Feldenkrais focuses on function rather than form and does not have a goal of attaining an ideal body type or physical construction. It is intended to improve the sensibility, awareness and quality of movement through one’s own body feedback rather than teaching predefined or static forms. Most people have difficulty feeling their body and try to move better without improving their sensory skills. This has absolute limitations. A musician can’t play music unless they can feel and hear the music and make fine distinctions. Feldenkrais does not have a goal to achieve “correct” positions as with yoga or Pilates, but rather seeks to develop a more dexterous, painless and efficient body in motion. However, many people who practice yoga or Pilates have found a greater ease, understanding and sense of how to be more comfortable in their daily workouts by incorporating Feldenkrais into their routines.
Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioners are listed on the Feldenkrais Guild of America’s website at www.feldenkrais.com. There you can easily find a practitioner in your area. Otherwise, you may contact the Feldenkrais Guild of North America at (541) 926-0981.
The Feldenkrais Method is relatively new. It has only existed for 50 years – since Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984) originated the method and began teaching it directly to a small number of students. Today there are several thousand Feldenkrais practitioners all over the world, with certification training programs and workshops offered in the United States, Europe and Australia, Japan, China and Russia.
Awareness Through Movement® lessons are typically taught in a group setting, live or online. There are over one thousand lessons available. Functional Integration® is a hands-on approach where a practitioner gives personalized care directly to the individual, either in person or via online virtual coaching. Both of these approaches can be learned through training programs and seminars provided by a Feldenkrais practitioner. For anyone wanting to learn Feldenkrais lessons on their own, comprehensive audiotapes, books and YouTube videos are available for self-study.
Feldenkrais, M. Body and Mature Behavior. New York: International Universities Press, 1970. This technical book presents the theory of the Feldenkrais Method with supporting references drawn from physics, physiology, and psychology. Feldenkrais, M. Awareness Through Movement. New York: Harper & Row, 1972. Dr. Feldenkrais gives a 60-page introduction to his theory, written in an easy-to-understand style, then presents twelve Awareness Through Movement® lessons which readers can explore on their own. Feldenkrais, M. The Elusive Obvious. Cupertino, Calif.: Meta Publications, 1981. Feldenkrais, M. Adventures in the Jungle of the Brain: The case of Nora. New York: Harper & Row, 1977. Wildman, F. Feldenkrais: A Guide for Physical Intelligence. Berkeley, Calif.: Intelligent Body Press, 1999. Alon, Ruthy. Mindful Spontaneity. N. Books, Somatic Resources, 1996 Hanna, Thomas. Somatics Shafarman, Steven. Awareness Heals. Perseus Books, 1997 Wildman, Frank. The Busy Person’s Guide to Easier Movement. Zemach-Bersin & Reese. Relaxercise, Harper San Francisco, 1990