I had promised you before that I would keep you up to date on my journey to better posture and tell you a bit more about the Feldenkrais method, a movement training that I was introduced to on my recent detox retreat. I had hoped that I would find some experienced practitioners here in Singapore but unfortunately, have not yet succeeded, which is why this update is so much delayed. What I can share with you is some of the practical things I learned in Phuket and how they have helped me.
What is Feldenkrais
Here is the description of Feldenkrais in wikipedia: The Feldenkrais Method is a somatic educational system designed by Moshé Feldenkrais (1904–1984). The Feldenkrais method aims to improve movement repertoire, aiming to expand and refine the use of the self through awareness, in order to reduce pain or limitations in movement, and promote general well-being.
In essence the practise aims to teach you how to move in the most effective way. Classes can be taken as one on one sessions and group sessions. In these Awareness Through Movement classes, people engage in precisely structured movement explorations that involve thinking, sensing, moving, and imagining. Each lesson consists of comfortable, easy movements that gradually evolve into movements of greater range and complexity.
Things I learned from my first 3 sessions
Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to find good classes here in Singapore but here is what I learned in Phuket and what I still try to practise every day.
- It’s important to not just throw your shoulders back as that will just increase the tension in your shoulder muscles. Instead put your chest forward. Imagine there are 2 eyes at the top of your chest and let them see the world!
- When doing something always try to use the gravity of a solid surface to help you with the movement. For example you can use the ground or the desk on many occasions to move you forward.
- Experiment with different ways of moving. For example if you can want to pull someone towards you, you can just use your arms. However, you will be much stronger if you also use the ground (push), turn your body and use as many strong parts of your body to help you.
- Relax tummy and upper chest in many occasions. They do not always need to be contracted. Most of your body has much more (easier) movement when the muscles are relaxed.
- Make sure that your head stays in neutral position most of the time. I was shown how I tend to lift my head up when lifting things or standing up. I also tend to move my head too far backwards (creating a long neck) in my upright straight standing position. I’m now trying to be constantly aware of the position of my head and correct it whenever needed.
My journey towards better posture is far from over and I’m still trying to be stronger and practise all of the above. I feel that my progress could be better and I’m still not putting in as much effort as I could do. I should definitely increase both my yoga and pilates for example. Let’s just say it’s work in progress…
Do some of you already have experience with Feldenkrais and if you do how has it helped you?
Feature image by Ann Arbor
Image Copyright 2005, Rosalie O’Connor