“The problem is that much of what we have learned is harmful to our system because it was learned in childhood, when immediate dependence on others distorted our real needs. Long-standing habitual action feels right. Training a body to be perfect in all the possible forms and configurations of its members changes not only the strength and flexibility of the skeleton and muscles, but makes a profound and beneficial change in the self-image and quality of the direction of the self.”
― Moshé Feldenkrais

Awareness Through Movement® & Functional Integration®

Awareness Through Movement®

Awareness Through Movement consists of verbally directed movement sequences presented primarily to groups. There are several hundred hours of Awareness Through Movement lessons. A lesson generally lasts from thirty to sixty minutes. Each lesson is usually organized around a particular function.

In Awareness Through Movement lessons, people engage in precisely structured movement explorations that involve thinking, sensing, moving, and imagining. Many are based on developmental movements and ordinary functional activities. Some are based on more abstract explorations of joint, muscle, and postural relationships. The lessons consist of comfortable, easy movements that gradually evolve into movements of greater range and complexity. There are hundreds of Awareness Through Movement lessons contained in the Feldenkrais Method that vary, for all levels of movement ability, from simple in structure and physical demand to more difficult lessons.

Awareness Through Movement lessons attempt to make one aware of his/her habitual neuromuscular patterns and rigidities and to expand options for new ways of moving while increasing sensitivity and improving efficiency.

A major goal of Awareness Through Movement is to learn how one’s most basic functions are organized. By experiencing the details of how one performs any action, the student has the opportunity to learn how to:

  • attend to his/her whole self
  • eliminate unnecessary energy expenditure
  • mobilize his/her intentions into actions
  • learn and improve

Functional Integration®

Functional Integration is a hands-on form of tactile, kinesthetic communication. The Feldenkrais practitioner communicates to the student how he/she organizes his/her body and hints, through gentle touching and movement, how to move in more expanded functional motor patterns. Functional Integration is usually performed with the student lying on a table designed specifically for the work. It can also be done with the student in sitting or standing positions. At times, various props are used in an effort to support the person’s body configuration or to facilitate certain movements.

Just as Feldenkrais practitioners can guide people through movement sequences verbally in Awareness Through Movement group classes, they also guide people through movement with gentle, non-invasive touching in Functional Integration individual lessons. In Functional Integration, the practitioner/teacher’s intention is instructive and communicative.

The Functional Integration lesson should relate to a desire, intention, or need of the student. The learning process is carried out without the use of any invasive or forceful procedure. Through rapport and respect for the student’s abilities, qualities, and integrity, the practitioner/teacher creates an environment in which the student can learn comfortably.

In Functional Integration, the practitioner/teacher develops a lesson for the student, custom-tailored to the unique configuration of that particular person, at that particular moment. The practitioner conveys the experience of comfort, pleasure, and ease of movement while the student learns how to reorganize his/her body and behavior in new and more effective manners.

Who was Moshe Feldenkrais?

Moshe Pinhas Feldenkrais was born on May 6, 1904, in Slavuta, in the present-day Ukrainian Republic. When he was a small boy his family moved to the nearby town of Korets. By 1912 his family moved to Baranovich, in what is today, Belarus. While Baranovich endured many World War I battles, Feldenkrais received his Bar Mitzvah, completed two years of high school, and received an education in the Hebrew language and Zionist philosophy. In 1918 Feldenkrais left by himself on a six-month journey to Palestine.

After arriving in 1919, Feldenkrais worked as a laborer until 1923 when he returned to high school to earn a diploma. While attending school he made a living by tutoring. After graduating in 1925, he worked for the British survey office as a cartographer. Feldenkrais was involved in Jewish self-defense groups, and after learning Jujitsu he devised his own self-defense techniques. He hurt his left knee in a soccer match in 1929. While convalescing he wrote Autosuggestion (1930), a translation from English to Hebrew of Charles Brooks’ work on Coué‘s system of autosuggestion, together with two chapters that he wrote himself. He next published Jujitsu (1931), a book on self-defense.

In 1930 Feldenkrais went to Paris and enrolled in an engineering college, the Ecole des Travaux Publics des Paris. He graduated in 1933 with specialties in mechanical and electrical engineering. In 1933 after meeting Jigaro Kano, Judo’s founder, Feldenkrais began teaching Jujitsu again, and started his training in Judo. In 1933 he began working as a research assistant under Frederic Joliot-Curie at the Radium Institute, while studying for his Ingeniur-Docteur degree at the Sorbonne. From 1935-1937 he worked at the Arcueil-Cachan laboratories building a Van de Graaf generator, which was used for atomic fission experiments. In 1935 he published a revised, French edition of his Hebrew jujitsu book called, La Défense du Faible Contre L’Agresseur, and in 1938 published ABC du Judo. He received his Judo black belt in 1936, and 2nd degree rank in 1938. Feldenkrais married Yona Rubenstein in 1938. From 1939-1940 he worked under Paul Langevin doing research on magnetics and ultra-sound.
Feldenkrais escaped to England in 1940, just as the Germans arrived in Paris. As a scientific officer in the British Admiralty, he conducted anti-submarine research in Scotland from 1940-1945. While there he taught Judo and self-defense classes. In 1942 he published a self-defense manual, Practical Unarmed Combat, and Judo. Feldenkrais began working with himself to deal with knee troubles that had recurred during his escape from France, and while walking on submarine decks. Feldenkrais gave a series of lectures about his new ideas, began to teach experimental classes, and work privately with some colleagues.

