Doing Feldenkrais with Mike allowed me to connect to my body and realise the intelligence within. In a composed, gentle manner he guides the participant to spaces unknown, spaces that bring new insight and experience. I have truly cherished his classes.
-Julie Hahn, pianist
Michael is not only very skilled in giving instructions, his experience as a musician helps him to help me. I left my first session feeling relaxed, energized, and happy. The following lessons have only deepened my understanding of Feldenkrais. I'm looking forward to more lessons. Highly recommended!
-Aysha Wills, flautist
Michael introduced me to the concept of utilization and triggered thinking processes in me about how to practically apply these ideas. My concepts and understandings of human behaviour have changed deeply.
-Sophia Schambeck, medical student
Mike heeft een prettige stem en een duidelijke manier van uitleggen hoe je de oefeningen dient uit te voeren. Of niet. Dat is een van de uitdagingen: Maak je een beweging omdat iemand, bijvoorbeeld je Feldenkrais leraar, je dat zegt te doen, of omdat je een intrinsieke drang voelt om een bepaalde beweging te maken?
Feldenkrais helpt mij om bewuster om te gaan met mijn instrument en om te voelen of ik advies van anderen wil aannemen of niet. Ik kan het iedereen aanraden, maar zeker elke musicus.
-Isabel Franenberg, altvioliste
About THE METHOD
Who founded it?
The Feldenkrais Method was founded by the Israeli physicist and Judo master Moshe Feldenkrais (1905-82). After injuring his knee playing football, rather than undergo a risky surgery, he attempted to teach himself how to move again without pain. Drawing upon his knowledge of engineering, the martial arts, childhood development and neuroscience, he developed classes we now call Awareness Through Movement (ATM).
What happens in a class?
In Awareness Through Movement classes, a teacher verbally guides a group of students through a variety of movement patterns in order to increase their kinesthetic sensitivity and functional organisation. Typically done on the floor, classes last around fifty minutes. For a sample audio class, please click here.
What makes it unique?
While other methods focus on material or mechanics, Feldenkrais focuses on motivation and learning. We do not move with brute force to stretch/strengthen our muscles, but rather with purposeful attention to stretch/strengthen our minds. Think of Feldenkrais as IQ puzzles for the body. The awareness we seek, however, comes not from anatomy text books nor abstract analysis, but from giving ourselves the time and space to feel how we move so that we can better organize ourselves in action.
Are you in pain?
Learning is healing. Often the site of pain is not the cause of pain. In fact, we tend to injure our most free parts since they pick up the slack for our most stuck parts. Feldenkrais provides a safe environment in which to free our stuck parts so that we can distribute effort equally throughout our body.
Are you elderly?
Learning lasts a lifetime. Too often we blame stiffness or imbalance on our being long in the tooth rather than short on ideas. Feldenkrais injects us with the curiosity and variety we need to continue to grow and adapt to our environment, no matter our age.
Are you an athlete, dancer or musician?
Learning has no limits. At the top of any field, self knowledge, not technical knowledge, matters most. Feldenkrais not only offers fresh, innovative solutions for specific problems, it transforms our overall organization so that we can perform better across the board.
Are you into wellness?
Learning is fun. The more comfortable we become in our own skin, the more happiness we find in everyday life. Whether it's typing an email, climbing those stairs or finding that yoga pose, Feldenkrais informs and enhances nearly everything we do.
Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner, Feldenkrais Guild of North America
Feldenkrais teacher, Conservatorium van Amsterdam
My path to Feldenkrais began when I was just five weeks old. I contracted meningitis and encephalitis leaving me blind and deaf. The doctors predicted for me a life of permanent handicap, but my hearing returned fully within a year and my sight partially another year later. The neurological damage, however, had already been done. My eyes crossed. My head shook. I even struggled with basic motor skills such as placing raisons in a jar. That said, after years of surgery and therapy, I grew into a fairly normal kid. I did basketball, soccer, ski racing - you name it. At nine, I started the cello and by thirteen I had committed my life to it.
As I became serious about the cello, I began to notice how my illnesses impacted my playing. Though I worked harder than most of my peers, I still fell behind. They could move around the instrument in ways I simply couldn't. I felt doomed by my past. Determined to close this gap, I spent hours a day for the next sixteen years studying my body. This search led me through several disciplines, including two years with the Alexander Technique, but ultimately I found my home in the Feldenkrais Method.
Feldenkrais not only improved me as a cellist, it transformed me as a person. For the first time, I felt powerful, graceful, at ease with my body. Most of all, I no longer believed there was a limit to what I could learn. My neurological glass ceiling had been shattered. So enamoured by the method, I enrolled in a professional training, first in NYC with David Zemach-Bersin and then in Vienna with Jeremy Krauss. Today, I teach Awareness Through Movement and Functional Integration lessons through my private studio and at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam to share with others the joy that Feldenkrais has given to me.