How Do You Want To Move Through Life?
So, how do you really want to move through life?
It’s OK if you don’t have an answer right away… Chances are good that nobody has ever asked you that before anyway. The most important thing is simply that you know there are possibilities beyond the normal day-to-day.
Helping you discover what’s possible is my job.
Imagine never doubting yourself physically. Always being up for experiencing life moment-by-moment. Waking up everyday without any worries about nagging pains or limitations. Instead, you feel anticipation for the possibility of fun and exploration in the day ahead.
Two things are abundantly clear about the times we live in—very few people in our culture move enough and our culture is becoming increasingly accelerated.
So much of our time is spent sitting and subtly immobilized by our clothing, furniture and cultural expectations that we have adapted by becoming stiff and disconnected from what it feels like to move with a sense of ease and natural grace. These changes in our tissues and neural mapping create both a fragmented self-image, and anatomical areas within ourselves that are restricted even when we are moving.
When we do move through the chaos of our fast-paced world, we often do so on autopilot. But how often have you stopped to think of the impact that many of these mindless motions have on your body? On how you feel and how you move? Most of us don’t. This lack of movement and awareness, is the cause of many of our problems today— from chronic pain to feeling unfulfilled in life.
Or keep reading to learn more about Buffy Owens and The Feldenkrais Method®…
For the brain that loves to move and the body that loves to learn.
Why does movement matter?
When you consider all the years you’ve spent sitting, standing, walking and moving through life—ask yourself: are you moving better or worse than 10 years ago?
Your movement is something you understandably take for granted. Though your body came without instructions, your abilities seemed to unfold “naturally” as you grew. You may have accepted the “good enough” level of flexibility and coordination you acquired in childhood and settled into the convenience of unconscious habits in adulthood. Habits alone are not harmful. In fact, they are necessary for life. However left unexamined, some of these habits can become truly erosive to our overall well-being. The underlying problem may be that you may have abandoned the learning process altogether.
It’s safe to say that most of us have reduced the amount we move as we have aged— limiting the variety of movements that we do on a day-to-day basis and rarely engage in novel (new) movements. These unconscious constraints have gradually limited our basic movement repertoire, our most basic habits. Over time our movements and/or lack of them shape who we are and how we move, think, sense and feel.
We’re not just moving less, we’re missing movements that include enough variety and novelty to keep us developing in body & mind.
In Movement & In Life
The following Guiding Principles our woven into all of the teachings and practices here at Conscious Movements. They can be applied in every orientation, direction, pattern and activity that humans engage in on earth.
Once You Believe There Is A “Right Way” You Have Already Limited Yourself. So often we are seeking the one right way to sit, stand, sleep or move through life. In reality, life is far too dynamic for ‘one right way.’ What might be appropriate in one situation may not be the best option in another. And putting on the blinders of ‘right’ will only inhibit you from discovering all the other wonderful options.
2. Internal Integrity
You Are An Inseparable Whole. The mind is not separate from the body and the body is not separate from the mind—they are an inseparable whole. There is no thought, nor emotion, that exists without some change at the muscular level (facial expressions, breathing, eye movements, posture, etc.) Every time you engage your brain, you simultaneously engage: movement, thought, sensation, and feeling.
3. Attune To Awareness
Awareness Of Movement Is The Key To Improving Movement. The sensory system is interwoven with the movement system, not separate from it. Tapping into our sensations is instrumental to how we orient, guide and coordinate the way we move through and with life. Slowness Of Movement Is The Key To Awareness & Awareness is the Key To Learning. Slower movement leads to more subtle observation and brain map differentiation, so that more change is possible. Often it is the delay between thought and action that allows for Awareness to Arise.
4. Mindful Discrimination
Discerning Differences Builds Neurological Maps. By mindfully improving your ability to sense & discern differences in your movements you refine your ‘brain maps’ your mental maps. Thus, what you think you are doing and what you are actually doing become one. Discerning Differences Is The Easiest When The Stimulus Is Smallest: Based on the Weber-Fechner Law in physiology: The amount of change needed for sensory detection to occur increases with the initial intensity of stimulus, and is proportional to it.
5. Right Effort
Always Seek Appropriate Effort. The essence of appropriate effort is that everything must be done with a sense of proper balance that fits the situation. For many people there is excess effort in much of their everyday activities. In the Feldenkrais world we call this parasitic effort—unnecessary effort or tension that robs you of valuable energy(think basic metabolism of ATP).
6. Mistakes Have Meaning
Errors Are Essential. Errors are not to be avoided but embraced as natural part of the learning process. There is no right way to move, only better ways to move—ways that feel fluid & effortless. Without errors we could not learn to feel the difference between ease and effort, how to self-correct, and we would limit our exploration and variability.
7. Variety Is The Spice Of Life
Variation Leads To Health, Development & Breakthrough. Errors are not to be avoided but embraced as natural part of the learning process. Variation of movements is crucial to sustaining resilient tissue, maintaining neurological vitality, and to deep & transformative learning. Variation of movement impacts your cardiovascular system & lymph system—both crucial for tissue health. Variation of movement, attention, and intention helps to create new neurological pathways. And variation simply keeps life interesting.
8. Not Two. Not One.
Everything Effects Everything Else. At the simplest level, a well organized person disperses the effort and load of a movement throughout her entire system so that muscles, connective tissue and skeleton can all share the burden. This can create a sense of effortless movement. At a slightly more complex level we might start to consider how our thoughts and emotions impact our movement & our health. Then we will see that all that we think & do impacts us at every level. Then at the truly dynamic level of life, such as it is, we can consider that we are not separate from our environment.
9. Grounded In Development.
There Is Always Room For Improvement. Many movement problems and much of chronic pain, are caused by learned habits, not abnormal structure. When it comes to structural limitation, what we believe (consciously or unconsciously) about our anatomy can have a huge impact on how we move. Often difficulties are more influenced by how we learned to adapt to the structural abnormalities than the abnormalities themselves. Much of chronic pain is not due to damaged tissue, but instead is an incredibly dynamic adaptation trauma that involves the whole person and how they move, think, sense and feel. For those who are problem free, life offers us the joyous opportunity to always keep refining all that we do.
Buffy Owens, GCFP
Founder & Feldenkrais Practitioner®
Everyone is moved by something. What’s moved and motivated me has shifted throughout the years. In my early days of exploring the mind & body, I was moved to heal. I was driven by just enough dysfunction to evoke a desire for something different…. something more.
About The Feldenkrais Method®
The Feldenkrais Method offers you the unique opportunity to create a daily practice that teaches you to move better as you age and to acquire and refine these behaviors more efficiently. It explores the biological and cultural aspects of movement, posture, thinking & learning and how our habits can constrain or grow our potential. As you explore this work, you will gain an essential perspective on human behavior: how our movement works, how we acquire habits and how we can choose to consciously refine, improve or replace them.
While it is sought out primarily by people wanting to improve their movement— for performance, injury, pain or balance— the Feldenkrais Method offers a comprehensive practice to develop more flexible, functional behavior.
Feldenkrais is taught in two complementary formats:
Awareness Through Movement® lessons (taught in classes) verbally guide you through movement and learning. This is fantastic because it calls upon your verbal faculty for learning. For many people this alone helps to remember and recall various movements that ‘feel good’.
Functional Integration® (private lessons) tend more towards the touch-to-movement end of learning. This is also an incredible way to learn as you begin to expand your ability to sense yourself more directly. Since we are limiting the necessity for the verbal faculty to get involved, you may find that you learn at a deeper, subconscious level.