Monday, February 29, 2016


Most of us think that balancing has to do with extreme activities.

But we balance all the time.

Every time we step, every time we reach, every time we look up, lift, or run, we use it. As children, our sense of balance is effortless. We roll, swing, climb, and twirl. And we get up and down from the floor with ease as part of normal movement.

But as we age, we start to lose the pathways onto and off of the floor. We get good at sitting still…and not so good at falling.

There are many reasons for our deteriorating balance:  arthritis, neurological issues, busy lives.
The natural tendency is then to hold ourselves more rigidly; which means we can end up compromising natural balance with behaviors that set in before we even know we’ve created them. As Moshe Feldenkrais said, "We don't know what we don't know."

So how do we get back to our childlike ways; when movement was easy and fluid and we worried more about who was “it” than breaking a hip?

We start with self-awareness.

Unconscious movement got you into this mess, conscious movement will help get you out.  Here are four ways we’ll show you how to do that in our Dynamic Balance Workshop:

1.       Smoother Quality of Movement

You’ll learn an increased sense of awareness.  Attention is drawn to the sensations while moving and resting.  This is fundamental to the Feldenkrais Method.® You will become an explorer of your own experience.   Your range of movement possibilities will grow.  You will learn to sense immediately if a part is strained or painful.  You will be able to cultivate a smoother, more comfortable way of moving your muscles and activity will become more efficient.

2.       Improved Skeletal Support
You will learn to use the mechanics of the skeletal system. Muscles move us. But the skeleton is meant to support us.  You don’t need to use your muscles as much to maintain balance or posture if your bones are aligned properly.   Through your own experimentation, your muscles will become freer to move you more efficiently while your bones become free do their job.

3.       Better Coordination

Being able to sense how we are using ourselves means we can learn to be more efficient with all of our daily tasks.  Once we’ve learned how to allow the skeleton to support us, we can start sensing our muscles for more coordinated actions.  We’ll know when to use a specific part and when to give that movement over to another muscle or part. An example of this would be lifting, carrying, or reaching. 

4.       Enriched Breathing

Improved breathing means better movement.  Improved movement causes better breathing.  So learn to tune into your breath: are you holding it?  Where do you breathe?  How do you breathe?  When do you breathe?  As we release the inefficiencies in the musculoskeletal system, breathing becomes easier as the ribs, neck, breast bone, clavicles, and belly become free to do their jobs. 

Taken together, these steps allow for change from the inside out.  You achieve improved performance through your own observation, exploration, and discovery.   You’ll learn this not by working on individual muscles, but by engaging the nervous system and the brain.

This is the closest we come to the type of learning we do in infancy and early childhood, when we discovered how to move by rolling, crawling, walking, jumping, swinging, and, yes, even falling down. 

The good news is that we can work on balance at any time in our lives. We can improve it by sensing and moving efficiently. Through this attention and awareness you can balance yourself to better health!

Saturday, February 6, 2016



Free Your Neck and Shoulders is the name of my upcoming workshop  Why do I think it is important to start my monthly workshop series with Freedom of the Neck?  I could have begun with Balance (April 3rd), or Posture-stability, Mobility (May 1st), or Sitting in Comfort (June 5th), or Walking: Toe to Head (July 24th).                                                                                                
Well, yes, I could have started with any of them.  But I chose to start with the neck because, as you will soon see, if your neck is achy and creaky, if it is stiff, you will find that your balance is just a little, or a lot, off.  You will find that your posture is less than comfortable. It is difficult to stand for a rather short amount of time, especially if you are trying to paint, or do dishes, or cook.  Of course sitting is difficult too. Try reading or sewing if you neck isn’t at its best.  I can see you now, with the pillows propped so you can watch TV, sitting lying, any position. I didn’t even mention sleeping.  And then we get to walking. If your neck is held to one side, whether you know it or not, you are putting more pressure on one leg or foot. Your breath may become shallow, making it hard to walk for exercise. And speaking of exercise, it, too, becomes difficult.  It is hard to lift weights or do machines at the gym when your neck hurts.
As you can see, your neck bone really is connected to your foot bone, as the old song says.  Your neck is so important. It is the top of your spine. It houses blood vessels, nerves, your esophagus, your trachea. Muscles attach to it. Did you know that those muscles aid in breathing, as well as turn your head.  Your head sits on top of your neck.   If we can’t turn our head, how can we see, hear, smell, taste?  How do we know where the food is.  The movement of our neck provides us with a sense of orientation, the ability to know where we are, where the food is, where the enemy is where our home is.  We must be able to move our head quickly as we attend to our daily life. Try crossing the street, or driving a car if you cannot turn your head.  If your neck is stiff, your world becomes very small.

We will be starting with Freeing Your Neck and Shoulders because the ability to move our head independently of our feet, our eyes, our shoulders keeps us secure.   I know the importance of being able to move your head safely.

When two doctors told me I needed immediate neck surgery last year after my car accident, I was scared and worried.  It is now a year later, I did not have surgery and don’t need it. These movements that I will be teaching you helped me to learn how to allow my neck to heal so that I could live my life with vitality and ease             

Contact me for more information on my upcoming workshops. I look forward to seeing you.

Best regards,