Three years old and thriving

In 2004, more than two decades after I completed the Amherst Feldenkrais® training, the International Feldenkrais Federation published the 11th and final volume of the Alexander Yanai Awareness Through Movement® lessons, consisting of the transcripts of 550 classes that Moshe Feldenkrais taught between from the early 1950s to the late 1970s.

This compilation instantly became the go-to resource for Moshe’s work. After having had only a limited number of lessons for so long, it was thrilling to have this encyclopedia of ATM® available.

It was also incredibly frustrating. Locating the lesson you wanted in the massive eleven volume collection of lessons was ridiculously difficult. That’s because the only thing we had to go by was the Table of Contents of each of the 22 books (each volume consists of two books). We didn’t even a digital list of the titles.  — Whether you were looking for one you remembered doing once or trying to find the perfect ATM for your next workshop, Searching for a lesson meant getting the books off the shelf, opening each one, and looking through the list of its 25 lessons.

What’s more, we the darn names of the ATMs were not very helpful. One of the most common titles, if not the most common one, is CONTINUATION. Five lessons have only that for a name and at least another dozen contain this word in a title, such as GENERAL CONTINUATION or END BEFORE THE CONTINUATION, which doesn’t really tell you much. There were several examples of lessons with the exact same titles, such as SIDE-LYING, CONTINUATION. Another ATM is simply called “NO NAME.”

As if these titles were not challenging enough, so many of the other lessons have names — like LEG BACKWARD — that are so vague that there is no way of knowing what happens during the ATM if you have not done it, remembered it, and were luck enough to have been told a title that matches the one in the AY books. Or you could read through each ATM. Even then, reading through a lesson doesn’t give you any more of the sense of a lesson than reading a recipe gives you a taste of the dish.

What a nightmare! It was like getting access to a fabulous, precious library that didn’t have a card catalog: the only way to be able to find a book would be to read every book, remember what was in all of them, and know exactly where each one is located.  ARRGHHH!

That was then.

Three years ago this month, July 2016 — thanks to the efforts of the Feldenkrais teachers around who participated in the project and to the members of Mind in Motion team who built it — we launched the Lesson Locator, a search engine for Moshe’s ATMs that’s hosted on the Mind in Motion Online site.

(A special shout-out to Naffie Fischbacher, the LL Project Manager since November 2010, without whom this would have happened. THANK YOU!)

Since then Feldenkrais teachers and trainees around the world have been using the Locator. I know that because of the feedback, questions, and thanks we get from folks via email and from what colleagues tell me.

That’s called anecdotal evidence. I wanted to know more: how much have people have actually been making use of this resource? I wanted the numbers:

  • How many searchers were there each month?
    This is the number of unique users who accessed the Lesson Locator  rsection of the website.
  • How many searches did they do?
    This is the number of searches that these users performed.

Thanks to the way things work on the Internet, we could answer those questions. In case you’re interested, here are the metrics:

That works out to an average of 327.77 searches a month. Wow! The Lesson Locator IS getting used. A whole heck of lot!

What could be better news on its birthday?

If you have an account on the Mind in Motion Online (MIMO) website, you can first log in and then click here to access the Locator. (You will also get access from the menu —  but only after you’ve logged in.)

(If you not a MIMO member yet, you can sign up your free account now.)

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