Since I want my students to take the time to listen to what their bodies are telling them, I practice being responsive myself. My lesson plan changes depending on what’s up for the people in the room at that moment. I “backstitch” class content, so students don’t have to worry about what they’re missing if they’re out. In guiding students, by word or touch, I rely on a kind of educated intuition.

Inviting you to try any movement sequence in at least three different ways is also part of safety. You get to choose what your body prefers to feel like. Even with posture, there is no static “right” answer, like a military stance, but a dynamic model that adapts to meet life circumstances.

Starting each movement sequence with the practice of internal scanning is a bedrock foundation stone. Taking silent time to check where everything is at helps to undo the mindlessness that turns us into walking habits. Accidents happen when we’re unawares. Part of why Feldenkrais works powerfully for people with history of trauma, both physical and emotional, is the giving of permission to feel whatever you actually do feel, without repressing your natural responses.





> Flexible Principles
> Safe Space
> Creative Imagery
> Kind Words






Feldenkrais and Feldenkrais Method are registered service marks of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America.
Bones For Life is a registered service mark of Ruthy Alon, its originator.

Serving the Boston, MA area with classes in Westwood.
Private coaching also in Needham Heights, MA.
Call 617-413-5680, or email ocheever@comcast.net.

© Copyright 2017 Olivia Cheever. All rights reserved.