AWARENESS THROUGH MOVEMENT®lessons are usually taught in a group setting. You are verbally directed to explore gentle, intriguing movement sequences with attention to how you are doing what you do. Through the concreteness of movement, we begin to observe what we are really doing: with our breath, with the pieces of ourselves, with our thought and attitudes, with our relationship to the world. Each class generally explores one movement pattern, deconstructing it in order to discover how to move in the best way possible. Students begin where they are and progress at their own individual pace.
The lessons are designed to engage you in unexpected ways, to stimulate your brain and grab your attention. This is key to finding improvement. An attitude of curiosity and playfulness will help you discover what you do and what you could do better. This is mindfulness in motion.
There are hundreds of lessons, many done lying on the floor, but also in standing, sitting or on hands and knees. Some lessons are very relaxing while others are very demanding. Some explore developmental sequences and locomotion, while some barely move at all. Attention to imagery, breathing, and small subtle movements add a new dimension to how you think about your actions. Emphasis is placed on finding the easiest, most pleasurable path of movement through the skeleton. This translates into finding balance and harmony (both in relation to the physical laws which govern our actions, as well as in satisfying our individual sense of well being.)
Students often experience immediate improvements in posture and breathing, reduction or elimination of chronic discomforts and a positive feeling of physical and emotional well-being. The increased awareness and relaxation create an atmosphere where the 'impossible becomes possible, the difficult becomes easy and the awkward becomes graceful'.
Here is a very short Awareness Through Movementâ lesson
HOWFAR CAN YOU TURN?
It is most important that you allow yourself to follow these general guidelines. The guidelines are just as important as the movements.
1.Listen to your breathing. Breathe normally, but notice if your breathing stops or becomes more forced.
2.Go slowly. This will give you time to sense how you move.
3.Do less than you think you can do. It is easier to sense differences when the effort is lighter.
4.Use only as much force or effort as is necessary. Look for pleasing, light sensations.
5.Play and explore the movement and sensation for yourself. Do not be too serious or try hard.
6.Do not overcome pain. Do the movement just short of this, or do it only in your imagination.
Note: This lesson involves turning the head. It is important that you turn slowly and gently, stopping if you get any signals of strain, discomfort or pain. If you have difficulty turning, go only so far that you DO NOT have pain. A very small turn is okay.
To begin, sit comfortably on the edge of a chair with your hands relaxed in your lap.
1.Gently turn your head to the left and return to center. Do this a few times. Notice a point on the wall that is the furthest point you can comfortably see. Let this go.
2.Cradle your head with the palms of your hands, so the heel of your hand is at your jawline and the fingers may rest around your eyes. Your palms touch your cheeks. Notice that your elbows rest on your chest, as if'glued' there. Maintaining this position without effort, gently turn your cradled head to the left as far as is comfortable and back to center. Notice that the whole upper body turns. Do this movement 5-10 times…. and let this go.
3.Turn to the right in the same way. Repeat 5-10 times. Return to the center and drop you hands into your lap.
4.Repeat step 1. Notice the change from the first time. Whether small or large, the change happens because of the unique way Feldenkraisâ lessons allow us to engage the hidden intelligence of the body.