The Feldenkrais Method®- A Practice

Mistakes? Awareness? Learning?


Moshe Feldenkrais said, “Embrace your mistakes. If you want to find the full range of human activity, you have to make many mistakes.”

We must make mistakes to grow, to develop, to learn.
Yes, we make mistakes. We must. Have you ever watched a baby learning to walk? A 10 month old tries to stand, falls down, rests, and then does it again and again, usually a different way. The baby doesn’t do the same unsuccessful movements over and over. He experiments until he can do it. Then he does it over and over. He certainly to doesn’t “muscle” through it and he doesn’t continue if it hurts. This is learning at its finest. Learning takes time, even walking, reading, getting through college.

I must admit, within the last few weeks I made two regrettable mistakes. I learned from both of them. Neither was major but did cause me discomfort. Two weeks ago, while doing the online daily movement lesson with the Feldenkrais® community, I twisted my body very abruptly. I instantly felt my muscles tighten around my upper neck area.

I could not get off the ground. I was experiencing vertigo. I had never experienced it before and it was disabling. I suffered for about 3 days and gradually recovered. What did I learn? I learned to follow my inner voice, my intuition. I knew that that movement was too much for me. It was taking my neck to it’s limit. I learned to stop trying to achieve, to listen to myself and go slowly.

My second mistake was being in a hurry to send my last newsletter. The inadvertant typo just jumped out at me, after I sent the newsletter. I could have sent it to my editor/proofreader but she had let me know that she would not be able to turn anything around for me instantly. It would take a few days, or even a week. I just got ahead of myself and decided all would be well. Once again, do you see the pattern here? How many times to I need the “slow down, take your time, don’t rush lesson. This is such an integral principle of the Feldenkrais Method.® When we rush, we do not pay attention. I know it, but do I live it?

I will continue to grow and learn. I hope you will too.

“Make your own mistakes and keep doing it and pay attention to the little things you become aware of.” Moshe Feldenkrais, 1980. Aha- and what happens when we pay attention? We have the opportunity to learn.

How does the Feldenkrias Method® speak to this, mistakes, awareness, leaning? In our classes and individual sessions we perform movements that are novel, not the typical way to move that we already know. We take a simple function, say walking (which is not so simple) and do it with variations that most would never think of doing. Our movement, our ability to function, our pain level, our balance all improve through doing this. We move with awareness and attention and we get change, options. This work is very powerful.

Many of my successful students come to class once or twice a week and also do a “practice” at home. They continue the learning by frequently exploring either on their own or with the group. This practice reinforces with attention and with the ability to change any movement depending on what is happening for them.

I recently had an individual appointment with Barbara. She had broken her hip, did not have surgery, and was making her way back, walking gingerly with a cane. I gave her a few little “exercises” to do daily at home so that she could refresh her awareness and her learning. This is what she wrote,

“So Beth, until our appointment on Thursday, I was pretty sure I’d never walk normally again. I couldn’t get beyond putting one painful step after another and hadn’t seen any progress in a week. In one lesson, you gave me a short series of BRs, (what some clients call the daily movement ritual that they do)that literally turned me around or allowed me to turn around, or turn a corner.

Once you gave me the experience of “unlocking” my hip, I saw that only my left, uninjured, side of my body was participating. Aha! I began to use my right side and my whole body—ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, head. And suddenly, I was propelling myself forward and without pain!
What if I didn’t have you and Moshe? Could I ever have walked? Now I can take baby steps without a cane—just baby steps, I’m not pushing it—and without pain. Not exactly elegant, Moshe, but I’m working on that.

Thank you Beth! Thank you Moshe!”

How beautiful is this. Barbara also comes to my Friday Awareness Through Movement® series, on line and does her BR’s at home daily.

It’s not too late to sign up for one of my three Awareness Through Movement® classes or for and individual online session.
Tuesday 10:30 AM PST. – For the curious
Wednesday 12:00 PM PST -For those with little experience, pain, difficulty balancing
Friday 10:30 AM PST – Resiience, Rejuvination, Relaxtion- calm in this chaos.


I will continue to grow and learn. I hope you will too.

I am sending my very best to you. Stay safe.


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