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Recent blog posts
02
Aug
0

Testimonial: How the core principles help me teach

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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.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Glenda-Player.jpg“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.

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19
Jul
0

Surgery Recovery and my Experience with MBS Academy

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b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0128-copy.jpgPeter Hermse attended the MBS Foundation Seminar VIII in June 2013 after sustaining a collarbone injury in his Judo practice. He underwent surgery just days before the course and discovered that with the MBS work his post-operation recovery went unusually rapid. In addition, MBS turned out to offer a deeply interesting process of self-directed inquiry and exploration.

In conversation at the close of the seminar, Peter recounts his experiences of re-learning to use his shoulder as part of his entire system, and how he is now finding new movement-based learning opportunities in Judo, running, and all sorts of daily activities – from parking a car to entertaining a young child. After a relatively brief exposure to Mind Body Studies, Peter has quickly identified a fundamental principle of the training; in his words, “It’s a very funny experience – an awakening – to see that the brain gives limitations, but therefore also possibilities. If you don’t mind the limitations and just think of possibilities, well, you can go a long way.”

 

 

 

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07
Jul
0

Ian's Testimonial

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"After Seminar 7 in Bad Tolz, I have been letting my clients be more aware of their feet and toes.... not surprising, everyone realized how little awareness they have in their feet. All are so surprised how much they can feel the floor now. And, with this awareness, they can find more awareness elsewhere in the body. Thanks Mia and Leora and the Assistant Trainers of MBS Academy for the Eureka moment for me!"

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25
Jun
0

Yoga and Mind Body Studies: Maxi's Testimonail

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Learning to Learn, Learning to Teach

Now eight segments through the MBS Foundation Course, many MBS students have begun to apply what they’re learning toward teaching their own MBS Group Classes. In addition, many students who work as teachers, instructors and coaches report that their studies with MBS are influencing how they approach completely separate disciplines.

Maxi Roedl, current MBS Foundation student, describes her recent experiences as a yoga instructor:

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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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02
May
0

Recovery after Surgery and Trauma

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The following email correspondance took place between an current Foundation student and MBS Master Trainer, Leora Gaster. This student’s close family member has experienced a trauma to his body and his system triggering pain and challenging adjustments apart from his normal functions. After a complex, and physically enduring surgery, he is now experiencing difficulty with his recovery. Looking for help in this stressful situation, Claudia (name changed for privacy) turned to her instructor for guidance and wisdom.

Hi Leora,

Hope you are keeping well since we last met at snowy Bad Tolz, where I had a great time learning and enjoyed reconnecting.

I am going to be in Australia for about 1 1/2 months and hope that Mind Body Studies can help my brother who is still in hospital recovering from post-heart by-pass surgery problems.

After the surgery, he developed an infection and to aid him to "eat" and "drink" safely, tubes were inserted via his throat. As a consequence, he now can't swallow food or liquids and has also lost his voice.

My query to you is: could you please refer to me MBS material that could give me a head start? My thought is that I could specifically use what I learnt in Bad Tolz in February.

Appreciate your thoughts,

Claudia

 

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15
Apr
0

Judo and Mind Body Studies: The historical connection

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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!

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"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. "

Shared beliefs and principles in action:b2ap3_thumbnail_judo.jpg

The ground as feedback-

  • In judo the practice of falling and getting up gives you stability and teaches you not to fear falling, which translates psychologically into life lessons in all your endeavors.
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09
Apr
0

A conversation with MBS Trainer, Patty Underwood

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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.

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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.

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07
Apr
0

Testimonial from Grace

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"My sister (Sungeun Hong) got a lesson(FI) from Leora last October in a little town called Bad Tolz in Germany, during the MBS Professional Foundation training. My sister said that the way she uses her bow changed completely after the lesson. She felt so stable and balanced while playing that the use of the bow became surprisingly effortless. When you think of it, it’s not just the use of the bow while playing cello. It is a change in the use of her whole self in everything she does, which means change in the quality of her life! Her performance in a concert held in November subsequent to this experience was profound! The picture below is after the concert with some of the fellow MBS students in Korea."

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20
Mar
0

Climbing through the Pain- Student Story

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By Nelleke Dean

b2ap3_thumbnail_Nelleke1.jpgThis winter, my husband Adriaan and I went on our skiing holiday in Austria. We love to ski but sometimes if the sight is poor or the ski slope is too crowded we prefer to go on a tour with our snowshoes. It is good exercise and usually a wonderful experience of “being with nature”.

This day it was snowing quite a bit and we decided to climb to a cabin we knew from a mountain tour we had been on years ago. We expected that the seven hundred meters altitude difference together with this deep snow could be beaten within three hours. It was beautiful to make a trail in the snow where nobody had been this day. There was so much snow that we couldn’t even see any trail-markers.

Adriaan has a lot of alpine-experience and we had a GPS with us that kept us on track with great accuracy. He went in front. It was a great experience of physical work to beat nature's beautiful challenges in the middle of nowhere -- just the two of us.

Halfway up I began finding that I could hardly bring my right leg forward. My old ischiadic nerve was tight and holding my leg. It was a bit frightening, there in the loneliness.

Then there was a little voice in my head, “Why don't you move around your pain? Can you improve the distribution of this movement?"

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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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08
Feb
0

Tessa and her Horse- Testimonial

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Tessa Roos, an MBS Foundation student who will start Seminar 8 this June 2013 returned home recently and observed this:

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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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21
Jan
0

Pam's Aha! Moment

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"I had an Aha! moment yesterday. I was cleaning stalls and my left arm was getting tired from lifting fork after fork of frozen horse poop. Suddenly this little voice in my head said, "What can you do to make this easier?" Well, a muck fork is just a lever, so I knew right away that rather than lifting only with my left arm, I could press down with my right arm to make lifting easier. It's not rocket science, but before starting this journey, I probably would have just kept doing what I was doing and ended up with a sore arm and probably a sore back and neck too!"

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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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10
Dec
0

From the pen of Mia Segal: A Brief overview of Mind Body Studies

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From the Pen of Mia Segal: A brief overview of Mind Body Studies

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Moshe Feldenkrais said about his life's workIt is a special kind of learning: that of knowing oneself. Learning “how” you are acting and thus able to do “what” you want.

This is a learning method. We call ourselves an academy for learning the studies of mind/body.  We do not practice medicine.  We do not practice healing.  But it often happens that through the process of self-explorations and discoveries, health improves and healing occurs.

The genius of Moshe is that his principles are backed by a practical system that can be taught and learned by all (including animals)!  He used to say that anything that cannot be taught is of no use.  We always felt that our theory can be practically demonstrated, explained, taught and learned.

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02
Nov
0

Hanna, an amazing child with Cerebral Palsy

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This is the story of Hanna Simko.www.mbsacademy.org

Hanna’s parents, Tim and Christina Simko, are extraordinary individuals, who, like many parents of brain injured children, have devoted their lives to finding possibilities for Hanna.

Please click on the links below for an inspiring interview with them. They both share generously the story of Hanna's birth, her brain trauma, and how they found the Feldenkrais Method and MBS Academy

Part 1   Interview with Hanna's Parents

Part 2   Interview with Hanna's Parents

Thanks to Soeun Grace Doh, MBS Trainer, for creating these videos during the Master Practitioner Training held at Mayacamas Ranch, California, August 2010.

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