Tag Archives: Feldenkrais® Victoria

Feldenkrais in the Pool?

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

Pic by Pixaby

Recently a client asked if I would come into the pool for our Feldenkrais session.  I couldn’t see any reason not to and was curious about the upcoming experience.

The day arrives and this clients physio and I are at the outdoor pool with them.  I begin with listening and observing what their routine is in the pool before sharing any possible movement patterns.  What I recognize is simple and doable movements are missing.  Movements such as rotating leg in a circle to loosen hip-joint and create a brains connection to using this rotation in future patterns of movement.  A movement the client can successful do in the pool without strain or pain.  I suggested this pattern and then added ankle joint circles.  In the water this movement was more available and the client had more ease in turning one foot in a circle once again increasing the connection between the brain and the action.  Finally going to their knees and to explore bending them to bring them up one at a time to mimic walking which is doable in the water.

After a few minutes of creating these easy patterns that are difficult on dry land I suggest that the client stretch out in the water face down and begin to bring knees towards chest to mimic crawling.  Beautiful precursor to walking!

Feldenkrais in the water?  YES!

One take-a-way was what happened when a stretching exercise created a leg cramp.  In explaining it the physio said to the client, …. “this is the same cramp that you have had since last year.”  I waited a for a time and said that cramps come with movements that are happening in the moment.  I asked the client what movement they  did that resulted in the cramp.  Both the physio and the client identified immediately that it was the stretching exercise.  The function of being able to associate with the real action is imperative if there is to be effective change.  Generalization, association and storytelling has no therapeutic value in my opinion.  Why?  There is no connection or awareness of the action to be able to replace it with a new action.

Another take-a-way is that rotating the limb was called, “range of motion” by the physio versus a movement the client can make to increase their functional ability to increase the way they move.   Generalizing this movement by labeling it “range of motion” creates a degree of separation in the clients conscious awareness of it’s intended function.  It’s time to get back to the basics and focus on real function.  Lets stop talking a language of separation and start speaking  a language of connection to functions.

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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“Gift of Movement for your favorite people”

Monterey Activity Centre

Or print:

Monterey Winter Program – Balance and Fear of Falling pdf

Posture begins with Self-Awareness

Ralph Strauch has an interesting perspective on the differences of postures with effort and without.  In his article, “Good Posture Flows from Self-awareness,”  he discusses habitual posture that is learned from “being told” what posture should be versus being guided to sense what our posture is!  Difference beging ‘doing’ and “being.” (Replacing the organic posture alignment we developed)  Read more  or upcoming workshops


Feldenkrais®, Feldenkrais Method®, Functional Integration®, and Awareness Through Movement®, are Servicemarks of The Feldenkrais Guild®


Getting Yourself Ready to Notice Breathing

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

PrintExplore Feldenkrais in 2 ways:
  1. Group Glasses & Workshops called:  Awareness through Movement or ATM (Classes below)
  2. Individual Sessions called:  Functional Integration (for increasing available movement for conditions, injuries, athletes, musicians, dancers and development

Cultivating Awareness through ATM focused upon Breathing

“Preparing yourself to Notice your Breathing”

Take a moment in sitting and notice how you are sitting.  A firm seated chair is the best for this exercise for support and to give you feedback to begin focusing your attention in a particular way.

Start with your focus of attention:

  • Where does your focus go in noticing?
  • Do you notice if you are sitting in a slouched position or the opposite – lower back arched forward?
  •  Do you notice if your weight is on your right buttock or left?
  • Do you feel your feet on the floor?

Pause and simply breathe in and release a few times

Now take a moment and notice your upper body in sitting.  Take your attention to these following areas and simply notice yourself.  Pay attention to when you stop breathing to focus and simply take a breathe as soon as you notice holding it.  Try and continue to breathe through your shifting focus of attention.

  • Are your  arms hanging down from your shoulders softly and loosely?  If not, how can you simply let them go to hang down with your hands resting on your thighs.
  • Are your fingers and palms softly resting on your thighs?
  • Notice your shoulder blades and if they are soft or tense.  If tense, can you soften them while sitting?
  • Take your attention to your front side in the area opposite of your shoulder blades and notice the tension.  Follow a few breathes in and notice if you breath into this area or not.  If not, slowly soften this area and breathe in and release.
  • Coming up to your neck notice if what part of your neck is in your focus of attention.  Is it the front, the back or one side that stands out?
  • Now notice your head.  Do you sense the front of your head more than the back? Do you sense your head falling forward or backward?    Is your head in a soft position with little movements  or do you notice it locked into one position?

Pause and simply breathe in and release a few times.

Before moving on to ‘Breathing with Spine Support’  or ‘Could raising your shoulder lead to  breathing easier? ‘, take a moment to notice how you perceive yourself in sitting now.  Check in and see if it different than at the beginning.  Notice if you have more of yourself now  in your sensing awareness than you did at the beginning.  Does your attention notice new places?

