Tag Archives: Feldenkrais® Method

The need for rounding the edges in design to increase spinal rotation in the classroom

This Feldenkrais Mentor and Lifestyle Coach has a growing awareness of how  hidden learning patterns can eventually lead to reduced mobility through the spine.  




Over time I have observed how reduced movement through one’s spine can have an enormous impact in one’s physical, mental and emotional health. 


Examples of Hidden Patterns that contribute to the loss of flexible rotation through the spine

I encourage you to consider the following prior to shifting your focus to  environmental influences, physical expectations and  focused learning styles  that I believe contribute to the loss of flexible rotation through the spine:

Observe yourself while reading this and pause to check in for your style.  Do you take information in in a left or right brain way.

For example, do you mentally compare this information to what you have stored in your memory already or immediately seek  references?  These two actions are left brain focused. If no, then do you receive information with an open investigative quality?  Exploring is different than solving and this qualify activates the somatic experience.  Let’s call this right brain experiencing. 

I encourage you to read this from a quality of investigation versus analysing or seeking comparisons.  In the introductory article, Feldenkrais and early learning for aging well,  the focus is on how observing human functioning through a variety of ages and backgrounds where all students demonstrated similar functional limitations.  Limitations that can only have come from hidden patterns of learning.  These constraints disappear  when these same students experience new information to integrate into their functional patterns.  Students from 15 to 94.  

All of us are born with similar abilities for learning to increase function and create habits as the building blocks to further development.   We all are born with an inner learning system.  Critical thinking comes later in our development process.   As a Feldenkrais Practitioner my focus is completely on tapping into this first inner exploring ability to take a student into experiencing if they can do more than they think they can.  There is no diagnosing, no judgments, no comparisons, no analysing and no fixing them with solutions. 

My unspoken question is,  “What can you do differently?”  

Environmental  Design Patterning

The ability to rotate increases counter balance, resilience and flexibility throughout life



Prior to studying Feldenkrais I spent time uncovering the elusive qualities and corresponding effects in one’s surroundings. Here are three examples of how design can be an elusive influence for learning bad habits.  

  • Example #1 in architectural design:

Two straight lines  come together to create a sharp edge or point.


This is called a secret arrow and it can be agitating for those experiencing it for extended periods.  If you are kinesthetic your may feel the differences of the points and round container in this picture.  It is an example of how a felt experience can be created by what one can see.  Without the rounded container placement these points would stimulate warning senses.  Two recommendations are:

#1.  remove any furniture away from the aim of  a corner

#2.  place a distraction in front of the point like in this picture

Rounded corners would be prefered to sharp corners for all young children, parents and educators during formative education years.  Physical movement is rotational.  It is not linear.  The environment is an elusive model for learning patterns.  My recommendation is to shift the somatic experience of sharp edges and straight lines by installing stimulus that connects the outer experience with inner function. 

What I notice in later teens and in adults of all ages is that they all walk in a linear pattern.  Their early counter rotation has completely disappeared.  I am suggesting that the linear lines in homes and schools are being demonstrated through to their actions.  This is more evident in the next example.
  • Example #2 in pathways or hallways:

Hallways become the model for linear movement at an early age.  How much time does a student spend in hallways and aisles growing up?  The visual stimulus of straight lines in architecture, roadways and sidewalks become the structural model or container for children during formative years as they begin to focus their attention.  Emphasis is on staying within the lines. 

Straight lines are needed to focus direct attention however not at the expense of curved line experiences.  Curved lines are need to balance the escalation of too much stimulus by the reminder that movement is rotational, playful and joyful, not square and ridgid.    
This concept is important now due to COVID design measures of organizing.  How can you soften the edges of this experiences for children to remind them they are resilient and flexible.   

Furniture and Placement

Desk Placement

In the perfect classroom the teacher’s desk would be along the wall with the  entryway and exits. 


However in most classrooms the teacher faces the door forcing children to sit with their backs to them.  Unfortunately this elusive placement stimulates a reactive quality of danger in the children.  This will stimulate their flight, fight, freeze brain center guaranteeing many  distractions.  

If you entered a traditional Buddhist learning environment with this placement, leaving the students backs unprotected,  a person would be placed at the door.  This persons placement would settle the students sensibilities and create a safe place for being present to learn.

Desk to close together or shared 

The safety, privacy, independence and autonomy of the child is lost with two or more per table or if they are close together.  Younger  children would not understand this intellectually yet they would experience it through inner reactions.  These reactions become habitual throughout a lifetime.

