c Recent blog posts - MBS Academy Blog

   

 

Recent blog posts
20
Apr
0

Expand your Potential with MBS Online Academy

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Tom Rankin, an experienced Feldenkrais Practitioner from California, began his continuing education studies on MBS Online Academy six months ago.  In that time, his classes have doubled in size and understanding of this work continues to grow.  

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01
Mar
0

Bringing an MBS Perspective to Pilates: An Interview with MBS Practitioner Jane Meek

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by Danielle Hill

Pilates is an application of the body, whereas MBS to me is how to be as a body in the broadest sense, in the way that we come into the world with all these capabilities.

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Jane Meek is a graduate of the MBS Foundation training (2011) and a Body Control Pilates Instructor and Remedial Massage and Advanced Myofascial Therapist based in Glasgow, Scotland. In her work with clients and students in these two distinct contexts, Jane has described MBS as “running through everything and underpinning everything rather than the other way around.”

Prior to her entrance into the world of bodywork and movement education, Jane worked in translation and in the wine industry.

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09
Feb
0

A Valentine to My Dear Colleagues

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Happy Anniversary, Foundation XII!

Onward, Foundation XIII!

 

DSC_0053.jpgTwo years ago, the MBS Foundation XII ended and we fledgling practitioners dispersed, flying and driving and riding the rails back to all the countries we came from. Since then, I’ve been lucky to regularly see fellow graduates and current Foundation students. I moved continents to enjoy such a privileged position, but now I reap a real peach of a reward: Meeting up with colleagues for practice has been a very useful and fruitful follow-up to the Foundation training itself. Or rather, it’s let me continue with an ongoing training that is not yet complete. (And which, I guess, will never really be complete.) 

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11
Jan
0

Hidden Simplicity; the Elegance of Mind Body Studies

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New Ways of Teaching Mind Body Studies; the work of Dr. Feldenkrais.

written by Mary Morrison, MBS Advanced Practitioner in 2011 

b2ap3_thumbnail_MaryPic2.jpgMary Morrison is an MBS Advanced Practitioner, Assistant and an imperative role in MBS Academy's Administration.  If you have ever been to an MBS workshop, you most likely had the opportunity to experience her enthusiasm and passion for this work.  Mary wrote the following blog in 2011, highlighting the beginning of her journey with MBS.  "I took a big first step after hearing that Mia Segal was going to be giving a two day workshop as part of the 2009 Feldenkrais Method Annual Conference. I knew very little about her, only that she had worked with Moshe for many years. That was enough to peak my curiosity. I was inspired to find out who she was and how she taught. I signed up.

On the first day, during the first few minutes of the first ATM, a gem, of what was to be a long string of gems, shined out for me:" 

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25
Nov
0

The Beauty and Challenge of the Soft Approach; A Conversation with Dancer Bar Altshuler

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by Danielle Hill

I think it can shortcut a lot of the learning process that we are doing in the studio. Instead of repeating an exercise a hundred times, we just have to stop and do it slowly, with awareness – and very soon, it’s there. So, it needs to be complementary. Somatic work is entering the schools more and more, but there is still a way to go in order to understand how important it is.

b2ap3_thumbnail_10612733_10204869158754991_3761390984278847804_n.jpgDuring our conversation, held midway through the fifth segment of the MBS Foundation training, Bar laughs when asked what she does “between segments.” Traveling to Bad Toelz three times each year has a way of marking time, bringing into focus what has happened since the last seminar. As she answers, Bar speaks with a simplicity and a spaciousness that recalls the language of a group MBS class. Her words seem to be chosen deliberately, but with a lightness. “I live close to Brussels, in the countryside. And right now I teach contact improvisation regularly and I follow the dharma, the Buddhist teaching. This is it: very simple, quiet.”

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27
Aug
0

Side-by-side Learning: A Mother and Daughter in MBS Foundation Training

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A report from Ingrid Kecerin Kasumagić, as told to Danielle Hill

For both of us, this work has allowed maturation and a change in the quality of life. It happens through a difference in awareness and through learning how to solve problems. In conventional therapy, there is no such model that also helps children to become aware, doing things for themselves. In that way, this work is really something on a higher level.

