“I don’t know how to describe how much better I feel.”
“I am really in awe of how much physical relief that one session gave me.”
“After a session with Gillian I realize I have let go of pain. Pain that I didn't know I had.”
“After a lesson, I have to adjust the rearview mirror: my neck is longer!”
“Gillian gives me the space to think about what I do, so I can choose to change my movement.”
“After one lesson I could move my ‘frozen’ ankle. Such a surprise!"
“This is so radical. I am not pushed into doing things. I relax and enjoy.”
You should wear layered, loose, comfortable clothing, and bring some water if you are so inclined. Movements will be gentle and low intensity, and still you may find yourself thirsty after a session.
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
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 vast 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.
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.
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 work on your right. You can even successfully visualize the movements if you can’t move something. You will learn, and learning allows for change.
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 I have helped have , equestrians, kayakers, hikers, runners, climbers and more.
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 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 hurtful, 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.