Body Mapping – Finding Your Way Home
Author: Diana Razumny; Published: Sep 29, 2013; Category: Feldenkrais Method; Tags: awareness through movement, learn something new; 2 Comments
What makes a top athlete, circus performer and professional dancer so much different than the rest of us? They have invested hours of refining their body maps in relation to an activity they are passionate about.
We all have marvelous systems within us that allow us to know where we are in space, the relationship to objects in the space around us, the relationship of one body part to another and much more.
Have you ever taken a step off a curb or stair where you anticipated it was nearer than it really was? Ooops, a very funny feeling to be caught with your perception the tiniest bit off the mark. For the most part, these fabulous internal systems are running in the background, out of our awareness.
When you observe yourself or others learning a new skill, you see they slow down, pay attention and get very absorbed in what they are doing. As humans, we are incredible learning machines. We see it from the start, a baby mentoring itself through movement acquisition – no way to Google, no manual to read, no computer software to help, only its own “wetware,” the juicy flesh that embodies these wondrous built-in systems.
Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® is a way to get engrossed in expanding the maps that live inside of us. Taking the time to slow down and pay close attention to yourself, in the way this method provides, is a way to feel more at home in your body, in your own skin. Consider taking the time towards a more embodied life. DO FELDENKRAIS!
How is this different from Tia chi?
Cindy, this is a wonderful question. It’s probably easier to say how Feldenkrais and Tai Chi are the same. One of the strongest connections between the two has to do with moving slowly and making use of that slow movement to attend to very small details and sensations. Also, Moshe Feldenkrais, founder of the method, was a martial artist and Tai Chi is a martial arts form. The use of the pelvis for power in martial arts is a major underpinning of this method. The Awareness Through Movement lessons help with guiding you to feel the connection of using your pelvis as the power behind, dare I say, ALL movement. Finding ‘right relationship’ in the use of the larger muscles as a base to support the smaller ones is what gives us a sense of grace and ease. Two of the biggest differences between these two forms is that Feldenkrais is mostly done in the horizontal, Tai Chi in the vertical. In Tai Chi there is a set form of continuous movement. In Feldenkrais movement lessons there is a movement instruction that the student explores and repeats a few times and then a pauses. There is a huge variety of movement lessons, at least 2,000, which average between 30 and 45 minutes long. I hope this helps Cindy and thank you for asking the question.