 

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 Ingrid Kecerin Kasumagić is a Movement Intelligence/Bones For Life teacher and coordinator and a professor of kinesiology based in Zagreb, Croatia. Together with her daughter, Ema, Ingrid is attending the MBS Foundation course in Bad Toelz, Germany. Here, she describes the experiences that lead her to MBS, how she and Ema were able to learn side-by-side during the latest training segment and the new possibilities Ema is experiencing.

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27
Jul
0

Bringing Mind Body Studies to Singapore; a conversation with Sa Chien Khaw and Simon Wong

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An interview by Cydria Schaefer, June 27, 2015

The moment I tune into my body, I’m here.  I’m not in the future, and I'm not in the past. So I think that is one of the key contributions to living more alive.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Sa-Chien--Simon-Pic.jpgSa Chien Khaw and Simon Wong graduated from the Mind Body Studies Academy Foundation Training in 2014.  Both residents of Singapore, they work together offering ATM (Group Classes) at Gallery Helios, where Simon also gives NLP trainings, and teach FI (Individual Lessons) in people’s homes.  They have given a workshop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and plan to do more in Asia. Together they have found ways to develop their skills while assisting members of their community to improve their health and foster their personal development. 

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12
May
0

Finding a Clear Direction – And the Right Words: A Conversation with MBS Trainer Chris van der Hoff

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 "This unique and empowering method gave me the tools and knowledge to help me find my way. And above that, I can help others to find theirs."

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Meet MBS Trainer Chris van der Hoff and learn about his journey to seek a way to help others through movements, emotional support and connections with the mind.  Upon finding Mind Body Studies, Chris thrives to continue studying with MBS Academy, practicing this work and teaching as an MBS Trainer in the current Foundation Training.

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14
Apr
0

The sensation of being aware; A testimonial by Ana Bergamaschi

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I feel we are learning what is most essential in life: to listen. To be aware. To maintain our availability, humility and curiosity when facing the world. It brings such freshness to life – I mean, it brings life itself.

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     When I first started practicing the Feldenkrais Method six years ago, I had no idea how much this practice would completely change my life. Until then, I thought I was sensitive and functional and that it was okay and enough as it was.

      With the practice of Feldenkrais and eventually Mind Body Studies, I quickly started discovering a whole new range of capacities. In the beginning, I sensed more possibilities of movements, such as new ways of walking, sitting, crawling and looking. Then I sensed all the different sensations that came together with those new ways of being in life: groundedness, stability, smoothness, fluidity, curiosity, playfulness, sensitivity and infinite new sensations!

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19
Mar
0

Meet MBS Trainer Irmgard Bergmann; Incorporating MBS with her Midwife Practice

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Learn how Irmgard Bergmann, one of MBS Academy's Trainers, came to study Mind Body Studies, how she has incorporated this work into her profession as a midwife in Germany, and her experience in learning and teaching MBS. 

 

What first drew you to Mind Body Studies?

I had a horse who was very nervous, so I took a seminar with Linda Telington-Jones.  In the seminar, we also felt how the Feldenkrais Method works, doing a lesson with "the four points". I remember standing on my hands and knees and lying down and standing back up, and thinking that it was boring. (Of course, now I understand why we were doing what we did!) But, I tried a class once more.  This time, it was very interesting for me.  I remember that someone said, “After this half hour, I can move without a pain that I had had for fifteen years.” That impressed me.

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01
Feb
0

Communication through Touch; How a Massage Therapist Applies Mind Body Studies

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Attila Romandy, graduate of the 2011-2014 MBS Foundation Training, discusses how his education in MBS and the Feldenkrais Method influences his work within a hospital setting, as a massage therapist. He describes how he sees the traditional roles of ‘patient’ and ‘therapist’ shift into an often far more useful relationship, of dialogue and engagement.

 


 

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In short, I have tried for about a year now to let my experiences with MBS come into my work in the hospital, especially since the February segment, in which we did unusually much work on the back. It’s also very exciting for me because I learn so much from my patients, and I receive a positive ‘echo’, as well. My work, which had started to become tiresome, is now completely different. It’s more of a dialogue with the patients, because the spirit and mindset have changed. Before, I always tried to “correct”, in the sense of repairing. Now, in contrast, I go openly to my patients or clients and I work by asking questions with my hands. It is more of a process in which we are involved, together.

