Mind Body Studies Practitioners and students describe the ways that Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais’ work helps their practices on the yoga mat or the meditation cushion.... Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.
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.Continue reading
Happy Anniversary, Foundation XII!
Onward, Foundation XIII!
Two 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.)Continue reading
New Ways of Teaching Mind Body Studies; the work of Dr. Feldenkrais.
written by Mary Morrison, MBS Advanced Practitioner in 2011
Mary 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:"Continue reading
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.
During 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.”Continue reading
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.
Sa 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.Continue reading
"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."
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.Continue reading
Mia Segal recently revised an interview she did with Thomas Hanna in 1985, to bring it up to date with her current thinking.
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.
Leora Gaster – An Introduction to Mind Body Studies – the Work of Dr. Feldenkrais
8/9 March 2014
A Master Class in Clarity
by Janet Heath
From the first “Please lie on your back...” to the final “Any questions?” I sensed we were all enthralled. The group was comprised of people with a wide range of experiences of the work of Dr. Feldenkrais; from reading a book about it to being teachers of several years standing. I was curious as to how “An Introduction….” could be constructed to enable us all to gain something valuable from a two-day workshop. Leora didn’t disappoint. Even the seasoned teachers were heard to say “Amazing!” and “Fantastic!” at the end, and when I spoke to someone who had no experience of Dr. Feldenkrais’ work she said she felt inspired to know and do more.
So what is it that makes Leora Gaster such an inspirational teacher? Together with her mother,
Mia Segal, she was my first introduction to Feldenkrais’ work and I remember then the clarity of her teaching and her very evident passion for the subject, which ensured a high level of
attention and interest from all participants. It’s as if she really wants you to “get it” and I know Leora
is dedicated to spreading what she calls “the work” around the globe so that everyone can benefit
from Moshe’s fantastic legacy.
MBS Assistant Trainer Soeun Grace Hong Doh completed her Feldenkrais Training in 2002 and became an MBS Master Practitioner in 2011. She runs a private practice in Seoul, Korea and is organizing and teaching MBS Korea’s first Professional Foundation Training. Her background is in Exercise Physiology, Neuroscience, Biotechnology and patent law.
Here, Grace shares some of the experiences that have shaped her involvement with Feldenkrais® and eventually MBS, as a student, a practitioner, and an MBS Trainer.
“That was the first time I realized that an FI® and ATM® are really a time to be with the experience, and not to be spoiled with analysis or words. Not just the physical, but the mind aspect as well. I had to continue with the training, because continuing was the only thing that made sense going forward, as a way of becoming more mature, healthier, and more mobile in my life. I learned to pose questions to myself, explore new possibilities, ignite my curiosity and invite subtle changes and transformation.”
Verena Wenger , a student in MBS Academy’s Advanced Seminars, applies her training as a Feldenkrais practitioner and her studies with MBS to her work with individuals with mental illnesses in a psychiatric clinic in Switzerland. In October 2013, while participating in the Advanced Seminar in Bad Toelz, she shared some of her experiences.
“My job is simply to give some support,” Verena explains. “I offer a space,” she later puts it, with what might appear at first simply to be her modesty. In the “space” that Verena provides, patients start to expand their sensitivity, developing a fuller sense of their bodies, themselves and their own wishes and goals. It soon becomes clear that Verena chooses her words not just out of modesty, but precision; she says of the interaction between a patient and a practitioner:
“You can’t find your blind spots completely on your own. That doesn’t generally work. And so you may need a hand, some impulse comes from the outside. But the clarity of becoming aware, of noticing what exactly you’re doing: that comes from oneself.
An Outside Perspective
After completing her training as a Feldenkrais practitioner, Verena found a position working within a psychiatric clinic, giving one-on-one sessions to the patients. The individuals she sees display a full spectrum of disorders and conditions, including depression, borderline personality disorder, and bipolar disorder. While she has now had ample time to acquaint herself with different “diagnosis pictures”, Verena stresses, “I have – first of all – a person in front of me, and not a mentally ill person or a depressed person or a borderliner. This work is not about working with a diagnosis, but about the person in front of you, and seeing how that person changes. It isn’t even the same person you saw yesterday!”Continue reading
Through MBS group lessons and storytelling, Jörg Freidanck offers a class of high school students the chance to reacquaint themselves with the pleasures of learning.
Current MBS Foundation student Jörg Freidanck has taught for over 35 years, which means that over 15,000 students have passed through his high school classes in physical education, and some 2,000 students have learned Judo from him. Since studying with MBS, Jörg has begun leading MBS group classes for the faculty of the high school where he teaches. He also offers group classes to the public in his town. At the end of the 2012-2013 school year, Jörg had the opportunity to present Moshe Feldenkrais’ work to a group of high school students as part of the school’s annual week of extracurricular activities and workshops. How he did so was both a natural extension of the principles taught at MBS Academy and a creative response to his class’s particular circumstances.
Jörg wanted to offer students the chance to experience, first-hand, the power of a learning environment that is both pleasurable and personal.
Between November 2013 and March 2014, three MBS Trainers are leading a series of Introduction to MBS workshops in Munich, Germany. Here, the three trainers, Ingo Herbst, Elke Bruce-Boye, and Angelika Kitt, speak about their own experiences with Feldenkrais and Mind Body Studies and reflect on why and how they’ve put together this workshop series.
