Wisdom From My Latest Training


Wisdom From My Latest Training

I just recently completed the latest 10-day segment of my training to become a Feldenkrais® teacher. The training I’m in is four years long and we are almost at the end of year three.

Each segment is full of an incredible amount of learning. I’ve made it a practice to review my notes at the end of each day and post the juiciest fact or insight on Facebook.

Here’s a roundup of my favorite tidbits from our March 2019 segment, which was taught by the calming, grounded, and impressive Deborah Bowes.

Day 1: Today we had a long discussion on the art of questioning, something particularly interesting to me as both a student of self-inquiry (Zen) and an interviewer! A few highlights:

  • Quest and question come from the same Latin root meaning to ask or seek

  • Asking questions is a sign of freedom (oppressed people can't ask questions)

  • The quality of curiosity behind the question often determines the quality of the response

  • Do you have a habitual way of asking questions? Or do you ask the same questions (and get the same answers)?

  • Not all questions are meant to be answered—some are meant to take us into the unknown, into exploration

Day 2: When we try to fix a mistake, we often overcorrect and make a mistake in the opposite direction. Best to leave it be and proceed with an eye toward improvement, not fixing.

Day 3: Cats had sternebrae, meaning their breastbone isn't fused like ours. This allows them to make a circle with their spine—and to lick their butt! We learned a lot of interesting stuff today, but this rose to the top 😼

Day 4: If you want people to behave in a particular way, make it easy for them.

This isn't from my training, but I heard it this morning, and it's so Feldenkraisian I decided to share it!

It's from Sam Harris' conversation with Daniel Kahneman on the Making Sense podcast. 

They spoke about how there are 2 ways to change behavior:

  1. Apply pressure in the direction you want to go (carrots & sticks).

  2. Ask a different question (see Day 1 above!): Why isn't someone going there by themselves? What is preventing them from doing what you think they should be doing? How can I remove the obstacles and make it easier?

Day 5: We act according to our self-image. When you expand your image of yourself by being able to do more movements (or the same movements with greater ease), you increase capacities in other areas of your life: psychological, relational, professional, etc.

Day 6: The 4 principles of good movement, according to Moshe Feldenkrais, are lengthening, reversibility, ease of breath, and lack of a sense of effort.

Day 7: Are you doing what you think you're doing? I have the horrifying thought that if I were to see myself on video I may not recognize my movements at all!

Day 8: We have habits even in the ways we pay attention. I notice that I often go right to the parts of my body where I'm used to feeling pain: right knee, neck, left ankle. It's like picking at a scab. Scanning for what's wrong, I usually find something wrong. Interesting...

Day 9: There are 31 muscles that attach to the pelvis. It is a dynamic system that can self-organize to operate with flexibility and stability. All without kegels.

Day 10: I can still manage to learn something even when I’m in pain. I can especially practice self-compassion and acknowledge what works.