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
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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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Throughout 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.Continue reading
Margit 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.... Continue reading
In Conversation with Chieko Omiya
MBS Trainer Chieko Omiya teaches ballet and offers MBS lessons to dancers in Sendai, Japan. She was first introduced to Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® classes in 1985 and graduated from the Japan Feldenkrais® Training in 2000, learning from Mia Segal as well as Eilat Almagor. From 2011 to 2014, she served as an Assistant Trainer throughout the MBS Foundation Training in Bad Toelz. As that training ends and the next one begins, Chieko reflects on how she found her way to the Feldenkrais Method® and how Mind Body Studes and the method applies to her work with dancers.
The Search for A Missing Piece
Chieko began teaching ballet in 1978, having trained in the 1970s under a graduate of the Beijing Dance Academy. As Chieko describes it, it impressed her from the start how “wonderfully logical” ballet was. Although her teacher would instruct the class with only a limited grasp of the Japanese language, Chieko recalls, it was possible to understand just what she wanted of her pupils. At the time, there were no other instructors offering ballet instruction with such a grasp of the theory and such a pure adherence to the ‘ballet education system’. “I was so fascinated to teach my own ballet pupils by that logic,” she explains.
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
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
San Diego, CA - Jan 10-14, 2007
by Amie Slate (Sensible Moves, Los Angeles)
There were about 30 of us who met in a lovely old hotel in downtown San Diego for a 5 day workshop with Mia Segal this January. The weather was literally freezing but Mia and her daughter Leora created a warm, generous atmosphere that had us all learning and working well together. There was such a marked change in the sound of the room during our partnering time over the five days. In the first two days as we were searching for comprehension of what Mia was asking for, there was a lot of talking and noise. For the last three days, the sounds were completely different. There were great, rich silences punctuated with ahs, ooohs, and ah-ha's amid sprinklings of soft laughter.
How did we do that...
Because I knew I was going to write this report, I queried people during the five days and tried to get a feel for common experiences. One thing that I heard from a number of people has to do with Mia and Leora's ideas about knowing, authority and discovery.
They not only behaved, but taught us to behave with less arrogance, less authority and more ability to explore and discover. They showed us how to NOT know as well as how to find out. Leora repeated over and over that in her experience, Guild graduates have plenty of sensitivity (and lots of ideas) but we don't seem to know what to do with what we sense. She described her interest in separating content from form (with a reference to NLP), and in teaching us a form that could be applied to every situation. Interestingly, I think that's exactly what they did. They gave us a very simple, functional framework to apply to our sensing.Continue reading
Shao Ern Huang is a current student in the MBS Foundation training. Over the course of his studies with MBS in Singapore; Thailand; and Bad Toelz, Germany, Shao Ern has found ways to apply Mia and Leora’s methods to his own work with special needs children, both through clever innovation and as an extension of his personal values and aims. Here, he shares with the MBS Blog some of his experiences and the connections he’s made along the way.
Sitting before the perfumed steam of hot cocoa at one of Bad Toelz’s lovelier cafes, Shao Ern has hardly touched his own cup. There’s just too much to tell. We’re on lunch break from the June 2013 MBS Post-Graduate Training course, and Shao Ern is marvelling at the simultaneous simplicity and complexity of the morning’s group class.
“It’s the finesse of doing such a simple movement. While doing the movement, I thought, ‘Wow, there are so many pieces!’” Holding out his palm, Shao Ern recalls, “You know, Moshe writes in one of his books that if you can differentiate out all of the components of walking, there’s more to it than the lines on your palm. Now I can see, he has a point!”
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.
Better Listening For Better Riding
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.”Continue reading
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.
“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.”Continue reading
"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!"... Continue reading
Moshe Feldenkrais said about his life's work: It 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.Continue reading
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
Thanks to Soeun Grace Doh, MBS Trainer, for creating these videos during the Master Practitioner Training held at Mayacamas Ranch, California, August 2010.Continue reading