Kurz, ich versuche seit ungefähr einem Jahr meine MBS- Erfahrungen in meine Arbeit im Krankenhaus einfließen zu lassen, und jetzt besonders nach dem Februarsegment, wo wir besonders viel am Rücken gearbeitet haben, und es ist sehr spannend für mich, auch weil ich soviel dabei von meinen Patienten lerne, und ich auch positives Echo bekomme. Meine Arbeit, die mich schon etwas zu langweilen begann ist jetzt vollkommen anders, es ist mehr ein Dialog mit dem Patienten, weil die geistige Einstellung sich verändert hat, früher war ich immer bemüht etwas zu "richten", im Sinne von reparieren, jetzt hingegen gehe ich offen auf meine Patienten oder Klienten zu, und arbeite indem ich mit meinen Händen frage, es ist mehr wie ein Prozeß in dem man gemeinsam involviert ist.

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14
Nov
0

Finding Your Center After Trauma: A Mind-Body Approach

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MBS Program Director Leora Gaster discusses how Mind Body Studies and the work of Moshe Feldenkrais can offer a resource to overcoming emotional or physical trauma and recovering personal freedom and ease.

 

“Every emotional state corresponds to a person’s conditioned pattern of muscular contractions.” – Moshe Feldenkrais

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_5530.JPGWe call our work “Mind Body Studies,” which doesn’t just mean that mind and body are somehow related, but that together they form an inseparable whole. Every emotional state we experience is also related to a physiological pattern, and these two aspects are completely interconnected. In other words, we can introduce change and growth to our lives from either direction. For that reason, MBS classes are not specialized to target individuals who have experienced specific emotional or physical forms of trauma. Rather, each lesson is designed to potentially help anyone, using simple movement sequences to reset the nervous system, restore inner balance and reduce stress, which in turn increases vitality, equanimity and the capacity to engage your life, from your center. 

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11
Nov
0

Developmental Patterns: Working with Babies, Children and Adults

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MBS Program Director Leora Gaster explains how the same principles behind Mind Body Studies are reflected in the natural processes of child development. Whether we are adults, children or babies, the movements that we explore in group or individual MBS lessons are opportunities to recognize ourselves through our own movement patterns.

Since the learning process used in MBS is direct and experiential, there’s no need to rely on language, to convey a philosophy, or to adopt special beliefs. On the contrary, we’re already hard-wired to learn rapidly and deeply through our own bodies and movements.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Leora-and-Children-Samuel.jpgThroughout Mind Body Studies lessons, and all the work of Moshe Feldenkrais, movement provides the basis for us to reconnect with learning abilities that are actually “hardwired” in the human organism. As Leora describes working with babies and indeed the entire MBS approach, she emphasizes our genetic predisposition for learning. From conception, our DNA is pre-programmed to enable certain basic patterns of movement.

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06
Nov
0

Mind Body Studies and the Arts

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A conversation with Rosa Julie Schmitthenner

By Danielle Hill

In June of 2014, Rosa Julie Schmitthenner began her study with MBS Academy as part of the Professional Foundation Training XIII. In fact, though, it wasn’t Rosa’s first training, at all. Some twenty years prior, she had first taken part in a training with Mia Segal in the Netherlands. At the time, Rosa was three years old and her mother, a Feldenkrais Practitioner, was assisting on a training course. Rosa can still remember lying on the floor with the class, as a toddler, and listening to Mia’s voice. Now, as a young gallery manager, actress and filmmaker based in Potsdam, Germany, Rosa has decided to attend the Professional Foundation program, for herself. She describes the fertile connections and useful relationships between the lessons, her work in the arts.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Picture-Rosa-mbs-blog_20150212-163730_1.jpg“Mind Body Studies is a form of understanding movements and also understanding the process of how you learn, as a little child, to move and to walk and to communicate.”

