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Creating Calm, Presence and Ease through Mindful Movement

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

By Mary Rudd, GCFP

Students learn to be more in tune with their sensations during an Awareness Through Movement® lesson.

"This is the one time that I have in my day when I can be free of stress, expectations and demands of others," says one man, a semi-regular student at Wise Move. "

"I haven't felt any back pain since I started the class and I feel better overall," says another student during a private session. "How does this work?" she wonders.

There are many options to explore when we look for support in feeling and functioning better, but many people never find the support for using their own capacity to change something that is causing strain, pain, or stress. At Wise Move Studio, my students discover that they can learn new patterns of movement and responses to challenges, putting themselves on a new trajectory.

The idea in a private Feldenkrais® session or a group class is to learn how to notice and pay attention to your physical, mental, and emotional responses as you move through your day. With my support, you learn to pay attention to yourself in a new way, and to feel the improvements that come from that learning.

Consider some of the typical responses I have heard from students after a lesson:

“I have never felt my back rest so fully on the floor.”

“My shoulders are more relaxed and my feet are more connected with the floor.”

“I feel more freedom in my ribs and lower back.”

“I learned that I have been letting my fear of re-injury keep me from moving more fully.”

“I slept better after that class than I have in months!”

In my work with students, I use the following research-supported components for learning:

1. Experiential learning: People learn to feel more freedom, comfort and ease through a process that lets you experience those sensations. There is no better way to learn than to practice and do what it is you want to gain.

2. Paying attention: Learning to notice the connection between how you move and what you sense in your body is a skill that you can cultivate through practice. I also guide you to try other options in your movement so that you can feel distinctions between movements that cause strain and those which are more efficient and coordinated.

3. Mindfulness: There is a meditative quality to the Feldenkrais Method® because you learn to distance yourself from external pressures, standards, and expectations. You learn to be present with yourself and to use your own sense of what feels safe, useful, and supportive. Feldenkrais lessons are structured for kinesthetic learning, which includes awareness.

4. Resiliency: Physical sensations are integrated with thought and emotional patterns. With my support, students work through a process of discarding habits that are limiting or harmful, replacing them with healthier self-talk.

5. Neuroplasticity: Our brains are formed by our experiences, and it is through our senses that the nervous system processes information. At Wise Move Studio, the learning process mirrors a way to live a healthier life. When students improve how they move, other parts of their life tend to improve as well.

The Feldenkrais Method is not a treatment, adjustment, or exercise program. Instead, this somatic approach to learning is a system “based on decades of research in physics, neuroscience, biomechanics, learning theory, and human development to give you the means to help yourself. "(The Feldenkrais Guild of North America).


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