Slower is Faster
If you’ve ever been to one of my classes, you know that I will undoubtedly say, “Slowly turn your head (or another body part). Slowly, gently, easily. Not as far as you can, but with ease. Throughout this lesson move slowly and gently.”
Newcomers to class might think: What in the world are we doing? What is this? How is this supposed to make me feel better? Can’t we just get on with it and speed things up here?
I understand the challenges people encounter when moving slowly. Let’s face it: our culture is obsessed with “faster is better” and “more is better.” Plus, moving slowly and easily is actually difficult and tiring for many new people. Talk about counter-intuitive, right?
Moshe Feldenkrais said, “Learning must be slow and varied in effort until the parasitic efforts are weeded out: then we have little difficulty in acting fast, and powerfully.”
So, as Dr. Feldenkrais is saying: the goal of the Feldenkrais Method is not to move slowly – it’s actually to move easily, even when we move quickly and powerfully.
But we can’t achieve that ease of movement if we begin by moving quickly. We have to begin by moving slowly.
When we move quickly, we are moving with thought toward a goal, or an achievement. We cannot sense and feel and move quickly. Quick movements mean that we simply repeat the movement patterns that we have learned earlier in life. Even if we think we’re learning a new technique – say, a new yoga pose or a new swim stroke – when we move quickly and without awareness, we’re actually using our old habit patterns to achieve the new technique.
In contrast, when we move slowly, with the intention to learn, we are learning to make distinctions in our movement patterns. We are exploring, sensing, and feeling. And effort must be reduced in order to do this. We start by noticing what we are doing now, then through the Feldenkrais Method®, we explore changes so we weed out habit patterns that no longer work for us and learn new ones that do. We learn how we learn to move, and we learn how to move.
“Do this movement slowly, without force, because it is impossible to change the world in an instant… to create is not possible in an instant.” Dr. Feldenkrais
Yes, it is different from any movement you have done before. It’s actually quite radical. And it is so effective at weeding out the underlying painful habits that have been holding you back.
So, think about what your goals are in life: more gardening? improved balance? lifting your grandchildren into your arms for a hug? getting up and down from the floor? maybe that new yoga pose?
Whatever your immediate aim, the Feldenkrais Method® will help you enjoy better movement, with more skill, grace and power.
And I would be delighted to by your guide on your own, personal journey through learning and movement!
On Wednesdays, I have a drop-in Awareness Through Movement® class from 12 noon until 1:00pm. This class will be a hybrid of two movement approaches that I love: Bones for Life® and Awareness Through Movement®. This is a “drop in” class. Sign up for one, sign up for all 3 that are left.
If you are interested in other services we offer, please go to bethrubenstein.com