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Monday, January 20, 2014

Getting The Most Benefit from Your Feldenkrais Class or Workshop!

What you need to know and do to have a great Feldenkrais® experience in your Awareness Through Movement (ATM)® classes, workshops and at home.

  1. The most important thing to know about ATM lessons is that deep and lasting change comes from your ability to sense and follow movement as you do it. This is how tension is released, not from ‘doing’ the movement 'right' or achieving any special form or position.
  2. There is NO ‘RIGHT’ way or form, other than working with your attention, going slowly, and keeping the movements comfortable and small, gradually allowing the size of the movement to grow as you find your way.  NOT doing anything that causes pain is RIGHT.
  3. We begin by doing each movement in a small, slow way.  Explore the feeling; see how your muscles and skeleton respond to the movement, listen to verbal direction.  Experiment. Enlarge the movement gradually, as your body becomes accustomed to it.  If you find it uncomfortable, visualize the movement, imagine doing it, in your minds’ eye.
  4. Every time you repeat a movement, look for simpler, easier and less effortful ways of moving. There are many ways to do every movement.  Explore several different possibilities, see what is comfortable for you, what feels natural, and what feels good.
  5. Give yourself the time and emotional room to discover movement that is comfortable for YOU, even when you visualize.  Discovering how you move, what your movement patterns are, is fundamental to your making deeper changes connections to yourself.  This will awaken your brain so that it can learn, and will release tension and stress.
  6. The smaller and slower your make your movement, the more you will feel.  You learn to make finer and finer discriminations with your nervous system each time you move with attention and awareness.  Visualizing movement in your imagination is a very powerful brain activator--you use the same neural pathways as you do when you move; your mental activity while visualizing is actually equal or greater than in movement, and really makes your neurons fire.
  7. If you practice sensing and moving at home, do it only as long as you are interested in it.  Stop if your attention wanders too long or if the movement becomes boring to you.  Automatic movement is of no benefit to your brain.  Only when you are working with attention and interest will your neurons fire, will you develop new capacity.
  8. Non-habitual movement and sensing is learning in the most complete way possible.  Sensing with attention activates your proprioceptors, the sensory mechanisms in your ligaments and tendons around every joint. Your body will subconsciously make better movement choices as you accumulate more ability to sense and track your movement from inside yourself.
  9. Visit to view the youtube clips and for detailed information about the Feldenkrais Method®. Email me at if you have questions.

Carole Bucher, BA, GCFP/T, 775-240-7882