Olivia Cheever


Commentary

Although Feldenkrais is a self-help model, you learn with the guidance of a Feldenkrais practitioner until you have internalized the principles. A trained eye can see where the flow — what I’ve called the river of movement — starts to stop and show you touch points to get it started. As you process new movements, you let more and more of your body into your consciousness. Waking up the left side, for instance, has downstream effects on the right.

Moshe Feldenkrais wrote hundreds of Awareness Through Movement sequences (called ATMs) of varying complexity and progressive difficulty. They are designed to meet you wherever you’re at and so are accessible to students of all abilities, including those with severe movement restrictions.

Several basic types of movements are:

> “Undifferentiated,” where all parts of the body (head, shoulders, arms, hips, legs) move in the same direction — as in the ‘rolling’ ATM shown, good for loosening up the body as a whole.

> “Differentiated,” shown in ‘triangle arms,’ where some parts move in one direction and others in the opposite — so your torso and knees may turn left but head-shoulders-arms roll right as one piece, opening up the shoulder blades in so doing.

> A ‘constraining’ variant of differentiated movement, as in the ‘sliding palms’ alternative way to loosen shoulder blades — where one side is held stable, encouraging the other side to be more active.

On the ‘separate then combine’ principle, layering in one simple step at a time can wind up accomplishing very complicated movements, just not by straight-line, goal-oriented thinking. ‘Spiraling,’ a move common to both ATM and Bones For Life, stands you up from the floor by moving supportively around your center instead of stressing your back and knees. It is a good example of how this method reaches a goal without straining after it.

 


 

 


> Commentary
> Rolling
> Triangle Arms
> Sliding Palms
> Spiraling from Sitting to Standing

 

 

 


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.
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