The Intimacy of Change: Post First Feldenkrais Training Session

Flower Dress Orange from Flower Story

Considering how complex we are…

After these 2 weeks spent immersed in Feldenkrais Method training, my body has been sore and stiff and has moved in a variety of truly odd ways. This was the first of eight trainings within which I will participate over four years.

This morning warming up for my first class back, I had access to ways of moving through some delicious Gabrielle Roth music, that I have not had.

Soft, subtle access.

Access to relaxation that I’m not sure I’ve ever had. That access made my dance feel incredibly beautiful. It felt new. Liquid and curious. This lovely experience didn’t translate into the class, however. The class itself truly sucked. I wasn’t ready to teach a Nia class – especially not to a group who doesn’t know me. It’s ok*. For me, I knew this was coming. Processing and integration always creates an interesting bouillabaisse with some familiar fish and some new fish that haven’t quite found their place in the stew.

With this new sense of my body and ability to sleep deeply and comfortably has come a not-so-welcome visitor. Morton’s neuroma. (An inflammation of a nerve bundle, usually under the second toe. Imagine stepping onto the pointed end of a knife.)

Out of nowhere. As usual. Absolutely no warning.

One minute I’m dancing and all is wonderful and the next time I put down the ball of my foot (usually in a cross behind move), lightning shoots through the ball of my foot and crumbling to the floor is my body’s sudden desire.

For two weeks my body has been quite happy in the daily Awareness Through Movement classes and the time spent in hands on practice (on each other, of course).

Change has occurred.

My walking is easier and more fluid, with the chandelier that is my rib cage swinging gently in just the right rhythm.

As I mentioned earlier, I have access to relaxation on a deeper level.

As evidenced by my swinging chandelier, movement in my thoracic spine is also more available.

This body of work also accessed my core more effectively than Pilates ever did (and I used to teach Pilates).

In general, pre-training, I had a strong core and my movements well-organized. I gained this mainly through force. Power. Muscling.  Not ‘do I need this amount of energy to accomplish this?’ or ‘how much force do I need to exert?’ Even movements with which I created grace could be tiring; created with effort. Created with “push”.

So now I’m in that uncomfortable, transition – not who I’m going to be, not who I was. Restless in my body and acutely aware of how much softness I can keep in my body. Not weakness.

Softness. Strong, flexible, agile, stable, mobile softness.

(Flower dress photo from Flower Story)

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