Awareness, Curiosity, Feldenkrais, Possibility

Where to Look When You’re Looking for Feldenkrais

The Feldenkrais world is not always navigable by search tools alone. [click image for credit]

I recently received an e-mail from a medical doctor. He’d been doing a set of recorded Feldenkrais lessons for years at home and now wanted to improve certain functions. He knew himself well enough to be specific in his request. Could I assist him? He offered to pay a consulting fee, which I accepted. I am glad he was aware of the value of time because it did take me longer than I expected to track down what he wanted.

It occurred to me as I researched his request that, despite the wonders of Google, many Feldenkrais gems remain hidden beneath the search engine radar or behind paywalls. I had to brainstorm and crowdsource a bit to determine where to look. That experience made me aware that it might not be simple or efficient for a busy person to generate meaningful results on their own. Of the many audio products for sale, it can be hard if not impossible to tell if a purchaser will enjoy listening to that practitioner’s voice or delivery style. Most have not been reviewed extensively, if at all, and everyone has different tastes and tolerances. Indeed, a disappointing listening experience had prompted this doctor to contact me. Not everyone who sells DVDs, CDs or MP3 downloads includes sample tracks for prospective buyers. In such situations, it can help to have a Feldenkrais “Navigator”, someone who knows the landscape a bit more intimately than the average person and can direct you more quickly to what you want or need. It’s similar to asking a local for directions when Siri sends you in circles.

On my blog site, I’ve compiled a list of Feldenkrais resources, visible in the middle column. These include audio lessons which I believe are some of the most user friendly, meaning the teachers are engaging and easy to listen to with minimal background noise. Since most lessons are recorded in live settings, with some give and take between teachers and students, it’s not always easy to find pristine, studio-like recordings geared to a home user. While I have not tried every single Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lesson available, I keep returning to the work of Lynette Reid (free) and Nick Strauss-Klein (by donation). They both tend to offer full-length lessons, between 45 minutes and an hour.

Shorter lessons are more convenient for many people yet are also harder to find. Tiffany Sankary has included many in her Movement and Creativity Library, which is searchable by lesson length, function, movement pattern and more. She includes other practitioners, too, so you’ll have a choice of voices. At the end of each month (coming up!) she offers two free days of access as a test drive. You can sign up for that here. I also recommend lessons by Erin Ferguson, an extremely knowledgeable practitioner I met in Boulder, CO. Lavinia Plonka is known for her lively and engaging manner and has many recordings geared to home listeners as single downloads, plus free snippets. If you prefer a male voice, check out the smooth delivery of Alan Questel in his sample audio. As we say in Feldenkrais, start small and slow and go from there.

If you can’t find what you are looking for or aren’t sure what to look for, consider hiring me as your “Navigator”! To start, fill out the form below with your request or concern. I can help steer you in the right direction, whether it’s searching online for materials to use at home or finding a live class, workshop or practitioner. As I’ve discovered, some of the best people do not have a high profile, and not everyone who appears at the top of a search may be right for you. I will give you an estimate of the fee before I begin.

You can also join my e-mail list or contribute to this blog if you have found my Feldenkrais articles helpful.

 

 

 

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About ilona fried

Writer, Feldenkrais champion, Aikidoka and explorer of internal and external landscapes.

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