“It was always natural to me. My mother didn’t say, ‘Okay, now it’s Feldenkrais time.’ It was always a large part of her life, and she gave it to me. I cannot remember when we did Feldenkrais for the first time.” Recalling particular childhood memories, Rosa points out the impossibility of extracting precisely which aspects of her childhood were informed by the Feldenkrais Method, and what was simply her own upbringing and her family.

“How a person develops depends on how parents understand their children,” as Rosa puts it. “Mind Body Studies is a form of understanding movements and also understanding the process of how you learn, as a little child, to move and to walk and to communicate.” (We would circle back to this theme of learning to understand other people and other perspectives throughout our conversation, as the subject shifted to Rosa’s work at her gallery and in filmmaking.)

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03
Oct
0

Meet Trainer Margit Hrasdil

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b2ap3_thumbnail_margit_20150224-172117_1.jpgMargit Hrasdil is an MBS Trainer and Practitioner based in Bolzano, Italy, where she teaches locally as well as in MBS Academy’s international Trainings. Prior to her training in the Feldenkrais Method (1995) and her advanced study with MBS Academy, Margit worked for many years as a physical education teacher and as a track and field coach in elementary and secondary schools. Here, Margit speaks with Danielle Hill about her background in athletics and education, and her continuing experiences with Mind Body Studies.

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12
Sep
0

Fitness Series: Optimize your Workout Part II

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Check out Part I here!

PART II

b2ap3_thumbnail_fitness12_20150224-172320_1.jpgThere are three main causes for the high drop-out rate in gym- membership, a challenge which gyms are constantly battling:

  1. Boredom with routines
  2. Discouragement – setting unattainable goals, like building a six-pack or losing 10 lbs in one month
  3.  Injury
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23
Aug
0

Fitness Series: Part I- Optimize your Workout

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How Mind Body Studies Can Empower the Athlete and Enhance Ability

MBS Program Director Leora Gaster explains how the principles of MBS can translate to more beneficial physical activity, whether as part of a regular fitness regime, social sports or simply when taking a stroll around the neighborhood.

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High-performing athletes who walk into class expecting to break a sweat are often surprised by MBS group classes, which can often involve small, thought-focused movements. However, the principles behind the classes are directly applied to high-intensity forms of movement and workout routines – whether on the treadmill or in a boxing ring. Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais’ own background in sports, as a boxer and one of the first western Judokas, vastly contributed to how he developed his system. Far from prescribing gentler or more limited forms of activity, Mind Body Studies is designed so that you can actually do more by initially doing less: quantity, effort, and speed, with more intense focus and attention.

All too often, the legacy of Dr. Feldenkrais is lumped together with therapeutic and healing modalities. The methods he developed do improve mobility, agility, coordination, and overall quality of life. However, the Mind-Body-Studies system he devised is, above all, a set of tools, which enables you to work more efficiently and effectively toward your goals. It empowers anyone, at any level, to access complete insight into what they are doing and how they do it – enabling them to expand the boundaries of their physical and mental capacity. Whether the aims are recovery from injury or Olympic-level performance, the principles remain the same: becoming aware of how you operate at your best and building on those patterns to operate even better, faster, easier. Greater awareness leads to control, freedom and resilience, which result in a streamlined and powerful approach to fitness.

 

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07
Aug
0

Revised: Interview with Mia Segal by Thomas Hanna for Somatics Magazine

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Mia Segal recently revised an interview she did with Thomas Hanna in 1985, to bring it up to date with her current thinking.

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This article is a revision of an interview originally published in Somatics Magazine (Autumn/Winter 1985-86); this updated version will be featured in the next 2014 issue of Somatics Magazine-Journal of the Mind/Body Arts and Sciences.

 

Mia Segal was Dr. Feldenkrais's first assistant, collaborator, and associate for sixteen years, after which they trained students worldwide. Of Mia, Feldenkrais said: "With you, I have reached summits that alone, I could not reach. The best lessons I ever gave, were inspired by your encouraging gaze.”

Mia is known for her unequalled mastery of the work and as a superb teacher. The unique design of her programs is testimony to her vast experience and leadership in teaching this method. She is committed to ensure that this work continues in the essential and powerful form it was given to her by Dr. Feldenkrais during their many years of collaboration and friendship. Mia has been acclaimed worldwide as the standard bearer for the applications and philosophy of the Feldenkrais Method™. Mia has a black belt in Judo, which she received in the Kodokan, Tokyo, in 1970.

