feldenkrais® in progress

Method

The Feldenkrais Method®, as it is used in both of its instructional formats, “Awareness Through Movement”® and “Functional Integration”®, presents the practical application of a mainly body-centered pedagogical concept which regards movement as the foundation for every human act. Through his development of his learning method, Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984) strove to find a form of “re-education of the person as a whole” (1994, p. 68) in which the physiological body and the soul function as an indivisible unity to be addressed directly and in tandem. Fundamental changes, if they are to be lasting, are unthinkable without an alteration of overall muscular and behavioural habits. “The whole person must stir itself at once” (1987, p. 220). This re-education includes thought processes, diet, forms of feeling and the breath, as well as sex life, posture, and gait: in short, all the ways one deals with oneself and others. According to Feldenkrais, the complexity of the human nervous system is “the best structure for individual, ontogenetic learning that is possible” (1987, p. 68). The question of how the individual can become aware of his or her own possibilities and use their potential is a central aspect of the Feldenkrais method. Movement as the foundation of consciousness (see Feldenkrais 1978, p. 62) is a means to this end. Feldenkrais was less concerned with the training of motor skills as with the conscious use of human abilities as a whole. He was “not interested in bodies in motion but rather in brains in motion” (see Sieben, p. 6).

Feldenkrais, M. (1978). Bewusstheit durch Bewegung. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. Feldenkrais, M. (1987). Die Entdeckung des Selbstverständlichen. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp. Feldenkrais, M. (1994). Der Weg zum reifen Selbst – Phänomene menschlichen Verhaltens. Paderborn: Junfermann. Sieben, I. (1994). Von der Kunst, das Leben zu lernen. Moshe Feldenkrais zum 90. Geburtstag und 10. Todestag. Balett International-Tanz Aktuell, 5, S. 6-7.