AWARENESS THROUGH MOVEMENT® classes take place in a group setting. The Feldenkrais teacher’s voice guides everyone present through a structured movement sequence in which each person is encouraged to make slow and tiny movements to heighten sensitivity to and awareness of what they are doing and to sense differences as the lesson progresses. Paying attention in this new way allows a person to abandon routine and automatic ways of moving that are less effective and make new choices that result in increased flexibility, coordination, confidence, and clarity in intention.
A lesson generally lasts 30 to 60 minutes and is organized around a particular function, such as turning to look behind yourself, reaching, sitting to standing. Over a thousand Awareness Through Movement lessons exist, and though they vary in complexity and difficulty, they are designed for all levels of movement ability. They benefit the person who wants to restore movement potential to the individual who wants to perfect movement potential.
The key ideas at the core of my Awareness Through Movement® classes are:
In an Awareness Through Movement lesson my voice will guide you through gentle and slow movement sequences.
The majority of time is spent in actual movement, but regular pauses and rests allow you to integrate and process (an important part of learning). Observing yourself at rest and in movement encourages sensory and self-awareness and opens the door to change. I like to reserve some time at the end of class for sharing, questions, relating the experience to everyday life and what you can do at home to remind yourself of the lesson.
Since movement is involved, you will want to wear clothing that allows you to move easily. We do not wear shoes, so it is a good idea to wear socks in case your feet get cold. As lessons are often done lying on the floor, you will want to bring a mat or blanket to lie on, and hand towels or clean garden pads for cushioning your head.
You lie on the floor because the contact with the floor offers more sensory feedback for greater learning. It also reduces distractions that can interfere with observing how the parts of you move - in well-coordinated harmony or in disagreement with each other.
This class is different from any exercise class I have ever taken, and is extraordinarily effective. There is no stretching, aerobics, strength training, pain or embarrassment involved. What there is instead is gentle, mindful movement, done in useful sequences that help re-establish the link between the brain and the muscles. Movement options that we may have forgotten become available to us again. Anyone - of any age or any physical capability/limitation - should take advantage of this class. If unable to execute a particular movement, a participant can adapt the movement to their circumstances, or even just imagine the movement, and still get beneficial effects. Amazing stuff. After each class, I find that I am more aware of how my body moves, and I move more freely than before. Katherine Wieseman is highly experienced and guides the class with skill and sensitivity. This class is not to be missed. Janet
I came to Awareness Through Movement on the recommendation of a friend and really didn’t understand what I would be doing. What I found was a practice that opens me to understanding how my body is designed to function and the opportunity to learn how to retrain my brain to take advantage of this incredible design. The gentleness of this practice is a wonderful change from my previous experiences. Debra
I have become so much more conscious of how I stand, sit, walk because of the classes. I’m amazed at how subtle changes can make so much difference. Katherine – your style is wonderful, making it fun as well as informative! Sheila
That was a fantastic class session! You make it very safe to experiment and safe to admit I can't always tell what's going on with my body, thank you for that. The last minute when we discovered my shoulders were rigid was a valuable eye opener. Still laughing at myself. Kylea
I often have insomnia, but that night after the lesson about breathing I slept so deeply and well. Amazing! Pam
Feldenkrais is a little like a foreign language – the sounds, the feelings, the whatever – it is not well adapted to word explanation. Maybe what I like most about the class is the general relaxation
which begins when I hear your voice. It is hard for me to feel separate inside parts but now I do think I feel them. As with most meaningful and helpful life experiences, I really had no idea how it
would affect me and my life – it is like a journey of faith, not sight. How nice not to be limited to what one hopes for – such small little changes, and my awareness grows.
I thought the class for yesterday was interesting and I liked the variation of sometime vertical and sometimes horizontal. I left the class not feeling as discombobulated as I had the week before nor feeling as calm as I had after the first class. But still it seemed to affect me... like I knew something strange was going on in my brain. One of the best overall noticeable changes is that I am not hitting the tops of my hands on things so often and thereby I have less bruises. I notice I walk more calmly and carefully in the house and am more conscious of where my hands are when I am taking something out of cabinets of drawers.
I really notice the impact after, when my body seems to know what to do and I’m not having to consciously think about the movement. Such a benefit to me- as I move in and out of the engine room on my boat, into and out of the rowboat and row, row, row.
When I am doing my core exercises, combining a few Feldenkrais ones, I feel a sense of wonder and joy that I do not remember feeling before. Interesting, it was only momentary and don't even remember the movement I was doing at the time. So there is some connection here with the Feldenkrais and sense of joy and wonder. I am going to watch for the moments.
I remember many of the things you have taught me and I look forward to continuing. Sudie
I’m excited to tell you that we found our camping movements (fishing, kayaking, hiking, packing, unpacking, climbing in and out of the camper, etc.) surprisingly easy and have returned without common soreness. We think we owe you and Feldenkrais for that. You are good and very responsive to your students’ needs and questions. I’m so glad we started the journey! Thanks. Barb
What I’ve liked most about the class: Gaining awareness of movement – I notice things I didn’t before. I would recommend this class to anyone – It is very helpful, and all questions are readily answered. Laurel