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Monday, March 19, 2018

Pain free, easy gardening this year, with Feldenkrais

Try these Feldenkrais secrets to avoid injury in the garden

MARCH 1, 2018

With gardening season right around the corner, now is the time to get your posture in order.
Gorgeous, ripe, mouthwatering tomatoes, multicolored squash, cucumbers, beans, corn, glorious greens, fragrant herbs, and best of all, no pesticides! Instead, I grow flowers and companion plants to keep pests away and attract friendly bugs and fungi.
I ADORE my garden! Even with our short growing season in Northern Nevada, the primal desire to garden overwhelms meIt kicks me out of winter doldrums and catapults me into a vision of future garden bounty strong enough to make me start planning the hard work that is the backbone of every garden.
And it IS hard work. Backbreaking, blister-making, muscle-straining work, which I do willingly, sometimes lovingly — the bending, lifting, pulling, digging, raking, hoeing hard work. However, this year I have a plan to work more intelligently and avoid garden-related injuries, large and small. How, you ask? Read on.
Generally, gardening injuries happen for two reasons: (1) We don’t pay attention to what we’re doing with our body, and (2) we don’t pay attention to what we feel in our body. That is, until it hurts, right?
So before rushing outside with a rake or shovel, here’s a totally new approach.
  • First, lie on the floor and do a brief body scan like the one I reviewed in January’s Healthy Beginnings Feldenkrais article. If it’s warm, go outside and lie on the ground. Spend some blissful moments connecting to the earth, the sky, and feel yourself as part of the life on our planet.
  • Sense the weight and shape of your skeleton; feel your head and shoulders; elbows, wrists and hands; find your spine and low back; your pelvis, legs, feet and ankles. Can you feel differences right and left? (Remember, this updates your brain-map!) Follow your breath, your sense of wellbeing, and check your alignment.
  • Then when you’re ready, get up mindfully and head to the garden. Don’t do anything painful or unsafe. Practice hearing and trusting what your body and intuition tell you.
8 steps to better alignent
Now onto specific movement strategies to align your body and avoid injury:
  1. Spine straight and long. Your spine runs from your head to your tailbone. Keep it flat, long, comfortable. Don’t bend from it.
  2. When you need to bend, bend in the hinge of your hips, not your back. Fold forward at the crease of the hip joints. Push your butt out behind you while you bend. This protects your back admirably, and no one will notice but you.
  3. When bending or lifting, bend your knees and ankles too. Slowly feel what kind of squat you can manage, and how your joints respond.
  4. Keep your feet flat, and feel the connection between your feet and hips. Foot and ankle mobility means good balance and support from below.
  5. When using your arms, keep your wrists straight. Feel the connection up to your shoulders, or down to your hip joints. This reduces carpal tunnel symptoms. Use the stronger central parts of your body to help, so the whole body supports the work you are doing.
  6. Lifting: hold the lifted object as close to the center of your body as possible. Keep your legs and feet under your pelvis, bending through the hips, knees and ankles, keeping your spine erect. Also, know when to get help. Herniated discs are a high price to pay for not asking. They are debilitating and take a long time to heal.
  7. Adjust yourself to keep your center of gravity low during most tasks; keep your spine long and your body aligned.
  8. Vary your tasks and have fun. Dig awhile, then sweep; pull some weeds; look at seed catalogs; come back to digging. And check in with your body periodically, from head to toes.
Try different ways of doing the same task. Be playful. Enjoy the process of gardening, not just the end result.
By being in your body actively and attentively, you protect yourself from injury. You experience a sensory connection with nature, absorbing sights, sounds, smells and textures of life all around you. Add in the bounty from your garden … and how much better can life get?!
If you want a more detailed, personal experience of the Feldenkrais Method, you can start Awareness Through Movement classes at any time or see me privately.
Carole Bucher, BA, is a Guild-Certified Feldenkrais practitioner/teacher and owner of Reno Feldenkrais Integrative Movement. Visit to learn more.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Going Up!!

Move better, feel better, be better in 2018 with the Feldenkrais Method

Increasing your body awareness can help update your “brain map” — so you’re more alert and connected. This really matters.      
If you’ve heard lately that increasing your body-awareness increases brain power, this article will tell you more about it.
Basically, awareness strengthens your neural pathways, and your nervous system updates your ​“brain map”​ — so you’re more alert and connected to yourself, brain and body.
Body-awareness means being in your body more intentionally: sensing where you are in space, how you move and feel, and being more present and mindful. This gives you amazing, wide-reaching results.
Studies actually show that you unlock​ creativity, increase​​ self-confidence, and boost productivity and wellbeing; you feel more relaxed and effective, and can communicate and relate better. All this starts to happen naturally when you pay more attention to your body, movement habits and patterns.
Here’s how to start the process,​ but remember — reading won’t ​change a thing​. You actually have to DO it to become more aware and get the benefits. So here you go!
​First, notice what you already know about yourself​ and ​your movement. If you’re not sure, make your best guess, then check it out:
  • Which foot do you start on when you walk?
  • Do you always use the same hand to open a door, scroll through your phone or use your mouse?
  • Do you feel your back or bottom when ​you ​sit ​down or ​drive?
  • Which leg/foot do you stand on more?
  • Whe​n you walk, do you look at the horizon,​ or toward​ ​the ground or sky?
​Intentionally noticing​ what you do with yourself is ​simple, fun and, hopefully, non-judgmental. Best of all, it activates body-awareness, and you can start right here, right now: you’ve already got everything you need — you don’t even have to buy special clothes!
The very cool part is as soon as you start noticing yourself like this, you turn your awareness switch ON! You’re paying attention to yourself in a new and different way; you’ve taken the first steps on an exciting and transformative path, no matter what your age or condition.
Throughout 2018, we’ll focus on something special every month to wake up the brain, improve movement, feel better in our bodies and help us to be more vital, creative and aware human BE-ings in everything we do. Have a great holiday! See you in the New Year!
Carole Bucher, BA, is a Guild-Certified Feldenkrais practitioner/teacher and owner of Reno Feldenkrais Integrative Movement. Visit to learn more.

