At the beginning of this year, Cynthia Allen interviewed me for this year’s Feldenkrais Awareness® Summit (Affiliate link*). I was delighted that she’d asked me to be part of the Spirituality meets Physiology track, in part because I’m usually perceived as such a “sciencey” type.
Since I’d taught a new series of Awareness Through Movement® lessons for my (almost) annual ATM® summer camp, The Peculiar Power of Prayer, back in 2018, Cynthia and I have had a few conversations about Feldenkrais® teachers bringing our work to their communities of faith. We’d also discussed our shared fascination with the ways that both prayer and ATM use movement to change consciousness.
A central theme in the interview, Purposeful Practice: Prayer & Feldenkrais®, was the importance of having a physical practice of self-improvement. I’ve always considered Moshe’s methodology as life learning for the changes and challenges we face as we go through the days and years of our lives. Yet it offers more than a collection of lessons or exercises to be done in response to the difficulties we encounter, it’s a way to break through the limits of habits, to continually improve our coordination, dexterity, flexibility, and strength.
Over the decades since my first ATM back in the summer of 1977, I’ve been doing lessons regularly, rain or shine. Though the regularity of my personal practice has waxed and waned a bit over the years, ATMs have been a constant in my life. Not only was I studying the lessons to understand them and learn to teach them better, but I was doing them for myself and my self-development.
- For the past twenty years, I’ve flown an average of approximately 100,000 miles a year teaching in Feldenkrais Teacher Trainings and offering post-graduate training around the world, something I wouldn’t have enjoyed nearly as much if I didn’t have a way to prepare for — and recover from — the rigors and ramifications of cramped contemporary travel.
- The prayer lessons were something I’d developed out of my interest in the subject. My interest was more than abstract because creating these lessons turned out to be a way to help myself recover from surgery on my arm after a severe break.
The interview took place a couple of months after I’d had surgery to remove a cancerous tonsil along with a tumor from my neck, and just before I began several months of chemo and radiation. Though there had been mention of a strange respiratory illness in China in the news, we didn’t have a clue about COVID-19, and the havoc it would wreak on the world and on our personal lives.
In retrospect, my conversation with Cynthia turned out to be fitting for the times we find ourselves in now. Rather than giving you a summary of what I said, here’s a snippet:
The talk is available online for free for the next 48 hours. After that, you can access it — along with all other content from the 2020 Summit and all of the bonus materials — by purchasing an All-Access Pass.
Next Tuesday, 12 May 2020, this year’s summit is having to be a special Bonus Day for rehabilitation clinicians, movement educators, and wellness professionals.
David Zemach-Bersin will be presenting about Functional Integration® lessons — the hands on aspect of the method, Lavinia Plonka is talking about putting the fun in Feldenkrais, and I’ll be telling you about Accessing The Method, that is to say, about how and why ATM lessons work.
If you watch my presentation live at noon Eastern time, 9:00 AM US Pacific time, you’ll have a chance to participate in the Question and Answer session that follows my talk. If you miss it, you’ll be able to catch the recording for free for 48 hours afterward or watch it whenever you like by purchasing the All-Access Pass.
*All of the links to the Summit in this blog post are affiliate links, meaning that Mind in Motion will be remunerated for any purchase you make when you click on the link. This in no way increases the price you pay. What’s more, these funds will be used to pay the costs of “keeping the lights on” and supporting our efforts to foster an international community of learners.
If you prefer to register for the Summit without contributing, please go directly to: https://feldenkraissummit.com/
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