Posts in Musings
Resistance & The Salvation of Softness

Have you ever had a moment of subtle resistance? Well of course, we all have. Here is a little trick I learned while exploring Awareness Through Movement and again while sitting on my cushion. To be frank, it has helped me in just about everything I do.

Recently I noticed I was reluctant to start dinner. Strange. I love to cook. I love to eat. I have a big beautiful box of fresh veggies from my local CSA. So, why on earth was I resisting this?

I paused.

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What You Need To Know About The Gut-Brain Connection

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve been interested in the power of the gut since 1999 after a friend introduced me to the book The Second Brain. This technical (a.k.a. dry) read sparked my interest and got me thinking about the gut-nervous system interaction. Fast forward a couple of years, and the term microbiome became a hot topic in certain geeky gut realms.

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Journey Back To Wellness with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Thirty-seven years ago, my life was abruptly altered. It was my last year of college and I woke up one night with so much pain in my ribs – both front and back – that I had difficulty breathing.

It continued to happen night after night and I knew that I’d better get it checked out.

Within a week, my parents took me to a rheumatologist? Why that specialty? Because oddly enough my sister – who is five years my senior – had been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis eight years earlier and they thought it was possible that I also had RA. They were close enough.

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5 Tips For A Sustainable Home Practice

One of the most liberating aspects of exploring Feldenkrais® and Mindfulness is that you don’t need fancy equipment or a designated building, or an expanding field of wildflowers to practice. The practices are incredibly accessible and they meet you where you are— as long as you are willing.

Living in the Capital Region of New York, I know that it’s not always possible to make it into a studio for a class. Truth be told, there aren’t a lot of studios in this area that offer Feldenkrais or Meditation. Thankfully that’s slowly changing. And now with technology,  we all have bountiful access to classes.

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Images Of Aging The Feldenkrais Way

We have all been told that aging brings with it aches, pains and loss of function. Many of us have even accepted the fact that joint pain is inevitable and that we will someday have to give up doing those things that bring us the most joy.

But what if there’s another way?

Recently a growing number of people are finding another way. They are finding their way to the Feldenkrais Method® — a type of somatic movement that incorporates small, intentional physical movements with mental visualization to teach the body how to move more efficiently and effectively.

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9 TED Talks On Neuroscience That Will Inform, Inspire & Move You

Neuroscience and neuroscientists seem to be a popular staple of TED. And as a Feldenkrais Practitioner, I’m pretty much interested in anything dynamically related to the nervous system — how we move, think, sense, and feel. Plus, I’m completely intrigued by ideas that explore the way we are shaped, and the way we shape, our internal and external environments. This makes TED basically brain-porn for me.

There have been so many excellent TED talks on the topic, and I wanted to collect some of my favorites in one spot (i.e. this post). Mind you, this list isn’t complete, it’s just representative a tiny taste of the TED goodness that stimulates my mind.

I hope that you’ll join the conversation.

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Movement Of Emotions

Recently a student approached me at the end of class and asked me if experiencing strong emotions while doing Awareness Through Movement was normal. My answer: “Yes.” Emotions don’t surface all of the time, but it does happen and the intensity of the experience can vary.

When I first started reading Moshe Feldenkrais’ books nearly 20 years ago I was completely obsessed with the mind-body connections—specifically how I could shift my emotional base and perspectives by working with my body. I consumed his writings along with those of Ida Rolf, Alexander Lowen, and books like Emotional Anatomy (the source for the image above.)

You see, at the time, I was really interested in how different patterns of organization played a role in establishing a ‘baseline’ of emotional experience.

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Feldenkrais or Yoga?

The Feldenkrais Method® can enhance your awareness and provide you with an anchor for self-study, both on and off of the yoga mat.

In fact, the movements of Feldenkrais® can serve as a conduit to a deeper connection to yourself and is one of the ways in which it’s similar to yoga. The difference, however, is how we go about those movements. But those differences can vary from person-to-person and from teacher-to-teacher (lineage or style).

In most yoga that is taught throughout the United States, we are often working our way into an asana— discovering our boundaries and softening into them. We employ the art of stretching the muscles & aligning the skeleton and we reside in our awareness. Feeling each subtle adjustment that can be made for a bigger sense of space and ease. Noticing what arises in our thoughts & emotions. Freeing ourselves of the muckety-muck we have gathered in our body, mind, and soul.

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Awareness reMINDers

I don’t know about you, but I like to keep busy. And when I’m not out and about, my thoughts tend to be all over the place.

Topping it off, my memory isn’t what it used to be! So trying to get things accomplished was tough. Especially when it came to remembering my Feldenkrais goals, the most important ones needing my attention.

The question became:
How could I trigger my awareness to help focus on what I wanted to do each day?

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Minding Stress During The Holidays

The holidays are among us! And it's that time of year that’s known for its busy nature that can lead to quite the load of stress. After all, you likely have invitations to gatherings collecting on your counter, a long list of people you need to send holiday cards to, and you're looking ahead at the meals to prepare and moments to spend with your loved ones. Not to mention the shorter days, colder nights, and extra prep required to meet the weather as you head out the door. All of this, on top of your normal everyday life. It can be overwhelming, to say the least.

But the truth is, we are constantly responding to the ebb and flow of life and to the stress that life brings — both positive and negative. Positive stress motivates and drives us. While negatively perceived stress affects our physical and mental health and can rob us of a life full of happiness.

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Finding Chi

The Year was 1994 and I was a bicycling dread-head with a desperate urge to grow my consciousness, heal my body and figure out why the holy heavens I was here on earth.

I had not yet entered my 20’s and although I had lived in at least five states, all of them were in the Midwest…  which by the way is awesome for oh-so-many reasons. But none the less, my belly ached with a desire to find something different — to be something different.

I was living in a personally mystical time and in the magical town of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I was blessed to be a part of a wonderful tribe of women who were all searching for a way to live more fully and a way to make their mark on this earth.

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Understanding Pain - A Brief Overview

This is a wonderful video that gives a great overview on understanding pain, especially chronic pain, and how to address it in a comprehensive way. In fact, the bulk of the work I do is geared towards helping folks with complex pain implement the lifestyle changes necessary to help them to move beyond pain. 

In my experience, most people who experience complex pain do best when addressing their pain on many fronts, most of which are listed in this video. Although this video wasn’t designed with the Feldenkrais Method® in mind, per se, ALL of the highlights of this program resonate with my professional perspective on working with pain.

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