The benefits of mindfulness
The desire to improve your emotional wellbeing may not be the main reason that you have become interested in learning more about The Feldenkrais Method. In actuality, Awareness Through Movement classes are an ideal way to develop the mental focus and heightened interoceptive awareness that are fundamental to any form of mindfulness practice, and the benefits to our health and wellbeing from these ancient ‘sciences’ are now well supported by the new evidence that is emerging thanks to more sophistication brain-monitoring technology.
More than movement improvement
When you first join an Awareness Through Movement class, it can be natural to focus all your attention on how your movement abilities are improving, and it may take a while for you to begin to recognise the more subtle, but equally significant, improvement in your ability to direct your focus and expand your sensory self-awareness.
Mindfulness centred on the body
The constant encouragement from your teacher to pay attention to how you are feeling and sensing yourself – both while you are in motion, and when you pause and return to a state of stillness – is an ideal way to develop your capacity to experience what Gautama Buddha referred to as “mindfulness centred on the body”.
Here is the full quote:
“There is one thing that when cultivated and regularly practiced, leads to deep spiritual intention, to peace, to mindfulness and clear comprehension, to vision and knowledge, to a happy life here and now and to the culmination of wisdom and awakening. …And what is that one thing? It is mindfulness centred on the body.”Anguttara Nikaya – 43
Self-sensing for all-round health
There is an ever-growing body of scientific evidence for the importance to our health – both physical and mental – of developing these interoceptive self-sensing abilities, and honing your skills in this way is as central to Feldenkrais practice as is the fine-tuning of our more physically-focussed kinaesthetic awareness.