The desk experience can be an integral step to learning what boundaries are, yet this is mostly a lost opportunity due to its elusive nature.  The crowding of desks is a strategy for an adult problem.  In the process of fixing this adult problem the  lost opportunity for the children is the potential to  learn though simple dialogue modelling.  The reason is that in the process of fixing a problem there is usually  no consideration for outcomes or of how participants will process the experience.  This creates the following question for me.   Why do adults leave children to process their own reactions without guidance?  I have witnessed the lack of an empathetic listener and guidance of spoken word patterns for children to process an experience.  In the case of overcrowding with desks there is an expectation that the kids fit into the model without any acknowledgement of how this is for them and then letting them hear back the need for it.  This small interaction is the first step to empathy.  It all starts with dialogue that includes exploring what it’s like for the student and then giving them the opportunity to understand the need for it.   It doesn’t mean the configuration changes.  It simply means that it is no longer an elusive distraction.

When desks are too close a question that arises  is, “how can a child focus if they aren’t emotionally safe in their own learning space?”  Another is, “At what age is a child compared and judged for their appearance, learning materials and how they complete tasks by their own peers?” These are normal conditions and I am sure we can all agree on that they are going to be a part of life.  However, I am suggesting  that their learning model can accommodate consideration for making the elusive obvious by slowing down and considering the influences to their learning.   Sensing and emotions are stimulated by environmental influences and can only be fully released when they receive acceptance and understanding.  Environmental influences include relationships, verbal dialogue, body communication, expectations and directions, and the actual physical surroundings.

Remember that a pattern of words can be learned to express boundaries.

Desk corners 

  • Sharp corners

As mentioned earlier, sharp corners increase agitation and add to the distraction in students.  Ideally the corners on desk and tables would be rounded.


Back to Feldenkrais and early learning for aging well

The only way to change is action

by Renee Lindstrom

Effective Movement Posture with Feldenkrais integrating Awareness through Communication and Awareness through Space

Mentoring Programs Available:

 1st Level – Getting Started (Introduction & Pattern)
 2nd Level – Getting Intouch (Experiencing & Connection)
 3rd Level – Integration (Embodiment)

Follow the journey on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP @ Inside Awareness,  Living in Natures Love Blog
Renee Lindstrom Live
Copyright 2014 – 2021 Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

Feldenkrais®, Feldenkrais Method®, Awareness Through Movement®, Functional Integration®, are registered service marks of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America. Feldenkrais Method®


The need to shift theory observations to clear observations in physicality

One fact that we can all agree upon is that our physicality was our first experience on the planet.  We were not born with a developed belief system or  the ability to theorize based upon short-term and long-term memory association.

As a movement specialist using the learning style of the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education I have found the largest obstacles I am challenged with are people’s tendencies to react, process and respond using only their short-term and long-term memory associations, and learned thought (thinking) process.  Many go into long stories of self-diagnosis, comparisons, identifying and naming associations to what they have already learned and memorized.  This limits the current experience and eliminates the potential for any increased insight.Feldenkrais

My job as a practitioner is to distract this habitual behaviour of theory based observations by creating opportunities for cultivating awareness of exact inner observation experiences in the moment.  This translates to what is being sensed (felt, smelt, tasted, heard and seen) in the exact moment of experiencing it.

This is the uniqueness of the inherent learning we were born with.  I often share with students that if we couldn’t sense our shifting weight in our physicality as a baby we would never have gotten up off the floor, never rolled over, sat, walked or run.  Arrested development!

The learning style we came into this world with is an intelligent way of exploring and increasing our capacity that  does not have a limited focus.  It includes a balance of physical, cultural, perceptive, emotions, mental and soul/spiritual functions.

In my last post I wrote about an actual observation using vocabulary versus a theory observation.  What we say in outer and inner conversation has a direct link to our movement ability.  What we say in outer and inner conversation creates false feelings that are not happening in the current moment.  Rather they are created by memories and perpetuated by the retelling.  This influences our emotions that has a direct link to our movement abilities.

Creating an empathetic experience through connection to thinking, words we tell ourselves, feelings and movement

The challenge can be creating an environment where the student can become curious and explore movement in a way that creates effective change in their movement behaviour versus their learned desires for finding solutions and ways to be fixed.

  • Can your mind go to your posture and movement and not have your first thought be on yoga, the gym, or how much exercise you get?  
  • Can you focus your minds attention to your movement and not think about conditions or limitations?
  • Can you focus your minds attention to your available movement and not compare yourself to who you were in the past, others or go to where you long to be?  

