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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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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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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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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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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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15
Sep
0

Top 10 Reasons to Attend MBS Academy's Professional Foundation Training

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  1. MBS Academy’s succinct and comprehensive curriculum graduates MBS Practitioners in 90 days.
  2. Seminars run from Saturday to the following Sunday allowing you to minimize your time away from work and home and save on travel expenses.
  3. Experiential learning through active participation in both group classes and hands-on partner work begins the first day of the training.
  4. We create an enjoyable and safe learning environment where students are encouraged to interact and questions are always welcomed.
  5. Supportive, small group coaching sessions empower students to be confident in teaching group classes.
  6. Our trainers specialize in diverse professional fields, which enable them to address a variety of professional applications and offer multiple perspectives.
  7. Our students understand the works’ inherent simplicity through learning MBS Academy’s Core Principles. 
  8. Judo concepts are openly incorporated into our training curriculum.
  9. We attract a diverse and international student body providing a stimulating learning environment.
  10. MBS graduates create successful professional practices.

For more information on our Professional Foundation Training click here. To read how Mind Body Studies can benefit you, follow this link.

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29
May
0

Riding with Awareness- Part II

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In the second part of this blog  series, we continue our conversation with MBS students involved in horseback riding and riding instruction. In this installment, Tellington Touch Practitioner and riding instructor Martin Lasser joins in the conversation.

 “You have to be there, open with them, and if you’re not, they will tell you. It’s a great way of knowing your mind, to be in this mindset. If you’re not, the animal will take off!” - Suzy Van Eijs

In the course of interviewing multiple riders and riding instructors, one particular horse fact kept coming up. Though it first seemed simply to be a stunning bit of trivia, by the end of our conversations, it became clear how central this little piece of information was to understanding horses and the people who really get to know them: It turns out, horses can feel a fly land anywhere on their bodies. A horse may weigh a thousand pounds, but it has an image of its body that’s dazzlingly detailed. As MBS student Suzy Van Eijs points out, “It’s not that because a horse is big, it has no feeling of its body. It’s actually very subtle.” As the various equestrians and teachers emphasized how much they learn from their horses, the skill they seem most to share with their equine partners, and most to value, is sensitivity.

 

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Each of the current MBS students I spoke with noted how their experiences in MBS and with Feldenkrais have refined their perceptiveness, both internally and in the world around them. In describing what has most enhanced her riding, Ulrike Reiffenstein first notes the change in how she perceives her own body in relation to the horse. Through attending Feldenkrais workshops over many years, and now participating in the Foundation course, she reports, “I’m more aware of all of these connections through my body, and that helps in riding, that’s obvious.”

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10
May
0

Riding with Awareness- Part I

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While attending a MBS seminar, you may find yourself rolling vigorously on your mat or using your fingertips to gently trace the vertebrae along the back of your neck, perhaps getting a picture of them for the first time. Whatever the lesson’s focus, the learning always uses the movements of the human body as the means of developing one’s awareness. So it may come as a surprise, even to those seasoned in MBS or Feldenkrais work, that the same principles learned through group class, demos and hands-on partner work also find useful application when used with horses and other animals. Whether using touch to enlarge a horse’s awareness of its own body, or leading a class of riders to better understand and refine their own physical organization, both professional and amateur equestrians can benefit from an enriched picture of their own movements and those of their horses.

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The students who come to MBS courses hail from a diverse range of backgrounds, including performers from the arts and athletics; therapists and coaches who treat both body and mind; as well as many individuals looking to alleviate pain, expand their capacity as learners, or simply enhance their sense of well-being. In the current MBS Foundation Program in Bad Toelz, Germany,  many students come from the world of horseback riding. Now entering their final year of training, they already report changes in how they teach their riding students or train and connect with their horses.

 

Becoming One’s Own Teacher

The riding instructors currently training with MBS identify a primary goal as helping their own students to become more independent. Current student Suzy Van Eijs points to the danger in riders becoming overly reliant on their instructors, those situations where over the course of years “you’re going and going,” unable to achieve the same performance without a trainer standing by. She’s long worked to help riders teach themselves; as she recalls, “I’ve always had the intention of getting them to know themselves and to solve normal daily problems by giving them a place to start.” As Suzy describes it, her original orientation of helping students to become their own problem-solvers has only strengthened through training in the Foundation course. “At first, it was more a gut feeling…. Now I’ve gotten to test it out, with my own body or with horses.”

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07
Mar
0

Awareness through Pregnancy- Part II

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A conversation with MBS Academy student, Suzy van Eijs

New mother and current student in the MBS Academy Foundation Training, Suzy van Eijs describes her experiences during and since her pregnancy – during training and at home, on the floor and on the go, her daughter Eydie in her arms.

