Awareness Through Movement®: What's it Like?
Awareness Through Movement lessons are verbally guided movement sequences that can be taught one-on-one or in small group or class settings.
The 4 Responses I Hear Most Often After Lessons & Workshops
#1 It was harder mentally than it was physically.
Awareness Through Movement lessons encourage exploration of movement in a very nuanced and particular way. You are asked to observe and sense into your own experience of movement and how you organize to complete an action or a sequence of particular movements.
Your exploration and observations guide you to consider and discover alternative ways of completing the same action.
This process, in fact, makes changes at the level of the nervous system. Exploring the unfamiliar and novel movements leads to the development of new neural pathways.
#2 It feels really safe.
Wow. That’s a really important part of our ability to learn.
When we work with movement as a means of cultivating awareness and developing new options for ourselves, we are working with our full histories, our full selves. This includes our successes and failures, the things we enjoy and the things we fear.
We are interacting with pain and injuries. With trauma. With the stories we’ve been told about what’s wrong with us and what’s right with us. And with our desires about what we want to experience, what we want to have happen, our present and our future.
Any and all of these things may emerge in the course of a lesson. This safety and exploratory process in learning is an essential component of Awareness Through Movement.
#3 It isn’t what I expected.
Whenever I hear this, I wonder what it is I could do or say to better inform people about what to expect.
But I also remember that it is, in part, the process of the lessons that cultivates a willingness and ability to feel and experience something unexpected.
Okay. So, #4
This is the comment that I hear when I talk with people a few weeks or even a few months after a private lesson or a workshop.
There are lots of variations, but it’s basically this--
I was out doing [an activity] that I’ve done for years and I noticed [this really specific difference] and I realized I knew that because of that lesson we did!
Here are some of the stories that have emerged in my follow-ups with students.
“I was running and I started to get that knee pain again, so I started to play with how my foot was contacting the ground and the pain went away. I still have to think about it, but I can run without pain now.”
“I was on a long bike ride. I didn’t feel like I was putting any more effort in, but I was riding faster than I normally do. My partner even noticed the difference.”
This is one of the exceptional components of this type of work. The learning and awareness continues long after the lesson is complete, and we begin to notice the impact even when we aren't looking for it.
the Feldenkrais® Method
Awareness Through Movement® is part of the Feldenkrais® Method of Somatic Education. Here are a few of the underlying themes present throughout Awareness Through Movement® lessons, classes and workshops.
These definitions and concepts are part of a blog series that is still in process. More will be added on a regular basis!