One of the greatest gifts is listening to what is exactly in the current moment using one’s senses.  Your senses aren’t constrained by rules, dogma, perspectives, beliefs and self-image.  This style of listening moves past stuck ways of thinking into a fresh blank page of nothingness with an openness to exploring in an attitude of curiosity.  Like that of when you were a babe beginning your movement journey.   Guided into your own moves versus the demands of being told how, what, where.

In my  practice I combine the understanding of an empathetic environment and lifestyle,  empathetic speaking and listening with a movement style that is empathic. I also include this same understanding of each in my communication and life-style coaching and environment consultants. 

spider-4471795_960_720Over the years the benefits of weaving these together through my different session offerings has become obvious in witnessing the lasting shifts that have taken place.

About Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

One important aspect of her practice is improving physical function.  She has experienced how unresloved needs can restrict movement causing one to have less flexibility. The ability to refine and translate dialogue can help settle emotional fears, pain and anger, or improve one’s needs to be seen, heard and valued in relationships.

by Renee Lindstrom

Awareness Through Living Mentoring Programs Available:

 1st Level – Getting Started (Introduction & Pattern)
 2nd Level – Getting Intouch (Experiencing & Connection)
 3rd Level – Integration (Embodiment)

Follow the journey on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP @ Inside Awareness,  Living in Natures Love Blog
Renee Lindstrom Live
Copyright 2014 – 2020 Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

Thinking patterns that create constraints to physical function, and false emotional responses


One of the possibilities for those longing to cultivate their own awarenesses is in the integration of a specific way to pause and listen.


This skill can turn illusive reactive behaviour into obvious thoughtful behaviour thereby increasing the quality of one’s life style, relationships, physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

This style of listening cultivates awareness and connects one to their surrounding environment, inner emotional and mental environment and the very environment of functional movement.  Whether one functions with a  dominant right brain or left brain this style of listening creates balance.  Afterall we can access both sides of our brains equally.  I liken it to walking a maze or a labyrinth.  One is a right brain experience of introspection to connect and the other a left brain activity to solve puzzles.  The goal is to have a choice of pathways in any one moment.  Both right and left brain activities are equally valuable to reaching a specific target.

I experience right and left brain behavioural reactions in others whether the  focus is on movement, thinking functions, communication,  life purpose,  surroundings or lifestyle influences.  I have experienced what most have in common are the missing skills of how to make the change.  They can all identify it in others, and are quick to, however the model to dig deep within themselves to be self-witnessing is lacking.  It’s not a pattern in our general educational experiences.  It is an untapped resource.  There is a wealth of theory related material available yet the practical steps for integrating change are missing.  The theories out there contribute to the concept of something being “wrong” so there needs to be a fix. This is old school.   New school is that there is nothing wrong, it’s just a gap in the learning process.

Many of us process new information through old learning patterns from earlier cultural experiences.  This includes our:

  • thinking process
  • movement postures
  • emotional reactions.

Habitual behaviours can only only be transformed through exploring and practicing new ways of doing things with an attitude of open curiosity.

Over the years I have begun to witness that it’s how one thinks that is creating the dis-ease

As this post is focused upon types of thinking that pose a constraint to fully functioning with flexibility and clarity, in movement, thinking and responding, here are some types of learned responses.  Responses that are mental blocks to cultivating awareness that actually stop transformation of  habitual living and behaviours, mentally, emotionally and physically.

  • evaluative experiences in patterns of making moral judgments
    • labeling
    • assessing
    • diagnosing
    • criticism
    • incorrect use of one’s ability to compare
    • scarcity
  • positions of authority
    • right and wrong thinking
    • punishment and reward
    • making demands
    • hierarchical positions of power over
  • denial of responsibility
    • lack of honesty
    • blame and shame
  • competing
  • status quo

Developing the skills for transforming into who you long to be


Ways of integrating ones bodies of function is through new learning experiences for checking in and exploring:



  • how one thinks now and noticing if there is a better quality of experience with new patterns
  • how one moves now and noticing if there is a better quality of experience with new patterns
  • how one is stimulated by their lifestyle and surroundings now and noticing if there is a better quality of experience with new patterns

Finding your intention and creating a target for meeting the goals of who you long to be with Inside Awareness

The learning modules here at Inside Awareness can be specific to life areas whether you are:

  • looking for your life purpose
  • seeking to improve your relationships to all life
  • wanting to enhance your physical abilities
  • introduce a sense of sacredness in your environment 

Each module are concrete actions steps that bring one into the shift they long for.

