Each class features a different Feldenkrais exercise or “lesson”, and involves making gentle movements, slowly with minimal effort, while paying attention to your own sensations and experience.
You learn to use this feedback from your movement to understand what your are doing and improving what you do.
The teacher guides the class verbally, and you are encouraged to follow the instrucutions at your own pace.
Each class is different and sometimes can be arranged around movements that are part of our daily life. The movements in a Feldenkrais class are relaxing and non-stressful. Please bring a large mat or a blanket.
In group classes the teacher guides with his voice the students. The lessons are conceived to allows the students all the time they need ot explore and integrate in their self-image the movement. Progressively the movement will become more efficient and effortless. Through the development of awareness you will operate subtle distinctions that will allow new possibilities of movement. Distinctions, variations and absence of parasitic efforts are the key to learn a better self-use.
Our primary goal is the quality of the movement. The quality is not judged externally but is found through the guided exploration of your own internal sensations.
Movement is always accompanied with sensations and sometimes by feelings. Sensations are produced by our
neuromuscular system and the external environment.
They are continuously changing as the quality of the movement changes;
By refocusing the attention on the movement sensations the teacher helps the participants to stay away from
self-judgment (feelings) and focus the attention only on the movement.
Changing the speed or the range of a movement can be useful variations but if extreme can be detrimental
during the learning process, however once every aspect of movement is clear adding momentum or extending
the range can be more easily achieved.
The teacher guides the movement giving precise instructions and asks many rethorical questions during the lessons.
Questions are usually refared to factual aspects. To give an idea a typical quation can be: "Can you compare the two sides of your body?
When do you start to feel the movement in your shoulder? What is happening to your lower jaw during this movement?
The right questions can be important for learning, the answers are personal can evolve with time and do not need to be shared.
Bringing attention to different parts of your self will allow to increase your self image and spatial awareness.
In some cases you can be asked to watch each other performing a movement, this can be particularly useful if different people are
undrstanding the instructions differently and you can be asked to do the movement as another person and vice-versa.
This approach can open up possibilities that remained elusive for you and it allows to consider the many differences existing in approaching a movement.
There are many types of lessons, some with large movements other exploring breathing, or the role of the hands or of the eyes in the organization of the movement, the position of the lower jaw or of the tongue.
Others can involve complex movements that can develop in a form of dance, other can be similar to the ones found in martial arts. The choice will be often based on the teacher judgecment of the specific needs of the group and of the individual.
Classes are limited to 12 participants so that the teacher can dedicate individual attention to every participant.
In this group lessons, lasting about 45 minutes, participans can lie down on a mat, or sit on the floor, or on a chair, or kneeling or they explore transitions from one position to another position. As an example you can think of differnt ways of coming to standing.
Many of the lessons are on the floor as this position allows to reduce the antigravitary reflex.
The secret of the class is in the attention paid to every component of a simple movement, like rolling on the floor. The active listening guided by the teacher leads to a considerable reduction of the effort and a better quality of the action.
Usually the learning achieved in a lesson can appear as a sensation of increased efficiency during daily activities like rifding a bike, running, walking, climbing the stairs.
During the class most of the time is devoted to the reserch of internal sensations related to the movement rather the to the movement itself. In this respect, the movement is instrumental to the development of the awareness during the lesson and we can think of the lesson as a form of meditation.