Choices for some simple fuller breathe movement lessons:

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Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Value-Based Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000, Founder of Greater Victoria Peace & Intercultural Celebrations since 2010 & Greater Victoria Labyrinths since 2012, #yyj Peace Week Calendar Founder – 2014 & 2015


Fitness the Feldenkrais® way at Monterey Centre – 250-370-7300

Movement & Awareness  Classes – improving personal fitness & abilities 

  • Saturday, May 19, 2012,  10:00am until 12:00pm

Walking for more power and enjoyment. This workshop will begin with exploring why walking doesn’t need to be difficult. Learn exercises to become more efficient in your walking, whether you are crossing the street, going up and down stairs, or hiking on trails. Experience greater comfort and ease in walking through simple postural changes working with gravity. Movement that invites your muscles to participate naturally releasing their holding patterns and consciously understand how flexibility can add to the dynamics of walking on various terrains and surfaces. After a lesson involving movement patterns, we will head outdoors to take our learning experience into the environment to explore how to walk in action using the awareness of the recent lesson. Walks will leave from and return to Monterey Centre and will be different each session. Trails – Centennial, Coast to Coast, Lanes and Trails from Oak Bay Walking Trails
Registration – 250-370-7300

Article – Falling For Feldenkrais: A Patient’s Progress

Article by Michael Sigman in the Huffington Post on  June 16, 2010 10:30 AM

For an obsessive swimmer who craves the endorphins, the past two years of failed therapies for a bum shoulder have been a bummer. I’ve been acupunctured, acupressured, cracked, Rolfed, electro-stimulated, nutritionized, lasered, therapized, osteopathed, hypnotized, rheumatologized, cortisoned, massaged, medicated, iced, heated, surgerized and more. Much more.

All these treatments have yielded benefits, except for the “much pain, no gain” neck-wrenchings of a certain Dr. Hertz. Our brief relationship ended when, after waiting an hour, I was asked to reschedule an appointment because Donald Sutherland had arrived. I love Donald – he was a super doctor in M*A*S*H! – but not that much. I would happily have stepped aside for his son Kiefer, a.k.a. 24’s Jack Bauer, though, so he could save civilization as we know it before the next commercial break.

But it always seemed the healer was doing something to me or instructing me to adhere to a specific, do-or-die nutrition, exercise or stretching regimen. Some gave interesting advice that didn’t quite address the problem at hand, like the enigmatic Zen acupuncturist who said little during our sessions except “You must eat very slowly and chew each bite at least 40 times before swallowing.”  for more go to – Article 

Moshe Feldenkrais’s Work with Movement – A Parallel Approach to Milton Erickson’s Hypnotherapy

By Mark Reese

The work of Moshe Feldenkrais and Milton Erickson epitomizes mastery of the facilitation of human learning. On the surface their approaches are dissimilar: Feldenkrais works primarily in the physical domain of touch and movement, while Erickson worked primarily in the symbolic domain of image and language. Nevertheless, there are striking parallels in their philosophical emphasis on human individuality, the importance of learning, and the role of unconscious processes. Even more remarkable are the similar innovations of utilization, indirect techniques, and pattern interruptions that each employs with a subtlety which defies verbal description and strains the powers of observation. Those who are familiar with Erickson’s work can discern many similar patterns of communication in the following Feldenkrais excerpt. In this workshop session, Feldenkrais had participants lie on the floor on their stomachs and do various slow, gentle movements related to childhood crawling. After a while, Feldenkrais asked the group to begin bending the fingers of the right hand “as in you’re going to make a fist”, and then to:

Undo it, as if you stopped thinking of the fist…That is the easiest movement we can do. It’s almost like moving the eyelid Close and open, as slowly, as comfortable, and as little as is nec- essary for you to feel that you’re actually flexing and stretching [pause]…We can do everything to our own comfort….You’ll find that in order to be able to do a thing comfortable, elegantly, and aesthetically right…we must do it with a minimum, of exertion, with the feeling of lightness, the feeling, the sensation of light- nests of lightness of the movement [pause]…You will see that the exists only when you flex it a little bit more and open it, but not completely. In order to make the hand completely flexed and completely open, you have to make a real effort, enough effort, but to flex it a little bit more and flex it a little bit less…gives you a sensation that it is easy, light [pause]…Now being easy light, will you please continue that movement…easy, light…so that the feeling of easy, light is actually connected…it will be…whether you want it or not…you can’t do it otherwise…Your entire motor cortex, the entire nervous system is now pervaded with that feeling, light, and you should know that in our motor cortex the hand occupies, nest to the lips, the largest area…so very slowly there will be a feeling of lightness permeating the entire musculature,…the entire self, making it…keep on doing it…and while you do that, while you feel it’s really light, you’ll find out the whole arm gets light and slowly you will feel the neck and the shoulder blade…over that…getting soft and nice and actually prepared to act without preparing itself. In other words, it’s getting ready for action and you will see when we get that, how quickly, how nicely, we will all be moving, doing the same thing independently, whether you have arthritis, whether you had an operation or not, you will still move infinitely better than you started [pause]…Don’t stop moving the right hand, flexing and …slowly, slowly see a remarkable sort of thing…If you keep on doing that movement, it will actually teach you…slowly, keep on moving the fingers gently and on top of that movement, lift you right shoulder and you will see that the gentleness of the movement, the skill of the movement permeates our entire being and therefore you will see that other things we do improve without doing them. You don’t have to exercise in order to improve. You only have to be your own self. (Feldenkrais, 1981b)

In this example, Feldenkrais utilizes a hand-grasping movement-an infantile reflex and embryological “growth action” (Blechschmidt, 1977) -in order to induce hypnotic-like learning. His students are placed in a situation where they learn from their own movements the means to achieve” comfort, elegance, and aesthetic satisfaction.” During the past 40 years Feldenkrais developed a somatopsychic discipline incorporating numerous effective techniques that in many essential respects complement and parallel the work of Erickson. Many of us in the Feldenkrais community are drawn to Erickson’s work because he so well conveyed certain implicit but unstated insights of Feldenkrais’s approach. Similarly, some Ericksonians have discovered in Feldenkrais’s work a subtle intelligence about nonverbal behavior, learning, and communication which makes Ericksonian skills more accessible.  To read more go to –  article link