Last Saturday, Suzy found a couple hours to chat with us while Eydie lay down for an afternoon nap. Soon enough, Momma would be up and running one more, baking some bread and on call for an energetic one-year-old to tug at her arms again in pursuit of the latest fascination: walking. For the moment, though, Suzy got to reflect a bit on her training with MBS, on motherhood, and on how the two have intersected.

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“The thing I would say about pregnancy is that it’s just for such a short period of time. When you’re in it, it’s so huge, but before you know it, it’s over, and you can’t get back to it.” Of course, one can become pregnant again, but Suzy stresses the preciousness of each individual experience – as that experience. Her distinction recalls Mia’s encouragement throughout past seminars to give our full attention to each particular movement as it happens, instead of recalling something from the past or anticipating what will happen next.

Of her training with MBS, Suzy notes, “I think that might be a thing that this work has made me realize more: sticking in the moment, enjoying the moment.” It doesn’t end with pregnancy, of course. She adds, “Also now, if I hear friends saying, ‘Maybe Eydie will be able to walk in a month,’ I don’t really even think about that. I enjoy now, what’s happening now.”

As it turns out, Eydie offers the same lesson on the richness of slowing down and paying attention to right now. “Babies, that’s their life. They don’t think about ‘Oh, maybe later.’” With a laugh, Suzy spells out just how Eydie prefers to get the message across: crying. Loudly. And, the most wondrous part, Suzy is generally glad for the reminder.

“I think that might be a thing that this work has made me realize more: sticking in the moment, enjoying the moment.”

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28
Feb
0

Iveta and her Son

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A current student in the MBS Foundation Training, Iveta Varmusova shares how the MBS program has helped her son, both through her own study and through her son’s participation in demonstrations with Leora and Mia. Iveta travels three times a year from the Czech Republic to the trainings in Bad Tolz, Germany. Last October, she brought her son along.

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05
Feb
0

Awareness through Pregnancy- Part One

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A conversation with MBS Academy Student, Ewa Ławreszuk

This past year, the MBS roster has included some healthy and happy, flexible-bodied and flexible-minded new mothers. Throughout the latter half of 2012, students in both the Foundation and Post-Graduate courses had the great opportunity to listen to new babies’ laughter and watch their exploratory movements right alongside the classes’ own investigations. In this two-part blog series, the new moms share their experiences of participating in the MBS program during their first-time pregnancies.

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“You know, the first pregnancy is changing a lot in movement:  the position of the pelvis and the lower back… to sit down, sit up, put on shoes.”  For years, Ewa Ławreszuk has been developing her bodily awareness through her continuing study with MBS Academy and through her own practice as a Feldenkrais Method ® and Bones for Life ® Practitioner.  During each stage of her pregnancy and now in motherhood, Ewa has been able to use the grounded, simple strategies she’s learned to respond to changing circumstances with flexibility and awareness.  While many students who come to MBS are motivated by an accident or a decline in health to take a closer look at how they organize their bodies, as any pregnant mother can attest, drastic change can also be a natural, positive and quite useful part of human development – throughout life.

“I do not know how to write it to you in English” she modestly explains, having written professionally for years in her native Polish, “but that was something – that my body was wholly integrated in the movements and posture of the pregnancy.”  One happy side effect of becoming so fully integrated, Ewa discovered that persistent pains and tensions disappeared, and didn’t come back.  In June of 2012, five months pregnant, she spent three full weeks in Bad Toelz, attending both the Foundation and the Post-Graduate Seminars. “I had a pain in the lower back when I arrived that disappeared after two days and never came back.”

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17
Dec
0

The Prayer Lesson- A feeling of Peace

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Last October, when we completed our Foundation seminar, I couldn't believe that we were already more than halfway through our training! Each seminar is such an enjoyable surprise, and also follows on so naturally from the previous ones. This training builds globally, from the center out, each seminar wrapping around the one before. This time, after experiencing many wonderful ATMs, I felt as though I had so clearly embodied the concepts that I could literally roll along the path home.

Near the end of the series of ATMs was "The Prayer". We started the movement in sitting and in lying and gradually worked our way through many combinations. As we progressed through the variations, the feeling in the room became increasingly quiet and calm. I have witnessed this when I am teaching in my own classes, a wonderful sense of softening, almost like the very air in the room has a different quality. I suppose it does in a way, as everyone begins to deepen their awareness through noticing when they breathe in and when they breathe out and whether they sense any further changes all along themselves in relation to the floor. It is as if they melt further into the floor during the scans between movements. I often have the sense of cracking an egg and watching the whites spread out! You can see and feel the difference as the people in the room let go.

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This lesson is particularly profound, a universal movement of prayer. Whether you are religious or not, the movement and the corresponding awareness one brings to it has an impact on the system that is so noticeable, so tangible.

 

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