2019 Fall Classes


8 Week Series: Sept 15 — Nov 6.

These weekly classes train your physical and mental equipment in a single, unifying context, where movement and attention are given equal weight.
Class size is limited, so you can improve the quality of your life in an intimate setting with the guidance of an experienced Feldenkrais Teacher.

At my office:

Lengthening the Spine: The Space for Longevity
Sundays: 12:00 – 1:30 pm (starts Sept 15) [90 minute class]
(register here, $320 for the series)

Principles of Good Posture
Tuesdays 4:30 - 5:30 pm (starts Sept 17)

(register here, $240 for the series)

 

Online:

Life Lessons: Internal Strength
Wednesdays 11:00 am – 12:00 pm EST (starts Sept 18)

(register here, $80, uses the free Zoom app, rated #1 by Wirecutter)
This class is FREE for members of the Body of Knowledge Course on Patreon.


A MODEL OF MATURITY:

Awareness Through Movement® (ATM) trains you in a repertoire of skills and distinctions so you can act more efficiently and effectively in your life. What makes Awareness Through Movement special is the way it integrates the physical benefits of exercise with the mental poise of meditation. The context is one of patience, accuracy and efficiency, avoiding an emphasis on willpower, and the injuries that result when we combine ignorance with effort.

The classes provide a model of maturity that includes time for clarification, rest, and refinement. 
Here are some important guidelines to make your experience more useful and effective.  

  1. Straining is counterproductive. Move within your own personal range of comfort.

  2. Pain is to be avoided if at all possible. Pain is a signal that what you are doing has the potential for harm.

  3. Rest whenever you need to, including between each movement. The rests are often where your attention can restore itself, and your image of the movement can be refined. You’ll be offered periodic rests during the lesson, but feel free to claim your own.

  4. Create a calm pace that allows curiosity and patience to prevail. Mechanical, hurried repetition will only prevent you from making new gains.

  5. Develop a clear, internal image of the movements you make. Allow this image to refine the movement, and let your movements inform the image.

  6. Focus on the quality of your movement (your contact with the ground, breathing, whether you're comfortable, curious) and not the quantity (how far/fast you can push yourself). The "no pain, no gain" mindset creates noise and distraction and will have you rehearsing old habits.

  7. Stay connected to the ground. Do not let your movements get ahead of, or disconnect from, the support you generate from the ground.

  8. Stop, suspend, take time to notice. Whenever your breath is held, your eyes become fixed, and your head stiffens, these are all valuable clues that you are moving beyond out of your range of skill and into willpower. Instead, pause and wait for your willpower to drain away. Create a space for a clearer image for your movement to emerge. Only then proceed.

Why People Come to Awareness Through Movement Classes

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People come for a variety of reasons: chronic muscular or joint pain, balance issues, recurring injuries, or a desire for improved artistic or athletic performance. Over the years people have come to my classes to improve activities like running, walking, sitting, as well as lifting weights, piano playing, orchestral conducting, swimming, tennis and golf. They also come to cultivate a sense of trust and joy in their bodies.

Your reasons do not need to match anyone else's.

Everyone wants a clearer understanding of themselves in action and to be able to function better and live more comfortably. There are just two things you need to begin:

  1. A simple recognition of your own dissatisfaction.

  2. A sincere desire to learn and improve.

What the Group Classes Offer You

For this kind of self-directed study Awareness Through Movement lessons offer a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is to move and sense yourself with more specific criteria than you have had before. The opportunity is to emerge improved from the experience, recognize the gaps in your understanding, and cultivate the curiosity and the discipline for filling them.

ATM teaches you not only the "what" of attention and coordination (i.e. the patterns and timing of the joints, the anatomical landmarks), but creates a deeper investigation into the all important "how": the biomechanical principles, learning processes and awareness skills necessary to discover and master them.

Once you grasp the simplicity with which the lessons unfold, you will see that The Feldenkrais Method sets a very high criteria for what constitutes "good" action and posture. But it teaches you how to get there at your own speed.Removing anxiety from the learning process is incredibly important if there are to be any lasting results. And the rewards are considerable.

You are putting yourself on a path to clarity, self-reliance, even excellence if that's what you seek. As you learn to take responsibility for the pace and depth of your progress, you'll begin to choose the quality with which you’d like to live your life.

What I offer

In my over 20 years of experience, I've learned that, while temporary learning and change are easy to create, true growth is a hard-won reward for ongoing study and practice. To improve the health and function of your body in the long run, Awareness Through Movement is best embraced as a daily personal practice. With consistent practice, you can steadily grow into your own learning, and obtain vastly greater stability, strength and fluidity in your movement and activities as you mature. This is what interests me as a teacher.

Feldenkrais® Principles I Emphasize in My Teaching

  1. How to get clear, specific, skeletal support from the ground in every movement you make.

  2. How to distribute your effort evenly and efficiently throughout yourself, so that the muscles work proportionate to their size.

  3. How to direct forces longitudinally up and through your spine, and not across it, so you can lengthen and expand yourself in any transition or orientation.

  4. How to clarify your internal self image, and to understand what a truly functional "self image" actually means.

  5. How to understand awareness as the pre-existing ground from which your choices and actions arise, rather than trying to achieve "awareness" by moving in a certain way.

  6. How to refine our criteria for precise movement by linking certain aesthetic qualities (i.e. weightlessness, support, power, ease) with objective sensory information.

  7. How to use gentleness and specificity with ourselves as the conditions which make learning possible.

I look forward to seeing you.

Sincerely,

Andrew Gibbons