Each module has a foundation in practical steps and have applications that are logical yet bring focus to the illusive.

Inside Awareness focuses upon switching back on one’s inherent ability to learn where the experience becomes the teacher and the student becomes the sage.

The intention is to increases creativity and expressiveness in living. by Renee Lindstrom

Awareness Through Living Mentoring Programs Available:

 1st Level – Getting Started (Introduction & Pattern)
 2nd Level – Getting Intouch (Experiencing & Connection)
 3rd Level – Integration (Embodiment)


Follow the journey on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP @ Inside Awareness,  Living in Natures Love Blog
Renee Lindstrom Live
Copyright 2014 – 2020 Renee Lindstrom, GCFP


Like everyone in the world I wondered if my live interaction with students would come back to life

Getting set up for Functional Integration sessions (Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education)

Like everyone in our recent reality seeing people in person had stopped or shifted to phone calls and zoom.  In the past few weeks as talk of  lifting the  restrictions began I had  doubt and uncertainty about how to move forward myself.  There was a  lingering question of whether anyone would come.  I wondered if there was a future.  All it took was a student to connect and inquire if I was seeing anyone yet or not.  They shared they would be willing to connect on-line yet expressed a preference to come in person.  Okay they will come, so now what?

Time to source out disposable face masks, gloves, a face shield, hand sanitizer, cleaners for disinfecting and new cleaning cloths.  Then set to work on the new appearance of the space.  Removing all extraneous objects, getting the steamer in to steam everything including the carpet.  Setting it up to walk through to experience how it could work.  This included changing shoes and having a specific pair just for that space and having disinfectant ready for spraying the soles of their shoes.  Walking through it it became apparent that I will know have to giving directions on how to enter into the office with me opening and closing doors to limit touching.  It’s a lot of extra work.  Going through it I found I was hot and sweating.

My appreciation grew for those in the care industry who have been working on the front lines.

After walking through this and recognizing it was doable I recognized this could be be totally integrated.  Then this same student inquired how much extra I would like to charge for the additional costs, etc.  I was thankful for this inquiry of thoughtfulness  My focus of attention was on the equipment and how to get ready, not the financial costs.  My thoughts go to how living and working through this appears to be affecting pretty much all of the primary nine life areas.  Getting serious about conscious safety at work increases the knowledge on how to be safer in my home life areas.  What ever I experience in either area, work or home, influences all of these:

  1. Wealth
  2. Fame
  3. Relationships
  4. Past
  5. Health
  6. Future
  7. Education
  8. Career
  9. Community

3 things I have learned from this experience

  1. It is doable.
  2. Extra precautions for cleanliness can be taken for the benefit of all.
  3. We can ask for and also be more considerate meeting the needs for valuing others and one-self.

Follow the Journey on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

Book a personalized Coaching session for self, work, group or create a retreat

by Renee Lindstrom

Awareness Through Living Mentoring Programs Available:

1st Level – Getting Started (Introduction & Pattern)
 2nd Level – Getting Intouch (Experiencing & Connection)
 3rd Level – Integration (Embodiment)

Follow the journey on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP @ Inside Awareness,  Living in Natures Love Blog
Renee Lindstrom Live

Communication retraining the brain

In Cultivating Awareness foundational for experiential learning one will read about the similarities and differences between Renee’s educational programs and a Mindfulness Mediation Practice.

The focus of this article is on cultivating awareness to retrain the brain and balance used of left and right sides of the brain that Renee encourages her students to learn in the process of becoming self-directed and connected to what and how they are speaking.

The importance of a particular practice of identifying types of  thoughts became relevant when a student came back to class and shared their life changing self-awareness experience.  They discovered that they compare themselves and others while making critical moral judgments based upon their filter of jealousy. By slowing down to observe these patterns, this recognition can shift and transform their experience. The types of thoughts we address are in the following illustration.

In this diagram a maze is in the area of the fore-brain that depicts the essence of figuring it out and hitting walls until one finds their way forward. This can be complex and draining process.

In the following diagram a larger spiral leading directly into the center point is shown in the fore-brain area that demonstrates the ease in which cultivated awareness through communication can mirror.  This cultivation is not unlike the growing ability to focus ones attention as they would in a sitting mediation.  It is a different focus, pattern and foundation that one would practice that would include more of ones whole functional ability than the limiting thought process shown in the above diagram.

 Go back to – Cultivating Awareness foundational for retraining the brain

Book an appointment with Renee

Learn more about Renee’s  educational programs, workshops and events

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Encouraging others to become self-directed, improve abilities to notice and discover new connections, refine self-use, and integrate new and practical skills is life enriching for this teacher and students.

