Feldenkrais®

An Overview of the Feldenkrais Method®
By AA50 Team

The movement lessons that serve as the foundation for all our movement programs are from the Feldenkrais Method®.

We know. Felden-what?  Chances are you’ve never heard of Feldenkrais (fell-den-krais)—the word or the method!  Feldenkrais is simply the name of the program’s creator – Moshe Feldenkrais.

Not only is the name different, but the approach is also quite different, as well.  That’s what makes it so special and so effective. 

Research-based and It Works!

Feldenkrais is an awareness-based approach that taps into your brain’s natural way of learning for the purpose of better movement. The approach is backed by the science of brain plasticity. Also, called neuroplasticity, brain plasticity refers to the brain’s ability to change itself. Research shows that the brain can rewire and remold itself by forming new connections throughout our lives.

Feldenkrais movement lessons help our brains create new and more detailed movement “maps” that allow us to move better. That means at ANY AGE!

Feldenkrais lessons are THE BEST WAY we’ve found for 50+ men and women to improve their movement, and they’re gentle and 100% pain-free.

Feldenkrais WILL Change Your Life

“I’m just getting old.” “No, I don’t/can’t do that anymore.” “I’m so afraid I might fall.” Do you catch yourself making any of those statements? Do you worry about a decrease in movement, flexibility, mobility, and balance?

Many people ACCEPT and EXPECT limitations because they assume there are no options beyond pain medications and surgeries. Yet, people around the world have managed to avoid both, and actually IMPROVE and EXPAND their movement possibilities using Feldenkrais lessons.

With these lessons, you will gain greater freedom and mobility while keeping your brain active. You’ll improve your attention, balance, flexibility, and movement.

Feldenkrais lessons are not like traditional exercise or therapy. They offer a NEW way of learning about how you move, and how you move through life. So whether it’s playing with your grandkids, hiking on a trail, dancing the night away, or getting out of bed with ease – the Feldenkrais Method can help you to create better quality in everything you enjoy.

But I Work Out. Why Do I Need Feldenkrais?

Let’s talk about the important difference between habit and learning.

How you swing a golf club, shoot a basket, and stand or sit or walk are all habits. Over time, the brain has created a movement map for that action and it keeps repeating it and repeating it. Think of it this way. Anything you’re doing at normal speed is using your current habits. That includes sports, fitness classes, walking, or any other type of exercise or activity. Your body is on autopilot.

In contrast, you can’t change a habit and learn something new by repeating the old way of doing something. Learning comes as a result of increasing your awareness so you can open your brain to new possibilities. As long as you’re using your current habits, you’re NOT creating new connections in your brain. Therefore, your movement maps are not improving and neither is your movement.

The way to change the way you move is to slow down, disconnect from your movement habits, and place your brain into “listening” awareness mode. That’s what happens during a Feldenkrais movement lesson, and that’s how the brain will guide you to improve your movement.

Move Slow to Build Awareness

Many of us have been lead to believe that the fastest (and best) way to achieve our goals is to push, hurry, force, or strain — the opposite of how our brain learns best. For people engrained with the “no pain, no gain” mentality (like most of us), the effortless manner of increasing one’s awareness can seem too soft, too gentle, or too easy to do any good.

The biggest disconnect with awareness for most people is they think it’s slow. Since we want to achieve our goals fast, slowing down and taking time to pay attention can feel like the opposite of what we want.

In reality, going fast and trying to force results slows down the process because it disconnects you from awareness — the built-in process the brain needs to learn.

The Secret to Success

If you want to learn something new (like improving your movement), you need to increase your awareness. You need to pay attention to what’s actually happening so your brain can get the feedback it needs. Awareness is like your brain listening. It’s what it needs to change.

If your goal is restoring your movement or learning a new sports move, your extraordinary brain just needs you to do one thing — listen to your body.

Brain plasticity studies show that awareness lightens up our brains like crazy! Awareness is the fastest, easiest, most enjoyable way to gather new information for your brain to make new distinctions. This information helps the brain form new connections and develop more detailed movement maps.

Now you know the secret to the Feldenkrais Method. When you watch videos of classes, you’ll see people on the floor, or sitting, or standing. They will be moving slowly while being aware of what their body is doing. And this awareness will bring change to their movement. It may be different from what you are used to doing, but it works. Why not give it a try?

ACTIVE after 50 and Feldenkrais

We have long understood the power of the Feldenkrais Method and knew the approach was ideal for helping 50+ men and women become more active for life.

Because of this, ACTIVE after 50 has partnered with Feldenrkrais Resources™, a company dedicated to continuing the legacy of Moshe Feldenkrais and providing movement lessons and resources. This partnership enables us to deliver the largest online collection of Feldenkrais movement lessons available anywhere with all the lessons being taught by industry-leading Certified Feldenkrais Practioners.  We’re talking rock stars! So every day through our movement programs, you have access to the best lessons taught by the best practitioners. 

How Long Will It Take To See Results?

It probably took years for your movement, balance, flexibility, and mobility issues to develop. So, you can’t expect improvement overnight. But you WILL experience improvement!

Ideally, we’d like you to complete a movement lesson every day. “A lesson a day keeps the pain away”. “A lesson a day enables a body to play”. OK, we’ll stop. But you get the idea.

But it probably isn’t realistic for do a lesson a day. If you can do four or five a week, that’s great. Three to five a week is good. However, if you only do one lesson a week, your old habits win.

Here’s the good news. Your movement WILL improve. Most of our lessons are between 20 to 40 minutes. Getting your movement back is essential to maintain an active lifestyle. We encourage you to make it a priority in your life. If you do that, it’ll be a game-changer.

 

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