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Danielle Whitston

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31
Jan
0

What MBS taught me - an Interview with Feldenkrais Practitioner Tom Rankin

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by Cydria Schaefer

The MBS approach was new to me, and I knew this is the way I want to learn this work. With MBS Academy, the work felt simple, organic, and direct.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Toms-Portrait-Cropped.jpgAn athlete his entire life, Tom Rankin is a personal trainer who presently teaches fitness classes at the Health Improvement Program(HIP) Center at Stanford University. He also teaches ATM classes and gives FIs. After completing his Guild Certification, he has been studying in a series of advanced courses with MBS Academy for the last 10 years, began a weekly MBS Online Academy study group and is now in the MBS Master Practitioner program.

In this interview, Tom shares with Cydria Schaefer how his studies with MBS Academy influenced both his personal and professional life. Tom explains how he learned a clearer, more precise understanding of the work of Dr. Feldenkrais, which has significantly improved his insight into the work and teaching.

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02
Nov
0

Join us in carrying the flame forward

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The greatest creative achievements in history are rarely done in isolation, the lost generation in the salons of Paris, the great philosophers in the coffee shops of Vienna, and many other focal points of genius.

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01
Aug
0

The next generation of MBS Trainers

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A message from MBS Academy Master Trainers and Founders:

 

We are looking to the future.  We will begin training the next generation of MBS Assistants and Trainers.

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In the spirit of MBS Academy’s multiple missions of passing on the work of Dr.  Feldenkrais, empowering our students, and introducing this work to larger audiences around the globe, we have created the MBS Assistant Trainers Track. 

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08
Jun
0

From the Pen of Mia Segal: My mission of passing Moshe's work onward

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From the Pen of Mia Segal: My mission of passing Moshe's work onward

b2ap3_thumbnail_miamoshe.jpg"In April 1957, I joined Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais in his explorations into mind/body and the powerful gift that we humans can use, which is awareness, the ability to monitor what we do. Since then I followed his teachings and spread it with him till the end of his life.

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08
Jun
0

My experience of an MBS Advanced Seminar

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"An Advanced Seminar with Mind Body Studies is a challenging experience on all fronts:  experientially, intellectually and professionally.  Incomplete concepts, lack of physical mastery skills and inhibiting underlying assumptions about the Feldenkrais Method are revealed for personal evaluation.  

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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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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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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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NEW BOOK!  Eight MBS Movement Lessons transcribed to guide you in presenting Group Classes.

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