Friday, February 17, 2012

Did you move with us?

Hi, folks: As you know, I haven't posted here on blogger for over two years. This blog, Somaquest, is now "in residence" on my primary website. Please, if you would, go over there and subscribe by clicking the little RSS icon. I'll be deleting this blog (gasp!) on February 20 -- and I'd love for you to follow me over to my new digs. In other news, the site at is being completely remodeled. That is my online store for mp3 audios of Feldenkrais lessons. Please do check back over there for more movement goodness! Thanks for following -- MaryBeth

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Moving day!

This icon, known as the "feed icon" ...Image via Wikipedia

Hello, Followers:
The time has come, and SomaQuest is moving/has moved.
We have a great new website at , and we're thrilled that SomaQuest is now integrated with our main website for the Feldenkrais Center of Houston.

Please change your bookmarks, and click the button to receive the RSS Feed from the SomaQuest blog, as ever. You can also sign up to receive the latest posts in your email.

Thanks so much for following!
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Monday, January 25, 2010

Order and Chaos -- Again

File CabinetsImage by AirBeagle via Flickr

This weekend, the miraculous manifestation of a used filing cabinet set into motion a chain of events known as "the law of unintended consequences." The Murphy's Law variation is, "Whatever you set out to do, something else must be done first.

Before I knew it, I had turned my office into a total wreck. It seems that things always get a little worse before they get better. My ambition and frustrated longings led me through a train of thought that culminated in the reorganization of my entire office; including (dun dun DUN!!!!) the closet. The simple de-cluttering turned into a "pitch fest." The next step -- loading everything into my car for a trip to recycling.

Two days after beginning, I am finished -- all except for vacuuming in the morning before my first client arrives. I feel ready to welcome new people and new ideas. Possibilities are ripe! It literally feels like I have a new office to go with the new year. It's not THAT different, at least in appearance. I can't wait to see how the subtle changes -- settled in after a tumultuous few days -- affect my work and my students.

It's a perfect analogy to what happens during a Functional Integration lesson. Over time, our unconscious movement habits -- simple adaptations to everyday life, really -- have gotten the best of us. That sore neck or back is just the "calling card" for the hidden clutter in the total system. With gentle lessons in the Feldenkrais Method, the effects can set in motion a chain of events that is transformational.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Feldenkrais @ NiaMoves

Thought you would enjoy this video shot at NiaMoves studio during our workshop, "A Pleasure in the Neck" last Sunday.

more about "Feldenkrais @ NiaMoves", posted with vodpod

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Monday, January 18, 2010

How to Feel Younger

Lucas Cranach "The Fountain Of Youth"Image by Sebastian Niedlich (Grabthar) via Flickr

That title got your attention!

The Pepsi Generation, those of us who grew up saying "Don't trust anyone over 30," eventually decided that hanging in there for the long haul was vastly better than the alternative. We spend a lot of money and energy to look and feel our best -- and to many, that means wanting to feel younger.

We can't know for sure if we felt great when we were younger. It's possible that we were fine: it just looks so much better now, from a distance, and through the rosy lenses of nostalgia. "I wish I could have the wisdom I have now, with the body I had when I was 25" is a frequent lament.

Beauty may be skin deep, but youthful energy and "zip" comes from the inside. Your best bets for looking and feeling younger?

Live. Do the best you can with what you have. Count your blessings. If you're away a lot, get home more. If you're home a lot -- get out more. Welcome variety and fun into your life. Enjoy -- really enjoy the people in your life.

Laugh. Cultivate your sense of humor. Be gentle and forgiving, especially with yourself. Rekindle your own ability to be surprised and delighted. Laughter improves your breathing, your complexion, and your outlook.

Learn. There's probably nothing more absorbing and energizing than learning something new, taking on a new project, and expanding your capabilities. Classes or lessons in the Feldenkrais Method can reconnect you with that time in your life when everything was new. When you improve the quality and gracefulness of your movements you also improve your thinking, feeling and sensing. Then, you'll be ready to take on the world -- or at least your corner of it -- refreshed.

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year, New You

The New Year offers the promise of a new start, a blank slate, and a fresh hope that MAYBE we'll "get it right" this year. Since 99% of us will abandon those resolutions before Valentine's Day, perhaps your strategy for self-improvement could stand a new approach.

The Feldenkrais Method® offers a counter-intuitive approach to self-improvement. It is in accord with an old proverb that says, "Only when I accept myself completely as I am, am I completely free to change."

Self-acceptance is not rationalization, where you lie to yourself that your behavior is OK. Self-acceptance is the willingness to look at the truth and acknowledge it. It takes ongoing self-awareness to notice when the time is ripe for positive change, and when the way is blocked. Your Feldenkrais classes can be the foundation for new self-awareness, from the inside out. Feldenkrais classes "upgrade" the connection and communication between your brain and your body, using movement -- the native language of your entire nervous system.

You'll be amazed at what can change.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Guest Blog: Joanna Myers, Feldenkrais® Ann Arbor

w:Collage of varius w:Gray's muscle pictures b...Image via Wikipedia

My colleague, Joanna Myers, GCFP, is a dear friend and continuous inspiration. Her words resonated with me, so I wanted to share them with you.

What would your life be like if you felt truly supported? What would that look like? In a culture that values self-sufficiency, is it possible even to accept support without feeling it will somehow make us soft or, dare I say... spoiled?

As I find myself leaning on people in my life in new ways, I have found it quite challenging to my self-image. Like many women, I'm more comfortable in a giving role and have always been extremely independent. What I realize is that holding onto this image of myself as self-sufficient not only limits my options but is a lot of extra work in itself.

We Feldenkrais
® practitioners often mention "giving support where support is needed" as a maxim in our work. If you have areas in your body where you're working extra hard (i.e., tight!), like in the back of your neck, or your shoulders, one of the first things we'll do is support what your muscles are already doing. Whether through touch during Functional Integration® or your own movements in a class, the idea is to give yourself the feeling of "not-working" long enough for it to register internally.

It works almost every time. Shoulders drop from around the ears. Necks lengthen. You may, in the course of an hour, let go of tension you have carried around for years.

It's so simple, yet for us go-getting proactive disciplined doers, such a notion can be downright controversial. For people unused to the phenomenon, eyes widen and brains whir with objections--"But I didn't do anything....Shouldn't I be writing this down so I can do it every morning at 5 am?"

It takes real courage to accept support, especially from oneself. The feeling of being carried by the bones of your body, without excess muscle tone, is an ideal worth pursuing, simply because it frees us for the most meaningful action--that which flows effortlessly through us.

What would that look like for you, this busy time of year that is so other-focused?

We can help! Treat yourself to a Functional Integration
® lesson over the holidays, or in the new year. After the holidays, bring a friend to ATM class at any of our locations. Now how supportive is that?
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