19 July 2021 - The Feldenkrais Method
Shelagh O’Neill

Ageing with vitality, How Feldenkrais helps

You’d think we’d get better at ageing as life goes on. We’ve practised it all our lives. But as we get older we lose things – the ends of sentences, status as a working person, friends, relatives. We lose the belief that we can fall and get up again, that an injury will heal, and that bad times can lead into good times again.

We want to be able to lift our grandchildren, stay stable as well as learn new things. Ageing with vitality is progression towards more appreciation of life, and the Feldenkrais Method is wonderfully designed to help with this.

It helps you move better

Awareness Through Movement classes are particularly useful for older people, as there’s no pushing or trying hard, and the intention is to avoid pain. You will be helped to find strategies to work in this way. The movements are done slowly, with curiosity and awareness, without the need for physical strength and power.  You’ll find yourself doing something entirely new, or something which you have given up. Every lesson – and they’re all different – brings new knowledge and ability.

It helps you think more clearly

According to neuroscientist Daniel Wolpert, the brain evolved, not to think or feel, but to control movement. We know that the more active we are, the better and more alive we feel. Feldenkrais uses movement to enrich our lives, and our brains. In a lesson you remember how to concentrate, to use your imagination and to solve physical puzzles. It can be hugely satisfying to discover a way to complete a movement when it’s not immediately obvious how it can be done. That’s a great way to increase both your awareness and your creativity. And the pace of work slows down inefficient over-thinking, and brings mind and body in sync. So, you become physically and mentally more competent.

It’s totally available to people who are weak or less flexible

You may feel the need for reassurance that joining in now is right for you. Individual lessons in Functional Integration give specific help for age-related limitations. If, for example, you can’t easily get onto the floor to do Awareness Through Movement lessons (many, but not all, are done lying down) then a few individual sessions can help you solve that.

Either through individual or class lessons, you’ll find the vitality you’re looking for.