What originally drew you to learning about Feldenkrais and MBS?
[ANGELIKA] I started to learn this work in 1983. I was fascinated when I heard about Feldenkrais through several different people. One of them was an actor and a friend of mine. He had a teacher who taught Feldenkrais to actors, and my friend was really excited about it, so I became curious. Then, another person mentioned it to me, saying, “We do movements in thinking, and we clarify the movement through thinking.” I found this interesting, because at this time I did Karate-do and in each kata (or form), you see how your opponent starts the movement and you think his movement, and then you do your movement in this same way.
I also had a colleague, a psychologist, and after we had team meetings in the evenings, he always had to rush off so quickly. One day I said, “Wow, you are busy!” He explained, “Oh, I have to go to my Feldenkrais class.” So, I was interested. I tried it out, and one day while I was lying on the floor during a class, suddenly, the feeling came over me that this was my work. I did my training first with Gaby Yaron and then with other teachers.Continue reading
The Role of Awareness in Injury Recovery and Athletic Development: A Conversation with Personal Trainer Ian Lim
Current MBS Foundation student and personal trainer Ian Lim discusses how the principles of Mind Body Studies help him connect with his clients’ needs and better prepare them to meet their goals.
Next February, Ian Lim will once more fly from Singapore to Germany to participate in the final seminar of the MBS Foundation Training program. With graduation right around the bend, many students are gearing up their own practices at home. Since the beginning, Ian has seen his studies with MBS improve and enhance his skill as a personal trainer. Instead of teaching formal group classes (ATM’s), though, Ian finds that he can best reach his clientele by incorporating a Mind Body Studies approach into his private training sessions. He notes, “It’s about bringing the principles of MBS into the usual fitness work and about guiding the client to become more aware of their movements.”
Sometimes, when a client changes the way they think about a movement it brings the most significant improvement. Ian offers an example: “My clients used to think about just kicking the ball. But the motion, itself, is much more important than what happens with the ball.” So he begins suggesting questions to the client: “‘What do you move first? When do you stop moving when you kick the ball? What do you do when you get to the endpoint? Do you tense up?’ So,” Ian explains, “I slowly move them through their entire movement.” What is the result of shifting attention to the movement, itself, instead of the athletic goal? “More power. More flexibility.”
As it turns out, Ian’s clients perform better overall when he can bring their attention to how they move instead of focusing on the number of repetitions, the maximum speed, or the weight that they press. This same phenomenon holds for clients with highly varied needs.Continue reading
Glenda Player of Playland Equestrian Center is a current student in the MBS Foundation training. Since beginning to train with MBS, she has been finding ways to incorporate what she’s learning to her riding instruction, both for individual riders and in clinics. Here, Glenda shares how the most recent June 2013 segment added a new dimension to her riding clinics.
“In our most recent MBS June training, Leora really focused on core principles: principles of movement, as I understood them. For example, looking at the reversibility of a movement, the quality, how far the movement travels through the body, the timing, or what gets involved with the movement. Looking at these core principles makes the experience much more about the learning process itself, and not just about doing a movement.
In riding, and specifically in dressage riding, you are evaluated on the quality of each movement you make. However, riders too often forget about the quality of the movement and focus on just getting the movement completed. When this happens, people tend to think they can ride at a particular level as soon as they can perform certain movements. In some cases, though, they aren’t using quality movements! The core principles point us back to what makes a quality movement, whether you apply them to a horse or to a rider, whether mounted on horseback, or in an ATM class.Continue reading
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.
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.”Continue reading
MBS Academy promotes continuing education in the form of workshops, DVDs, news articles and blog posts to keep our students and practitioners up to date with industry happenings. With the recent inquiries, and forum postings centering around Judo and its relation to Mind Body Studies, we have compiled information to help bridge the gap in understanding the connection and history between the two.
We hope you enjoy!
"Martial Arts practitioners find great insight in how Dr. Feldenkrais’ MBS work breaks up each movement into the elements of initiation and progression through the system. "
MBS Trainer, Patty Underwood, will soon be bringing the MBS program to South Africa, where she will teach two introductory public workshops in September 2013. From her home in Fairfax, California, Patty answered questions on the upcoming workshops in South Africa and the influences Mia and Leora have had on her, both professionally and personally.
MBS: During a recent Foundation Training in Bad Toelz, Mia recounted her wonderful story about speaking with Moshe after she’d first watched him work. He asked if she had any questions; she assured him that she had many. Mia can still hear his response today: “If you know the right question… it will only take a minute!"
During the course of your own training, what are the really decisive moments or particular touchstones that you regularly recall?
Patty: I still vividly remember the first FI that Mia gave me. I was attending a training that she gave in Berkeley, and I really don’t know what got into me, but somehow I got the idea that I wanted to feel “the Master’s hands”! I’m not normally the type of person who just goes up and asks to feel somebody’s hands. But, as it turned out, I was very fortunate, as at the end of the training, Mia demonstrated FI for the group – on me. I still remember it so clearly. It was completely different from anything I had ever experienced before – and I had already done a good deal of training by this time! Mia had such absolute clarity and curiosity in how she asked my body questions, or rather, how she asked me questions, using her hands. It was such a clear and direct conversation of discovery, which I could feel going all the way through my body.Continue reading