Feldenkrais Melbourne

What is Feldenkrais

“I’ve heard of Feldenkrais… but what exactly is it?”

What it isn’t!

Feldenkrais is not about using willpower.

It is not about stretching.

It is not about building muscle or working out.

It is not about “mind over matter”.

It is not about “no pain no gain.”.

What it is

Feldenkrais is about learning. It is a neurological learning system.

Feldenkrais can help you learn to improve almost any aspect of your life, whether it be physical, mental or emotional.

What do you mean by learning?

The Feldenkrais Method works directly with your nervous system to help you learn new ways of moving, thinking, feeling and behaving.

Primarily, a Feldenkrais teacher will help you explore how you move. When you do a Feldenkrais lesson, the teacher uses very clever techniques to help you become aware of many habits of moving that you never even realised you had.

For example, you may come to realise that every time you reach for that coffee cup in your kitchen cupboard, you in fact hold your breath and brace your ribs, which restricts the natural movement of your shoulder blade. You may have never even realised you were doing this, because it was a habit. No wonder your shoulder hurts so much when you reach for things!

As you do more Feldenkrais, you might start to become aware of which of your habits are helping you to live the painfree, easy life you want, and which habits are getting in your way. For example, you might start to see that this habit of holding your breath and bracing your ribs when you reach for a coffee cup is contributing to the frozen shoulder you’ve had for so many years.

As you develop this kind of awareness, the Feldenkrais Method works with your nervous system to help you learn new ways of moving that are more efficient, more powerful and less painful.

For example, you might learn how to reach with your arm in a way that connects through your whole body, from your feet, through your hip joints, your ribs, your collar bone, your shoulder blade and up into your hand. So the next time you reach for that coffee cup, you will do it effortlessly, gracefully and painlessly.

And you will have changed this pattern without doing any stretching and without lifting any weights! Simply by working with your nervous system and learning in the way our brains were designed to learn.

By using this ingenious system of learning, Feldenkrais can help you to change almost any physical pattern that is causing you pain or stiffness or getting in the way of you performing at your peak in your favourite activities.

So how can Feldenkrais help with non-physical problems?

It is a commonly accepted fact that the mind, body and emotions are connected. The Feldenkrais Method is based on this principle.

By changing the way you move you can have a direct impact on the way you think and the way you feel. For example, by doing Feldenkrais a person might become aware that whenever a particular family members tells them off, they tend to clench their jaw, hold their breath and stick out their chest. This is a physical habit. But it is the physical expression of an emotion: anger. Whenever that family member tells them off, they are probaly feeling angry.

The Feldenkrais method would help that student to learn new ways of using their body in that situation, such as relaxing their jaw, softening their chest and freeing up their breathing. This way of using the body is a physical expression of calmness. Therefore the next time that family member tells them off, they will now have two options of how to react: angrily or calmly. Each of these reactions may be useful at different times. The important thing is that they now have a choice.

And the more choice you have in your thinking and in your emotional responses, the greater control you have over your life, and the greater flexibility you have to respond to whatever life throws at you.

Whatever patterns you want to change in your life, whether physical, mental or emotional, the Feldenkrais Method can help you learn how to change them. Whatever aspects of your life you’d like to improve, whether physical, mental or emotional, Feldenkrais can help you improve them.

Who invented this amazing method?

The Feldenkrais Method was invented by Moshe Feldenkrais, a brilliant physicist and martial arts master who lived from 1904 to 1984. He devised his remarkable learning system from studying his own body and applying to it principles he learned in a wide variety of sciences and other disciplines.

In his lifetime, Moshe Feldenkrais used his amazing method to heal people from all works of life, from humble peasants to Prime Ministers. He wrote several seminal books which are still widely studied today. And he also trained a body of students to carry on his work, who have gone on to teach that work to Feldenkrais Practitioners all over the world in intensive 4 year training programs.

See here to read all about the amazing life of Moshe Feldenkrais, an extraordinary man who has changed so many people’s lives.

[See here to read about Moshe Feldenkrais's books.]

[See here to learn about the Feldenkrais Training Programs that take place regularly in different countries around the world.]

Is it true that there are TWO types of Feldenkrais?

It is true. There are two types of Feldenkrais classes - and they are both wonderful.

The first is called Awareness Through Movement. It is a group class, where the students lie on mats on the floor and the teacher verbally guides them through a series of movement. The classes can range from extremely gentle through to very athletic, depending on the needs of the participants. They often explore fundamental movement patterns like rolling, turning, lifting, bending, crawling, walking etc… Awareness Through Movement classes can be really fun, interesting and sometimes truly exciting.   Because Feldenkrais works with the nervous system to develop awareness of habits and to change habitual patterns, Awareness Through Movement classes can be much more profound and life-changing than other types of floor excercise classes, which tend to rely on stretching and strengthening and other forms of brute willpower, rather than on learning.

See exactly what happens in an Awarenss Through Movment Class.

The second type of Feldenkrais is called Functional Integration. In a Functional Integration lesson you work one-on-one with a Feldenkrais Practitioner. You lie on a comfortable padded table a bit like a massage table. The teacher gently places their hands on you and uses tiny movements to interact with your nervous system and give you an awareness of how you are moving. This gentle supportive approach can enable you to learn new patterns of self organisation and self use that are more efficient, easeful and painless.

[See what happens in a Functional Integration Lesson.]

So who can benefit from this amazing method?

As you have seen above, the Feldenkrais Method is a learning system. This means that it has a tremendously wide application, as it can help anybody learn to do anything well.

See here what types of people have benefited from Feldenkrais around the world and what kinds of problems they have overcome using this remarkable method.

Feldenkrais is unlike anything you have tried before.

It is gentle and safe for everyone.

It is not about stretching.

It is not about strengthening.

It is about learning.

And it will change your life.

If you live in Melbourne Australia, find out about where you can try a Feldenkrais class.