 

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04
Aug
2

Exploration and Coming Home: Reaching the end of a Foundation Training

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By Danielle Hill

 

Recent MBS graduate Danielle Hill describes her experiences learning with MBS Academy. Like many other students in the 2011-2014 Foundation training, she returned to Bad Toelz this June to make up an earlier segment of the program, which she had missed the first time around. As a result, she directly followed the final chapter of the training program with the very first one. As it turned out, Danielle found that the lessons of Segment I only struck her more deeply.

 

 

 

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." T. S. Eliot

 

 

 

I’m reminded of that Eliot quote often, but over the past week it’s kept ringing in my ears. Three years ago, I arrived in Bad Toelz for the first time. Prior to that, I had attended just a few group and individual lessons in the Feldenkrais Method. A friend had spoken highly of the method, and encouraged me to check it out. I had read one or two of Moshe’s books, and I had seen a clip of Mia teaching on Youtube. That got me. The dynamic language of Feldenkrais’ books resonated with many thinkers, meditators and other Greats, who I had read and admired. And right here – right here on Youtube – was a woman somehow bringing the method to life with such a beautifully quiet presence. I was moved by the light, wakeful quality with which she spoke and touched the students around her.

Although I was largely unable to verbalize any whys or hows, I felt uncharacteristically certain that I had stumbled on something of tremendous value. If I could be a bit creative, perhaps I could make regular transatlantic trips feasible. I began freelancing so that I could be more mobile. I couchsurfed whenever possible and, as if this explorative undertaking were permeating all that I encountered, I began meeting ever more interesting people.

Unlike many of those attracted to the Feldenkrais Method, I (thankfully) hadn’t had any injuries. I wasn’t a dancer or an athlete or a therapist; I had just worked with language, whether teaching, translating or writing. Nothing, it would seem, to do with the body. In fact, I would say that this retreat from the physical was wholly - if unconsciously - calculated. I’d never really shaken my teenage awkwardness, and even as a child, I had often felt ill-at-ease “in my own skin”, loathing athletics classes in grade school. Books, movies and the arts were far more appealing, and not just for their aesthetic pleasures. There was also that allure of escapism, of being divorced from direct physical experience, and even, it seemed, from my own habitual ways of experiencing the world: the relief of even a brief escape from myself. In hindsight, this unresolved tendency was what eventually brought me to the Feldenkrais Method and MBS. In the end, whatever triggers the greatest avoidance will present itself more loudly! And so eventually, I wanted to take a look at what I had been avoiding. I was eager for a means of learning completely grounded in direct experience and personal observation.

Flashing forward to June 2014: I am sitting with the other MBS students, listening to Mia. The training has just begun and many are gathered here for their first time. Mia asks a volunteer to come lie down on the floor and to lengthen her arms and her legs.

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28
Jul
0

Living on the edge or in freedom- Student Testimonial

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Below is a testimonial from MBS Practitioner Jorga Hanesova...

b2ap3_thumbnail_DSC04678.JPGI've been studying with MBS Academy for the last 4 years, and Feldenkrais the last 17. This approach to my own body, and nowadays also the classes with my clients, keeps bringing me back to the question "how small can you make that movement?" or less is more. Patiently, I will keep asking "Can you do less?" And eventually the meaning of this question will become clear to one person or another. The Feldenkrais approach means you take your own way at your own pace. This is what I love about Feldenkrais - it is your own journey that can't be forced from within or without.

When we first start doing a movement in a class we tend to go all the way to our limits, testing them - will they let us go further? Will the limit finally move on its own? Our limit is that point of struggle and stubbornness - where we just want to do it. With no softness, elegance or joy. You actually don't need to keep doing it, if it hasn't brought you anywhere else throughout your life, except to your old familiar limits. Many trainers would approach a movement like so: "Lift your head, lift your chest, now five more times, now 20 more",  ...and now you are huffing and puffing... "That's great!" And since many of those movements are so very simple, many times people ask - WHY can't I do such a simple movement?

And this is where that beautiful quest of discovery starts: what about asking the same question differently?

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