The Feldenkrais Method® (Feldenkrais) is a universal method for improving human life through better movement, sensation, posture and breathing. The Method has been around since the 1950's using techniques of gentle movement, slow repetitive actions, and the constant reminder to "do less". These were at the time (and perhaps still are!) seemingly contrary to success in movement. As the science of brain imaging became available many of the stated results showed up clearly on scans.
Results in people both well and ill showed that this education changed the capacity to think and move. Offering two forms (Awareness Through Movement and Functional Integration) the Method has applications in all walks of life. I've had the pleasure of working with musicians, amateur sports people (martial arts, kayakers, riders, climbers, hikers and others) and also with people looking for improvement in everyday motions, like sitting at a computer, reaching for items, or finding balance easier.
There are Feldenkrais Practitioners and Trainers throughout the world, all helping individuals of all ages and all abilities. I love meeting with people who want to learn more about how to make life easier, better, and more fun through movement. You can get more of my story and I currently make it easy to find out if Feldenkrais is a match for you.
Before a private lesson, I talk with you to understand your movement goals, expectations, and issues. Then the effort is to make you comfortable while I move you, in small moves that can release some muscles and activate others. You can give me words that tell me what you are feeling, as we both learn what calms your nervous system, allowing you to observe movements in a very new way. These individual sessions can help you understand why you’re experiencing issues and what solutions might be available.
Private 60-minute conducted in person or via Zoom.
These lessons are easy to do, and no experience is necessary. You’ll listen and follow instructions that will encourage you to move gently, with ease and little effort. You are encouraged to explore your curiosity about how you move without trying to achieve specific goals. Listen to the start of a Feldenkrais lesson here.
It is important to know that each Feldenkrais lesson is a standalone event. Most people can join at any point in the month, although people with interesting issues are invited to talk to me before signing up to learn if the class can be adapted.
It is possible to arrange group lessons for specific areas of interest. For instance I have special pricing for non-profits who want to offer support to staff and volunteers, or even offer classes to clients.
Zoom classes Tuesday 5:30 PM
The Feldenkrais Method is named after Moshe Feldenkrais, who developed this system after a lifetime of studying science and sports (he was one of the first European Black Belts in Judo, as well as a Doctor of Physics). After chronically injuring his knee, he decided to use his training in science as well as martial arts to develop a new way of helping bodies improve movement. His theories caught on, and by the mid-1950s he was teaching and helping others with his practice full-time.
Absolutely! The beauty of this practice is that it meets you where you are and goes from there. If you can’t get on the floor, you can sit in a chair. If you have difficulty with your left side, you can do the lesson on your right. You can even successfully visualize the movements if you can’t move something. You will learn, and learning allows for change.
When you bring awareness to your body, it stimulates the brain to create new neural pathways to encourage optimal movement patterns and functionality. This is also known as “neuroplasticity.” When you learn better ways to move, your brain will help you develop better breathing, coordination, flexibility, and cognition.
As an athlete in any arena, you have learned to use your body, and to use it efficiently. However, you may have also developed habits that worked in the past but don’t now, or you may want to refine movements because of your personal goals. While no expert in these areas, as a Feldenkrais practitioner, I have helped have, equestrians, kayakers, hikers, runners, climbers and more.
Classes change weekly, so there is variety. Movement in any part of the body affects the whole so allowing yourself to experience slow, gentle movement will probably help you. What does that mean? Instead of pushing yourself to see how far you can go, you’ll explore just how much you can already do. If you’d like to see a sample class in action, here’s a video courtesy of the New Zealand Feldenkrais Guild.
You should wear layered, loose, comfortable clothing, and bring some water. Movements will be gentle and low intensity, and still you may find yourself thirsty after a session.
Unlike yoga, Feldenkrais doesn't encourage holding poses or stretching for lengthy periods of time. You don’t repeat the same positions. Instead, I encourage my Vermont Feldenkrais students to use gentle and unique movement inquiry to help each person find holding patterns, learn real range of motion, movement inefficiencies, and even pain/discomfort. By learning what your habitual movement patterns are and how they may be hurt you, you can choose to learn a new pattern of movement that encourages freedom and ease. In fact, a growing number of yoga teachers take Feldenkrais classes.
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Vermont Feldenkrais with Gillian Franks
300 Cornerstone Drive, Suite 215, Williston, VT 05495
Monday - Tuesday 10am-4pm
Wednesday - Closed
Thursday - Sunday 10am - 4pm
Feldenkrais is for fit bodies, hurt bodies, young bodies, old bodies. It's for every body that wants to learn.
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