Copyright 2014 – 2019 Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000



Cultivating Awareness foundational for retraining the brain

Each of the these experiential learning opportunities share the same objectives of  cultivating awareness and focusing attention.

Another thing in common they have is that they are inclusive of the four aspects of the human condition and function:  mental, emotional, physical and belief systems.  These components are not isolated as separate functions as in other wellness styles.  In each of these functional events there is an education aspect that includes a mindful pattern cultivating expanded focus.

Here is a way of cultivating awareness through a pattern one may be familiar with:

Mindfulness Meditation

Change through Cultivating Awareness
  • 3 Steps to Mindful Meditation to Cultivate Awareness

Step #1 – Begins with a foundation

Mat, Cushion, Posture

Step #2 – Then a focus point


#3 – Followed by a pattern

Observe your thoughts & environment while following your breath

Improving the ability to notice, discover new connections, refine self-use, and integrate your new skills through the experiential learning techniques anyone can integrate the skills and action steps that creates a ‘being in the moment experience‘ like in a dedicated  meditative practice.

Read more:

First communication steps for retraining the brain

Book an appointment with Renee

Learn more about Renee’s  educational programs, workshops and events

Follow Renee’s Calendar on TwitterInstagram  Pinterest or Facebook

Encouraging others to become self-directed, improve abilities to notice and discover new connections, refine self-use, and integrate new and practical skills is life enriching for this teacher and students.

Copyright 2014 – 2019 Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000

Calming Fright, Flight, Fight reactions through movement techniques

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

Mindfulness through Movement

Observing people’s posture in standing and walking for the past 10 years has been educational.  I have begun to notice subtle posture nuances that clearly indicates ones state of mind and their physical and emotional well-being.  The most common condition I am observing in people is a separation between what one thinks and a connection to physical movement.

Generally I notice ones focus of attention is on interpretation of what is happening versus actual experience.  For me this means having a fixed perspective, opinion or belief.  If a physical ailment surfaces there is a fixed belief to go and have someone fix it or use tools to make physical movement easier.  Tools like a cane, walker, scooter, special chair and bed.    What’s missing is an easier possibility!  This is the exploration of how to move differently.  I am not referring to practices such as yoga, therapy, stretching or exercising as the difference is that you are following a limited structured pattern.  I am referring to increasing awareness of feeling how you move in the process of moving.  This includes increasing your ability to focus your attention on how each bone  and joint movement can be sensed.

When mobility increases I notice that there is an increase in coping.  The mask of fear, anger, pain and anxiety is replaced with a peaceful and open appearance.

Recently I wrote about settling the fight, flight, fright experiences of the Hippocampus from the perspective of communication.  I have noticed that another more effective way to settle these reactions has been through the application of Feldenkrais® Movement.

Working with three ways to settle ones flight, fight and fright reactions I find the application of Feldenkrais Movements the quickest and most effective for shifting and integrating change.  It engages more immediate functional connection between ones physical, mental and emotional states of being.  Many times I have experienced someone in a series of 6 classes for balance where after the first or second class someone has given up their cane.  They describe that they are less fearful to stand and support themselves.

This year a trend has been the lack of  connection to feeling one’s legs.  I had to purposely show  someone that they dragged a leg behind them when there wasn’t any physical reason for this.  It turned out this leg had been broken years before and this person forgot how to use this leg.  This resulted in collapsing. When life became too difficult to enjoy they requested an operation, however there wasn’t anything to operate on!

Recently I encouraged someone to consciously shift weight purposely into one of their legs and their reaction was to say that this leg couldn’t support them.  I asked them how they had walked all these years and suggested that this leg must actually be supporting them.  We spent a few minutes practicing shifting weight from foot to foot and their fear was tangible.  A short week later the leg that was not trusted appeared stronger and I smile as there was no hesitation in using this leg.  The fright, flight and fight reactions were not visible!

What is exciting as a practitioner giving guidance to explore patterns of movement is that there it bypasses the stories in ones mind and focuses them on discovering their movement process.  It teaches them ways to feel the movement.     It increases present awareness (being in the moment).

To other ways for calming ones state of flight, fright and fight can be through increased understanding of your emotional and intellectual functions and your environment.

Learn more about workshops, classes and personal appointment opportunities:

Read more:

Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication,  Empathy,  Values Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000, Labyrinths of Victoria since 2012, #yyj Peace Week Grassroots Calendar Founder, Vice-Chair of World Children’s Summit on Peace & Nature in 2015

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