Erin's Feldenkrais Commitments

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Many people think the Feldenkrais Method is about movement. In part, they are right. But anyone who has attempted it quickly realizes that its primary effect is on the interior landscape. It literally changes your relationship with yourself. How is that?

Because how you move is a reflection of your inner world. Our lives are a composition in movement: Gestures, head tilts, facial expressions, vocal tones, shifts in weight, laughing in joy, freezing in tension, leaning into conversation, retreating from an abrasive experience...all is movement.

When I first explored Feldenkrais, I was extremely hard on myself. Of course, my movements reflected this attitude. To move differently, I first had to stop judging myself. I had to change from, "You are not moving your arm correctly! Do it this way!" to, "What happens if you move your arm like this?" I began to associate these two approaches with quantifiable sensations: one of painful muscle contraction, the other of less contraction and more ease.

This observation confirmed that my inner attitude had a direct link to the quality of my movement, and to the quality of my learning. Thinking about what I most care about in Feldenkrais, I concluded it was this simultaneously profound and obvious realization that letting go of judgment and rigidity affected my movement and learning.

Meaning, if I were less contracted deep inside myself, I had both more choice and more power. More choice because I could move and breathe and respond in new ways, and more power because my muscles weren't engaged in the strenuous contraction required to maintain a particular stance toward the world. So, while thinking about how important this inner attitude was, I evolved these commitments.

Your movement will improve when you:

  1. Use non-judgmental observation

  2. Stay open to sensing whatever you experience

  3. Have compassion for yourself by seeking ease and effortlessness

  4. Learn about your process instead of struggle to achieve a goal

  5. Explore new possibilities instead of repeat old patterns

  6. Invite connection and spontaneity instead of denial and tension

One of my teachers says "the truth has a wrathful force." Sometimes we want to avoid it. But if we listen to that tiny whisper of our own aliveness and don't ignore it, we can find connection and spontaneity in ourselves, with ourselves, and through ourselves, no matter where or when we start.