Mind In Motion

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

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This past Thursday, the start of radiation and chemo got postponed until the week after next. This unexpected reprieve got me thinking about one of the questions folks been asking me for a while: 

   What’s up next with the ATM® teaching academy?

A couple of years ago, I publicly declared that new Mind in Motion advanced and postgrad online programs would be about improving how we present and promote Awareness Through Movement® lessons. Rather than moving beyond Moshe’s method, my approach to contributing to the future of our work by developing an ATM Teaching Academy was — as it always has been — to begin with the basics.

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A wing and a prayer

Thankfully, the prognosis for the kind of cancer I was diagnosed with last fall, Stage II HPV-related Squamous Cell Tonsil Cancer, is good. 

Now that I’ve recovered sufficiently from surgery late November to remove the tumors — one on my left tonsil and a cancerous lymph node on the left side of my neck — I’m scheduled to start treatment next week. Depending on the results from tomorrow’s scan, I’ll be receiving radiation five days a week for the next six or seven weeks. And I’ll be getting chemo once a week. 

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Take it with you

To start off the New Year, I taught a new series of Feldenkrais® classes last weekend called, Take it with you (TIWY). This was an advanced Awareness Through Movement® workshop, designed to engage your curiosity, deepen your practice, and challenge you to become your own teacher.   

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What you take with you, Part 2

The first part of What you take with you described how Awareness Through Movement® lessons can help you develop your ability to learn as well as improve your capabilities and your coordination. It also addressed the challenge of transferring your learning from the lesson into life.

In that blog, I identified the kinds of ATM® instructions that are useful if you want to become a better learner. I went into how these learning strategies help and why they work. I wrote about the initial phase of learning to learn, which is about being able to shift the gears of attention. Then I described the following phases: recognizing the lead up to difficulty and tuning into the aspects of action you can change as they are happening.

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What you take with you

One of the great mysteries of life is how learning seems so often to slip through our fingers. For instance, after a meaningful and effective Awareness Through Movement® lesson, you get up from the mat feeling particularly wonderful. You’re lighter, taller, feel more connected, and, perhaps, that persistent discomfort, the one that’s been haunting you for longer than you care to remember, has vanished. 

Sometimes, you’re different from that moment on. More frequently, the feeling fades. Inevitably, you return to the state you started in before the lesson began. Your habit has returned. You remember that you felt different, but have no idea how to refined that feeling. You’re left lamenting the loss of learning.

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20/20 in 2020

This coming January, the 8 AM Pacific time an AY a day online Feldenkrais® peer study group is going on its third Vision Quest. The 2020 series consists of 20 Awareness Through Movement® classes curated by NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) Feldenkrais® teacher and assistant trainer, Ellen Solloway, and contributed to by a couple of other members of the community.

The Quest begins promptly at 8:00 AM Pacific on the first of the year. This time around it will run 20 days in a row. Somehow doing 20 lessons over 20 days for 2020 sounds right, doesn’t it? 

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Tilting the wrong way

It’s a tradition that each day of the annual conference of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America starts with Awareness Through Movement® classes. Members of the FGNA teach a series of ATM® lessons that follow a specific theme before any of the workshops, advanced seminars, or forums get underway, giving the conference attendees a chance to connect with themselves and the personal practice of the method before engaging in professional development and politics. It’s a wonderful chance to experience how colleagues from all over teach and to find out what’s intriguing them.

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Cans on the ceiling

My recent blog post about Perry Mason received all kinds of responses, including a few from folks who shared my childhood memories of watching the show when we were sick and had to stay home from school. 

My Texan colleague Patrick Seibert recounted a description of folks in an Awareness Through Movement® class so delightful that I just have to pass on. It turns out that one of the episodes of the 1980s revival of this iconic series was being filmed on the University of Toronto campus concurrently with his Feldenkrais® Teacher Training.

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Being your own authority

At some point during one of his talks during the second year of the Amherst Feldenkrais® Teacher Training, Moshe Feldenkrais was extolling the philanthropy of industrialist Andrew Carnegie. For instance, by 1930, Carnegie’s charity had funded the construction of half of the free public libraries in the United States.

Some of my classmates had the temerity to challenge Moshe, pointing out that Carnegie was known as a robber baron and was associated with the Homestead strike, one of the bloodiest and longest labor confrontations in US history. MF responded to this by goading the challengers on, calling them out as socialists and, once he got sufficiently riled up, critiquing them for not being able to argue both sides of an issue, declaring it showed how limited they were in their thinking.

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Sitting pretty

“The human spine is evolution’s masterpiece.” 

That’s the first sentence in Turner Osler’s beautiful TED talk, Active sitting – could we give our kids a future without back pain, and it’s not the best one. 

This former emergency room physician and university professor, and current black belt in Aikido, believes we can drastically decrease back pain by improving sitting. How do you improve sitting? By sitting on chairs that move. He doesn’t mean a chair with wheels or casters that roll over the floor. Instead, Dr. Osler’s talking about a chair that has a movable seat, that allows you to keep making small, continuous postural adjustments while sitting.

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