In 1946 Feldenkrais left the Admiralty, moved to London, and worked as an inventor and consultant in private industry. He took Judo classes at the London Budokwai, sat on the international Judo committee, and scientifically analyzed Judo principles. He published his first book on his method, Body and Mature Behavior, in 1949, and his last book on Judo, Higher Judo, in 1952. During his London period he studied the work of George Gurdjieff, F. M. Alexander, and William Bates, and went to Switzerland to study with Heinrich Jacoby.
Feldenkrais returned to Israel to direct the Israeli Army Department of Electronics, 1951-1953. Around 1954 he moved permanently to Tel Aviv and, for the first time, made his living solely by teaching his method. He worked sporadically on the manuscript of The Potent Self, which he had begun in London. Around 1955 he permanently located his Awareness through Movement® classes to a studio on Alexander Yanai Street. He gave Functional Integration lessons in the apartment where his mother and brother lived. In early 1957 Feldenkrais began giving lessons to Israeli Prime Minister, David ben Gurion.

In the late 1950’s Feldenkrais presented his work in Europe and the United States. In the mid 1960s he published Mind and Body and Bodily Expression. In 1967, he published Improving the Ability to Perform (titled Awareness Through Movement in its 1972 English language edition). In 1968, near his family’s apartment, he made a studio at 49 Nachmani Street as the permanent site for his Functional Integration practice, and location for his first teacher-training program, 1969-1971, given to 12 students.

After giving month-long courses internationally, he taught a 65-student, teacher-training program in San Francisco over four summers, 1975-1978. He published The Case of Nora in 1977, and The Elusive Obvious in 1981. He began the 235-student Amherst training in 1980, but was only able to teach the first two summers of the four-year program. After becoming ill in the fall 1981, he stopped teaching publicly. He died on July 1, 1984.
*I have done my best to verify dates, names, and places, though I cannot guarantee their accuracy, due to limitations of information available and discrepancies between sources.

By Mark Reese

Feldenkrais Moments - Video

Notes from Katarina Halm

Katarina Halm – Movement Intelligence & Focusing

With the year 2016 I celebrated ten years teaching as a certified practitioner of the Feldenkrais® Method of Somatic Education.

Registration / Fees

Contribution to the Studio:
Please consider supporting our studio with a contribution
$85-$120-$200 Quarterly Jan-Mar, Apr-June, July-Sept, Oct-Dec (or what you can afford).
Contributions may be sent by Pay Pal to studio@thinkinginmovement.ca
or ask us (email) for mailing address. 

For Individual Functional Integration® Lessons: please discuss with Katarina

REGISTRATION & QUESTIONS

MORE INFORMATION:
studio@thinkinginmovement.ca ~ 604-263-9123

STUDIO REGISTRATION FORM:
Please complete Studio Registration if you have not already:

Feldenkrais® Week in May of each year!

Feldenkrais® Week 2017

Saturday May 13 at 11:00am we enjoyed Moshe Feldenkrais’s Lesson 5 from the Awareness Through Movement® Book, Coordination of the Flexor Muscles and of the Extensors  Each year those at Thinking in Movement Studio revisit this timely lesson. This year Katarina included a study from  J.C. Hannon: “The ischial rock – an exploration of ease, unstable equilibrium and skeletal poise“,  J.C. Hannon, page 11, The Physics of Feldenkrais, Part 5, Unstable equilibrium and its application to movement therapy, Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, July 2001.  Our study was enhanced by elements from Jeff Haller’s Advanced Training- Perspectives on Walking (Perspectives on Walking (DVD VERSION))

 Continuing to celebrate Feldenkrais® Week during the month of May Katarina offered weekly evening and morning classes in Memorial Park, Vancouver and weekly online classes with the theme: Move, Focus, Prepare!
* Weaving together steps for preparedness, we cultivate the comfort of being prepared for a likely earthquake on the Cascadia Pacific coast of North America and Canada

CONTACT US
Registration
Work Study Scholarships
Extended Health Insurance Benefits
Continuing Education Credits
Questions, wishes


The terms Feldenkrais, Awareness Through Movement, and Functional Integration are registered service marks in Canada of the Feldenkrais Guild of North America (FGNA)
Movement Intelligence Programs are the intellectual property of Ruthy Alon, Ph.D. Process Descriptions written by Anna Haltrecht © 2017