Verbally Guided Movement Experiences
Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lessons are a series of verbally guided, gentle, slow, organized movements combined with attention.
These lessons fundamentally change your movement habits. Dr. Feldenkrais had the brilliant insight that if we use developmental learning strategies as adults, we can effectively change the way we move at a neurological level.
Feldenkrais understood that most of our movement habits are outside our conscious awareness. Meaning we do them, but we don't know how we do them. Feldenkrais lessons bring into awareness the how of our movement. When we become aware of our habits in the exercise, we explore variations that introduce new ways of moving that are more harmonious with your intentions. Meaning you can do more of what you want to do with greater ease and purpose.
This translates into improved balance, more comfortable movement, less pain, more flexibility, better reaction time, enhanced awareness, reduced stress, and more fluid movements.
And the secondary benefits are feeling more confident, comfortable, congruent about what you are doing, and a better outlook on life.
It's a brilliant way to bring about change!
“Al is amazingly good at guiding you into states of ease, clarity, comfort, and freedom of movement that may have been constrained by years of habitual patterns. His methods are therapeutic and effective. You can feel the difference and it feels good.”
Dave DiRito, M.A.
“In my thirty-plus years as an educator, I never taught or mentored a teacher as dedicated or effective as Al. Al’s level of mastery translates to a happy, healthy, active, life long learner of seventy-seven years that attempts to attend a class taught by Al every week. Thank you, Al, for the joy that you bring to my life.
Jean Rice / Retired Teacher
“I’m feeling differences in all my everyday movements like getting up and down off the couch and moving in the kitchen getting dinner. I was looking for a little relief; I didn’t know I would get a transformation.”
Lea Murray / Longmont, CO
What Happens in a Feldenkrais Lesson?
Most lessons are done lying or sitting on the floor. Some are done in chairs, and others are done standing. The lessons were initially conceived by Dr. Feldenkrais to be done in-person in a group setting. Since COVID, though, many classes have moved online.
First, if working at home, you need to set up a place to do your lessons. Typically you have a mat or blanket on the floor on which you lie. (See 'Preparing Your Space.')
Most ATMs begin with a scan. That is where your attention is guided to sense how parts of yourself related to the floor. It has two purposes. One is to turn your attention inward in preparation for the lesson. And two, it gives you a baseline to which you can compare as you progress through the exercise.
Then we get into the lesson, which usually takes 30 - 60 minutes to complete. When you do exercise, follow these basic guidelines:
Post Scan & Integration
At the end of the experience, we usually do another scan so you can feel the effects. Take some time afterward to integrate the lesson. If possible, take a walk. Don't jump into something effortful right away. Try to keep your attention fresh and notice the differences in your movements.
Watch this Excellent Video on What Happens in Feldenkrais Class
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