Tag Archives: practice

Perception Vs. Reality: Practicing New Patterns of Self-Use

What Is Real?

Perception and Reality words on a stack of balls with an arrow sticking into RealityToday one of my clients came up to standing after a Feldenkrais® lesson and said, “It feels like my left foot is in front of my right foot.” He looked down and saw that, in reality, his feet were in line with each other. This was a novel relationship for his feet: his pattern typically is to have his right foot a little forward. His perception was different than reality.

It takes time to become incorporate new patterns into your self-image.

When you find something new in a lesson like a different place for your foot to be in standing, you can play with that. Take one foot a bit forward, shift weight back and forth between the back and front foot. Take the other foot forward, again shift weight. With feet side by side again, observe your perception now of where they are with respect to each other. Feel it, look at them.

Can you make it a game?

Later in the day, check in again. Stand and observe. How are your feet now placed?

Use Your Life as a Lab to Refine Perception

You can incorporate Awareness Through Movement® practice into your daily life with this kind of attention.

Waiting in line at the grocery store becomes an opportunity for self-investigation. Or pushing your shopping cart, you can observe how you transfer weight between your feet. Standing at the kitchen sink, you can check in to see how weight is distributed between your feet. Not changing or correcting anything right away, just observing. Then you can begin to look for what feels most efficient, testing theories about function we’ve begun investigating in class.

Reality Check

A woman lifts dirt with a garden fork.

© International Feldenkrais® Federation Archive, Robert Golden.

It’s particularly illuminating to discover where some familiar pattern of self-use expresses itself as discomfort.

Although I’ve been clarifying and improving my walk for the last three years, when I garden my old pattern re-emerges. After two hours of transplanting and weeding this spring I felt a familiar pain in my lumbar spine. I hadn’t yet brought new movement patterns I’d learned in the context of the walking into bending and bearing weight. Now I have a new goal for self-study: improving how I lift.

Moment by moment, we have the change to discover ourselves in movement. To perfect our self-images.

Learning More about Awareness Through Movement

If you’re curious about the theory behind ATM, read Moshe Feldenkrais‘ book Awareness Through Movement. He wrote it for the general public. The first part presents his ideas about functional movement and learning. The second leads you through 12 lessons, including one entitled “Perfecting the Self-Image.”

Another way to learn more about ATM, come to a class or workshop here in Dallas. Click here to find a class near you.

Anti-Fragile Walking Step By Step

Feldenkrais teacher Andrew Gibbons

Andrew Gibbons, GCFP

Would you like to walk with greater ease and pleasure? Most of us walk with deeply grooved habits, repeating moments that lead to pain and stiffness. If we study these moments, we can create stability and integrity in our walk. With practice, we can clarify and ennoble an action we’ve done unconsciously our entire lives. Taught by Andrew Gibbons, GCFP.

In this 2-day course, you’ll raise your walking from an unconscious habit to an informed practice. You’ll emerge with a clearer perspective on how walking works and the art of transferring weight elegantly from leg to leg. You’ll learn what, why, and how to practice with greater specificity. Then walking can become a path to health. It can be your zen, your gym, and your joy. Limit: 25 participants. Room for 3 more as of 3/21.

Andrew Gibbons working with a student.The course focuses on three crucial moments in walking. These moments will set the parameters to test skeletal support, muscular efficiency, and balance.

As a participant you will learn:

  1. How walking is learned, and how learning is walked.
  2. Why your soft tissue cannot survive a disorganized skeleton.
  3. To see and sense shearing forces that poor walking creates, and learn how to move better by choice.
  4. Key relationships in the foot, ankle, and knee that every good walk maintains.
  5. “Do-anywhere” practices that help you tune your walking balance and maintain it throughout the day.
  6. How to use observational skills to improve by observing other people and yourself.
  7. Awareness Through Movement® practices that deepen your understanding and skill.

Participants will receive a set of four Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement lessons:  “Walking with the Ground.”

Instructor Andrew Gibbons is a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Teacher in New York City. He’s spent the last 8 years uncovering the moments in walking that tell us the most about our posture and self organization. In his private practice, he teaches the humans of New York how to organize themselves better for the second half of life than they did for the first. Andrew has been a Feldenkrais Teacher since 2003. He’s on the staff of Jeff Haller’s IOPS Academy, a graduate program for Feldenkrais teachers in NYC and Seattle.

COST: Late $325 (by Apr. 5); At door $350 (if space permits). Students $200.

Register on Brown Paper Tickets. Or send a check payable to “Dallas Feldenkrais” to:
P.O. Box 797503
Dallas, TX 75379