What have you Learned this Week?



Sometimes I ask the students in my weekly Awareness Through Movement® classes, “What have you learned this week or in this series?” I get interesting, often answers that I do not expect. Students say, “I don’t know what I learned but I sure do feel better.”

Or they say, “ I notice that my foot doesn’t hurt when I walk.” I hear, “My hips have loosened up.”

“I am sleeping better,” is a common answer. People say, “My balance has improved. I am more stable on my feet.” Often I the reply is, “I can’t put my finger on it, but I just feel calmer, and better.

Out of the mouths of babes, one of my student’s grandchild says, “It is gramme’s napping class. She lies on the floor, is very quiet, and sleeps.”

Yep, that’s what it looks like.

What?  What am I talking about you ask? What kind of class is this? Just what is Awareness Through Movement® and why should I do it?  What will I gain from doing it?


Sometimes it is easier to say what something is not, rather than what it is. Do you ever find that to be true?

It is not a stretch class. Although it contributes to the lengthening of your muscles
It is not a relaxation class. Although there is a great feeling of relaxation after the class.
It is not a sleep aid class. Although sleep certainly improves.
It is not a class to energize. Although people feel energized, increased vitality, and enthusiasm after the class.
It is not a pain relief class. Although pain is definitely diminished after the class.
It is not an “expand your mind class.” Although each class expands the mind increasing neuroplasticity and brain change and growth.
It is not an alignment class. Although the body is beautifully aligned following the class.
It is not a balance class. Although students feel balanced and stable on their feet after the class.
It is not a stress reduction class. Although stress dissipates following the class.
It is not school. Although a great deal of learning takes place with these classes.

So, what is Awareness Through Movement,® ATM? My teacher, mentor, colleague, friend, Larry Goldfarb, PhD, Feldenkrais® trainer, recently said Awareness Through Movement® gives students the opportunity to uncover their “blind spots.” That’s it! We don’t know what we do. We only know the consequences of what we do.

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We don’t know that every time we turn our head to the right, we lift up the right or left shoulder. We wonder why our shoulder or neck hurts. We get a massage, or put heat or ice on it. We stretch it. It all feels good momentarily but it doesn’t last. Nothing has been learned and as we know change can only happen through learning. I do not lecture during the class. The learning that happens is what we call experiential. We learn by doing.

The student lies on the floor, a table, or a bed, while the Feldenkrais® teacher guides what we call a “lesson.” These movements that students do are usually gentle, slow, calming and simple so that the brain and nervous system can recognize what is happening and perhaps do the movement differently, causing change.

Through these movements or lessons we get the opportunity to ask a question, “What is happening? What am I doing? Why am I moving my pelvis or my head when it is my foot that hurts?” Great questions and students are encouraged to ponder these questions. Eventually the questions get more succinct and each student answers them for themselves.

Have you taken these classes before, perhaps dabbled a bit, or stuck one questioning foot in the pool? Do you want change in yourself and the way you view your world? Do you want to feel more confident in your body, become “an expert on you?” If you do, take a leap and sign up for an Awareness Through Movement ® class with me. I teach two of these classes a week, Tuesday at 10:30 to 11:30 am,  for those who have been doing this work for a while, who are curious to learn more and delve a little deeper. I teach a class on Wednesdays at noon, until 1:00 pm  that is more for beginners, easy slow, gentle movements. Do contact me if you’d like to talk or you can sign up for a class on my website.

Thanks for reading my blog. Let me know if you have thoughts.  B-

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