During Saturday, September 23rd’s workshop, Enhancing Your Intelligence, the Feldenkrais lessons I have chosen to teach, will keep everyone on their toes due to extra mental twists that accompany the movements.
Following is an example of an easy way for you to explore on a daily basis to help boost your speed of thought. Choose one simple task that you do often and never give any thought to how you do it because it is so habitual.I will pick the task of opening and closing the blinds for this example. First, open the blinds with your dominant arm and pay close attention to how you organize yourself while doing this action.
Do your shoulders turn when you open the blinds or stand still? Do your eyes look at your hand as you pull the cord or elsewhere?Does your head follow your eyes? Does your pelvis turn to the left, right or stay in the middle? Which direction do your feet point as you do this task? Do you inhale or exhale during this action?
What kind of thoughts are linked to this habit?
After you become aware of how your organize your dominant side to open or close the blinds then you are ready to teach your other side to move in a similar way.When you first open the blinds with the non-dominant side ask yourself the same awareness questions as above.You may be surprised to find out that this side may only rely on one part of your body to do this job.Over time, that lonely part of yourself may become over worked.This is why it is so important to teach this side to become more intelligent. Thoughtfully teach the non-dominant side to organize in a similar way as your dominant side whenever you open or close the blinds.(Can you see how differently I organize myself in the photos?)
The longer you explore the greater the rewards will be. May you better your concentration skills and become a sharper thinker along the way! ~Donna
Dear Students: Over the last several months as I have been taking actions to keep my home and work space free from the harmful effects of smart meters I have been knocked down more than a few times.Every time I struggle to get back on my feet, I notice remarkable changes in myself, afterwards.
I now have novel moments of carrying my head in it’s central axis, which has been a long search for me.The experience of living with my head in a balanced position has enabled me to recognize when I unnecessarily hold it off center.This awareness allows me to instantly stop the unwanted holding.As a result, my posture has improved immeasurably and I have become empowered beyond my wildest dreams.The movement pattern that goes with my new behavior of standing up for my rights (to a corporation & a commission) is exactly what I need to“keep my head on straight”!
I feel like this baffling experience is a lesson on Dr. Feldenkrais’s definition of health: “Health is measured, not by the capacity to stay standing, but by the ability to be knocked down and then return to standing.”~Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais
I am beholden to the Feldenkrias Method for making it possible to take my stance due to over two decades worth of lessons under my belt.When this chapter in my life plays itself out, I believe I will prevail and will help others in ways I never could have before. ~Donna
F.Y.I:If you already have a smart meter on your home, you can protect your family, neighbors, animals and plants from it’s emissions by shielding it. This will not solve all the problems that smart meters cause but it will help considerably. You can purchase a smart guard;or you can learn to make one on your own from many youtube videos.
While at the beach, my Dad read a newspaper survey that said, “What Americans like to do most on vacation is nothing”. This statement made me realize that doing nothing is not beneficial during one’s time off contrary to what most people believe.I know that people are very busy and many are too tired to want to think about change let alone develop a new habit during vacation.But I hope to succeed in showing you it is worthwhile to use a little bit of your holiday time to create one healthy habit.
Following is an example of how to form a favorable habit.Instead of drinking *soda during your free time, replace it with a homemade glass of *lemonade.For a more bonding and enriching experience prepare it with a child or relative and sweeten it with honey or stevia.
If you make the effort to develop your chosen new habit, it will slowly replace the bad habit that ultimately zaps your energy.As you drink your novel creation, sense the difference in how you feel afterwards.Remember this feeling every time you crave a *soda,and before you know it, you won’t even want soda any more.
By replacing *sodawith *lemonade, I am positive you will feel a noticeable difference in your vitality and will realize that making *lemonade is a valuable activity.Each day open your awareness and sense the cumulative effects the behavior change has on you: physically, emotionally and mentally.This will help you to continue on your altered path.
This summer I hope you discover, that revamping can happen painlessly any time you want.Also maybe you will find out that you like yourself and others a little bit more because of it!
