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August, 2012

Last term our theme was HOMUNCULAR REFRESHEMENT.

Our sense of our body is the foundation of our subjectivity, and our understanding of the subjectivity of others. The homunculus is a ‘map’ or representation of the human body in the somatosensory and motor cortex in the brain. Groups of neurons are devoted to parts of the body and let us know where we are and how to move in space~time.

Some parts of the body have greater proportional representation than others, depending on their functional importance. For example the mouth and tongue are huge! Violinists, cellists and guitarists have a bigger homuncular representation of the hand than non-musicians.

Our homuncular map is a work in progress as every movement leads to instant changes in the brain and new ways of perceiving. Awareness through movement refreshes this map as we create (and are created) through perceiving, thinking and imagining, moving and acting in the world.

Effective action improves the body and its capacity to act. The effectiveness of an action is judged first of all by the simple standard of whether it achieves its purpose. But that test is not sufficient. Action must also improve a living and developing body at least to the extent that the same action will be carried out more effectively the next time.
Moshe Feldenkrais

The series of related lessons explored movements which were seemingly very similar. However, each lesson introduced new variations so that each time the design was developed.

By finding these variations and considering how they informed the basic lesson, we did the ‘same~different’. Getting familiar with the basic pattern and inviting ourselves to clarify the differences. This is the essence of refreshment - by improving the quality of a movement, making it lighter, easier each time, paying attention to the ‘how’, patterns which are no longer in your repertoire may be recovered.

This symbol ~ is used by Scott Kelso to link a complementary pair of apparent opposites. Moving beyond the illusion of opposites, we considered the relationship within~between contraries, or paradoxes, bringing a new way of thinking. Feldenkrais makes this abstract idea concrete in some of his lessons and I continue to be fascinated by the effect.

My attendance at the Neurodynamics and the Neuromatrix conference in Adelaide earlier in the year presented research which resonated with the thinking of Feldenkrais practitioners. Check out www.bodyinmind.org for an ongoing conversation.

The final term for this year continues the theme, bringing you to mind. Lessons will create the circumstances for you to dance to your own music.

Resources
Scott Kelso & David Engstrom 2006 The Complementary Nature
Maxine Sheets-Johnstone 2011, The Primacy Of Movment 2nd Ed
www.bodyinmind.org


April, 2012

Our Liveliness theme has been interesting and continues to intrigue. We will continue with it over the next term, starting on the 1st/2nd of May.

Laugh out Loud!: Rada is coming back to lead us in an evening of laughter at Maraylya Hall.

The idea that 'laughter is the best medicine' continues to interest scientists, doctors, social workers; in fact, aren’t we all interested in laughter? Why do humans laugh? What happens in the brain when we laugh? What happens in the body when we laugh? Why exactly does laughing out loud, when we do it, help us to feel better? How much laughing is good for us?

14th May at Maraylya Hall, Boundary Road, Maraylya from 6 – 8pm

Download the Laugh out Loud flyer for more information, and contact us to register.


January, 2012

Happy New Year! I have just returned from a week at the beach and then a stimulating week in Melbourne.

First a week walking on the beach, listening to the waves and swimming and, most importantly, enjoying time with my family. This was a much needed time of recreation and refreshment.

Then off to a stimulating week of discussions at a forum fostering sustainability of Feldenkrais. This was followed by a meeting of some of the AFG Competency Project Team and then some time on the floor at the Melbourne 4 Feldenrkais Training Programme.

The quiet of the beach and refreshment brought by time with family; time to reflect and dream of future directions, followed so soon by the high energy communication and re-connection with Feldenkrais friends from across the country, inspired the theme of this term's classes, LIVELINESS.

  • Better manage the ups and downs of life
  • enjoy the highs with gratitude
  • respectfully respond to your own needs and
  • speed recovery from trauma

We are animate beings and we are born moving; at times our sense of liveliness bubbles over. At other times our liveliness is dulled by trials or tribulations or injury.

By learning your body through movement you can rekindle and grow the quality of lightness and ease in your life.

I know many people first encounter Feldenkrais to aid rehabilitation from injury. Most stay on long after the injury is healed because they recognise the on-going benefits in their lives.

PS. There is a new Feldenrkais Training Programme starting in Brisbane in October this year www.feldworks.com


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