David Zemach Bersin (Feldenkrais Institute in NYC) explains 'What is the Feldenkrais Method?'

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Happy New Year!! Feldenkrais classes start Tues. Jan. 2, 2018.

Dear Friends and Students,

I hope you had a meaningful holiday and are looking forward to the New Year with optimism!

In the spirit of co-creating optimism and inner quiet, wellbeing and strength, please know that my Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement classes start on Jan. 2, at Noon, 250 Bell St., followed by Jan. 4 at the Reno Buddhist Center, 6 pm, and then Jan. 6 at 250 Bell St., 10 am. We will undertake this study of unlocking and releasing our possibilities together, once again. 

The first lesson of the new year is called "Tossing the Limbs" which explores the subtle and important ways that we move, lift and lower various parts of our bodies, and the effect of this on the rest of our body. It will be as subtle as or jarring as the state of your nervous system, meaning that slowing down and truly sensing bodily response can be a whole new journey in itself. It is a new lesson from the Alexander Yanai material that I have been studying each day with other Feldenkrais practitioners around the world at 8 am. 

The chance to observe and feel/sense the effects of moving in different ways is a perfect way to begin the new year -- with self-awareness and a truly new perspective on our habits. If we don't know what we do with ourselves habitually, how can we possibly work effectively in a new direction?  We cannot. We simply get caught in an aggravating, endless circle of dissatisfaction and discomfort; no amount of physical effort produces any change. Only by accessing ourselves through our awareness and sensation, learning about our habits -- physically, mentally and emotionally, will we find real growth and lasting change. 

If you have any questions about classes or individual Functional Integration lessons, please contact me using the blogger contact form to the right of this post.

Warmest wishes, 


Carole Bucher, BA, GCFP
Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner and Teacher 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Reminder - 2017 Feldenkrais classes end after December 16.

Holiday Schedule 2017 Feldenkrais Classes

2017 Feldenkrais classes will end for the year after class on Sat. Dec. 16; we will remain off track for 2 weeks and then start again on Jan. 2. 

Reno Buddhist Center, Thurs 6 pm
So get your classes NOW and let pain free and better physical, mental and creative organization and vitality carry you into the holidays. NOW is the right time. ♥.

Christine: Awakening Creativity in Mind and Body • The Feldenkrais Metho...

Thursday, November 23, 2017

What are the Principles of the Feldenkrais Method?

Reaching your potential at every age means self-awareness, fitness, connecting brain and body. 

The following is from Andrew Gibbon's Body of Knowledge:

1) Good posture is the ability to move in any direction without hesitation or preparation, and it's based on the specific contact we find with the surfaces we’re on.* (Jeff Haller's addendum in italics).
2) Clear Skeletal Support: the bones below move to support the bones above. 
3) Evenly distributed muscular effort/tone (proportional work: the big muscles do the big work, small muscles small work)
4) Every movement is generated through an equal and opposite force delivered to/received from the ground. 
5) Force must travel up and through the skeleton (longitudinally), not across it. Avoid shearing forces.
6) Head and eyes are free in the activity.
7) Breathing is free in the activity.
8) Reversibility: the ability to organize for the action and it's suspension or reversal at any moment.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

No Feldenkrais Class at RBC on Thanksgiving Nov. 23, 2017

Just a reminder, I will not be teaching a Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement (ATM) class on Thanksgiving eve at the Reno Buddhist Center. Thursday classes will resume for 2 more weeks in 2017 before the holiday vacation which starts after Dec. 16. 
Tuesday and Saturday classes at 250 Bell St., continue next week and also for 2 more weeks as well, ending after Dec. 16.
All classes begin again in 2018 the week of Tuesday Jan 2, at 250 Bell St. and the Reno Buddhist Center. 
If you have any questions, use the contact form to the right on my web page and I'll get back to you quickly. 
See you on the floor soon!
Hope you have a great turkey or tofurkey day!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

FUN lesson: Walking on all fours :-) | Feldenkrais with Alfons

An interesting example of a Feldenkrais lesson (Awareness Through Movement). Please do not try this if you have back, spine or hip issues, or do not have knowledge of the Feldenkrais Method of Movement. For information, please contact me via the form at the upper right of this website.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Holiday Schedule 2017 Feldenkrais Classes

2017 Feldenkrais classes will end for the year after class on Sat. Dec. 16; we will remain off track for 2 weeks and then start again on Jan. 2. 

Reno Buddhist Center, Thurs 6 pm
So get your classes NOW and let pain free and better physical, mental and creative organization and vitality carry you into the holidays. NOW is the right time. ♥.

Classes are at noon TUES and 10 am SAT at 250 Bell; THURS 6 pm at the Reno Buddhist Ctr. If you are coming to your first class, please contact me and plan to come 15 minutes early. Bring a blanket, a medium sized towel and water. Drop-in fee is $15. 

Over the 2 week holiday, I may offer a special Feldenkrais clinic/workshop, and will continue to see people privately for Functional Integration session. 

250 Bell St., Tues noon and Sat 10 am.