*Replace the words, “soda” and “lemonade” above with words such as: thoughtless words & thoughtful words; mindless exercise & mindful exercise; treadmill walking & nature walking; texting & talking; watching television & watching a sunset; future tripping & being present in the moment; over working & taking a break, etc.
Below is the summer schedule for my Feldenkrais class. Note that I will be available for private Functional Integration sessions during those times at my studio. Please mark the following dates on your calendar.
When I was changing my website to it’s new domain name I came across “posts from the archives” that I thought you would all benefit in reading again.
I hope you enjoy the following one as much as I did!
From the Archives: Why Feldenkrais – what are sessions like? What have been the benefits to you? “I’d been trying all sorts of ideas for years to fix my unstable low back and neck sprain, but I wasn’t getting to the heart of the matter. I think I always knew that what I needed was someone to force me to be patient and listen to my body to help me find different options for movement and stability. One day I eavesdropped on one of Donna’s Feldenkrais classes and found exactly the kind of disciplined self-kindness and self-awareness discovery I was looking for. ~Hafsa M. (click here to read the entire interview)
Have a wonderful summer enjoying nature’s goodies!
My first full time summer job is etched deeply in my mind because it left me feeling old & worn out at the young age of 18.I had a repetitive desk job during the day and afterwards I went to gymnastics practice. When I got to practice I was shocked how stiff and exhausted I felt after “just sitting” all day.To no avail I tried my hardest to get my energy up to go through routines. I had the worst practices that I had ever had in my entire life. I didn’t have the power, strength or flexibility that I had had only days prior to beginning the job.This feeling lasted all summer long and didn’t go away until I started college and went back to more active way of spending each day.
Looking back at that time, I now understand why I felt so worn out.I was sitting in a way that required mymuscles to isometrically hold my skeleton in an off balanced and still position.By the time I got to practice my body felt like a rigid board because my muscles were still tense.Because I wasn’t moving dynamically during the day like I was accustomed to doing I noticed a considerable difference in my energy level & my flexibility.I felt devastated.
The hardest thing for the muscles to do is hold the skeleton in place and that is what I was asking of them.The easiest thing for the muscles to do is to move the skeleton.
Today I know how to sit in a skeletally supported posture and am excited to teach how in the workshop, The Art of Skeletal Sitting on Saturday, June 3. Finding support in this way will allow you to move easily while sitting so you can be ready to do whatever you want went you get out of your chair! ~Donna
Hi Students: Due to technical difficultiesFeldenkraisBlog is entering a partnership with .net and is parting ways with .com. Please let all your friends know and if you have any trouble with my website please email me about the details. Thanks.
My next workshop, Softening the Face, Jaw & Eyeswill focus on the parts of ourselves we use and sense the most! I have included a homunculus photo below to help you understand how much of the brain is dedicated to these areas. Notice that the the face, jaw, tongue & eyes are drawn much larger than the legs and feet to visually make this point.
Some benefits students have experienced from softening the face are: improved digestion, easier breathing, & relief from neck & shoulder pain. One of my favorite stories came from a student in San Francisco after I taught a similar workshop. She told me that when she was walking home from the workshop she heard some whistling. She looked around to see where it was coming from and realized that she was the one spontaneously whistling. She was delighted because until that moment in her life she had never been able to whistle!
I am confident that I will hear many more wonderful stories like this one after the workshop! I hope one of them is from you!
One of the reasons I love to study movement so much is because we use body language to communicate what there are no words for.I know that by teaching people how to enhance their movement repertoire I am ultimately helping them express themselves more clearly & completely.
This year you don’t want to miss Netco Modern Dance company’s performance, Outside Lies.Artistic director, Jen Berlet’s choreography will demonstrate thatshe needs no words to deliver her potent messages!As she tackles very serious subjects, her dances may leave you sitting with the hairs standing up on your arms and chills running up and down your spine. That’s what happens to me every time I watch the dances during practice sessions.
