Mind in Motion – The Future of Feldenkrais

A revolutionary approach to optimizing human ability when faced with pain, neurological disability, or the challenges of every day life.

Back Into Action

Your strong & supple spine

Mind in Motion - tis the season ‘Tis the season

Scrolling through Instagram last night, I happened upon the striking image above.

Who knew?!

Because I wanted to share the picture with you, dear reader, I researched to find out from whence it came. I traced it back to the Zazzle website, where you can buy this design — from Happy Humerus Design — as a magnet or t-shirt. (If you use the code MAKEZMOMENTS, you’ll get a 15% discount on the purchase price.)

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Mind in Motion - Back into action again Back into action again

A few weekends ago, I taught a public Back Into Action workshop in Prague. 

The content came from a program by the same name that I created for chronic back patients in a comprehensive rehabilitation program. I learned from working with these folks that they didn’t do their prescribed exercises because of pain, did them despite the pain, or, all too often, did them in a counter-productive way. Instead of improving their abilities, how they performed exercises was, unbeknownst to them, strengthened their preexisting restrictive, self-protective, and inefficient — even dangerous — habits. Based on the neuromuscular coordination patterns underlying these exercises, the classes unravel chronic holding, rebalance muscle tonus, and clarify how to move easily, effectively, and enjoyably.

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Mind in Motion - News about the Netherlands News about the Netherlands

Though we haven’t quite finished the preparations for the next Feldenkrais teacher training program in the Netherlands, we have laid most of the foundation. Working with Panta Rhei, a Dutch agency that organizes postgraduate courses for osteopathy and is going to serve as the administrator for the new training, we plan to start in spring 2024.

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Mind in Motion - Remapping the brains map Remapping the brain’s map

Neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield’s research in the 1930s revolutionized our understanding of how the brain coordinates movement. By stimulating the exposed cortex of patients under brain surgery and tracking the responses, Penfield mapped the regions on the right and left sides of the brain that control the movement of specific parts of the body. Each of these regions of the motor cortex is laid as a distorted image of the body known as the homunculus.

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Mind in Motion - a Czech Classic Czech classic

During the more trying times in the past few years, when I couldn’t muster the concentration to read, I set out searching for science fiction movies I hadn’t seen. That’s how I came across Karel Zeman’s magnificent 1958 black-and-white film, Invention for Destruction. It is available on YouTube with English subtitles and for the best possible price: free-99!

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Mind in Motion - At the center of your being At the center of your being

Thomas Hanna was the man who made the Feldenkrais’ Teacher Training at Lone Mountain College in San Francisco happen. A philosopher and author, Hanna came up with the contemporary meaning of somatics as being about the first-person experience of the body and developed his distinct neuromuscular approach.

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Mind in Motion - Teaching Takes Flight Teaching takes flight

Moshe Feldenkrais called one of his most ingenious inventions the artificial floor. The teacher uses a flat rigid object, like a cutting board or a book, to touch the student’s feet, simulating what happens in standing and stimulating the nervous system’s ability to coordinate upright posture.

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Yesterday I received an email from a loyal reader wondering why I haven’t been writing much and asking if I’m okay. As it turns out, she wasn’t the only person who noticed I had only published three posts this year and contacted me.

That being so, I thought it was time to let you know what’s up.

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Mind in Motion Pecking like a chicken Pecking like a chicken

During a postgraduate program in Berkeley, Gaby Yaron, one of the graduates of Feldenkrais’ first teacher training, asked us to sit backward on a chair with both feet on the floor and forearms resting comfortably on the back. From this position, she asked each participant to slowly, gently bring their chin forward like a chicken pecking.

Rather than lowering, lifting, or tilting the head in any way, the idea was to move your face forward while staying seated. This action isn’t a true translation because if your head moves strictly along a horizontal line, your pelvis would soon lift from the chair. Advancing your skull in this manner in this position necessitates that your configuration changes, which means something has to happen in your spine.

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Stormy Weather Mind in Motion Stormy weather

It’s been a wild and wooly time at the western edge of North America since the start of the new year. One storm after another has dumped incredible amounts of rain, leading to overflowing creeks and rivers, raging high tides, and destructive mudslides. The downpours are wreaking havoc on the city and county of Santa Cruz.

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