To lighten the mood of the show Cindy Nehr’s quirky dance may bring a smile to your face at the moment most needed in the show. It becomes evident when watching her choreography that she has an ear like no other!Sometimes it seems difficult for me to distinguish if she uses the dancers to accentuate the musical score or the other way around.This playful dance is precisely timed and has made me become a better listener.
I am going to explain the process I take myself through after every dance rehearsalso all of you can apply it to what ever you want to be able to do in your life.As you will see the process I go through is exactly what we do in Feldenkrais® classes.
This is my second season dancing with Netco and I am challenged every time I dance with them.Since most of what happens during rehearsals is new for me I have to practice often on my own.When I get discouraged I remind myself,that when learning something new it must first be done slowly before it can be done quickly.As I study the rehearsal videos at home I am only able to teach myself the choreography after I recognize what all the dance steps are.Then I slowly do the movements over & over until I can do them faster.When I can imagine myself dancing all the steps, I know I am one step away from successfully dancing it with the troupe.
“No matter how closely we look, it is difficult to find a mental act that can take place without the support of some physical function.” -Moshe Feldenkrais
I am grateful to have been taken under the wing of this dance company so I can grow as a person.I am also greatly appreciative to Moshe Feldenkrais because without the knowledge he bestowed upon us I would be a spectator in the stands for this upcoming show.I can’t encourage you enough to keep coming regularly to Feldenkrais® classes,workshops & private sessions because in time you can learn how to discover your dreams and before you know it, creatively expressing them! ~Donna
P.S. To schedule a Functional Integration® session for yourself or your child call me at 717.285.0399.
Dear Students: When I hear people say, “I’m getting old and can’t do that anymore”, it always makes me want to have a conversation with them.I want to explain that in most cases it is not age that brings pain, rather it is an accumulation of a habitual & unhealthy way of moving that is the culprit.
When a person carries out a harmful movement pattern for too long the body’s complaints are warnings of the damage that is occurring.People often ignore these cranky alarms until years of repeating a bad habit results in their neurological system screaming out in pain!Extreme pain will literally stop individuals in their tracks.This situation can be considered negative because typical functioning becomes impossible.But looking at it on the bright side it forces one to become aware and creates an opportunity for a big change to take place.
Let’s compare a harmful movement pattern to dripping water on a rock.After only one year of continuous drops hitting a rock, it’s change may be difficult to detect.But in 25 years the structure of the rock will alter so much that anyone could see it.As soon as a person recognizes “dripping water” in some form of dis-ease he/she can act before crucial damage is done. Fortunately through the Feldenkrais Method®, students can learn how to become aware of their habits and improve the quality of their movement & overall well being.
With that said, standing is one of the hardest things we do as human beings and many are unaware of how they do it.In my next workshop, Increasing Your Wingspan, learn how to mindfully transform your standing.
Happy New Year Students: My wish for 2017 is that greater amounts of people find the Feldenkrais Method® and learn how to become more gentle, tolerant & kind with themselves.I believe a world full of self-aware students will create peace & harmony on Earth.
“The present is the time in which we live, and what we do with our present selves is the most important thing. For the past is carried into the future through our present selves; what we do now is the most important factor for tomorrow.” ~Moshe Feldenkrais
I find that whenever I am feeling anxious if I get down on the floor and gently explore movements it takes me to a different place inside myself. I encourage you to make time to explore Feldenkrais movements on your own during this season. My video page may give you some ideas.
“(Donna) You are brilliant in your delivery of the cues that change our bodies and minds. I loved the challenge of today’s (class) session. It was so clear & so confusing at the same time. You know, it is the care with which you offer your gifts that makes them have the power they do. I treasure you. Thank you for being true. Fearlessly true.” ~Maureen
“I could barely walk for four days because I had sciatic nerve pain so badly. I turned down the conventional method of steroids and rest and went to see Donna. Incredibly after seeing her for only one week (of private sessions) I was able to return to work!”
~Kevin F. Tretter, U.P.S. Package & Delivery Driver