Monday, October 13, 2008

"The Economy, Constraints, and Learning" by Joanna Myers, MM, GCFP

[This week, I've done a lot more reading than writing. Some weeks are like that. So I wanted to share with you one of the best and most appropriate pieces I've come across this week.]

Have you heard what's happening with the economy? (Duh.) Daily we're made aware of it not only by the media, but by higher fuel and food costs, faltering investment portfolios, or stories (perhaps your own) of difficulties selling a house.

Even for those in relatively stable situations, there's a perception of vague danger-an invisible predator in an era where humans are no longer prey. The fight or flight response kicks in, but is no longer adaptive.

For example, do you freeze--your breathing, your spending? Or do you flee--tense your muscles for a run on the bank? Most of us respond with sense and subtlety, by staying abreast of our own situation and, if necessary, placing constraints on our usual spending. In short, we expand our repertoire of behaviors in order to adapt to a changing world.

In the Feldenkrais Method
® we use constraints-in the form of unusual positions and movements--as opportunities to learn and improve our physical selves.

Using our bodies as we always have--even if we don't experience discomfort at first--can lead to physical problems that intensify over time. Perhaps you've bumped into this in the form of back or neck pain, feelings of stress, or restrictions in your movements.

The good news is we have within us the wisdom to learn new ways of moving and perceiving ourselves physically that not only can alleviate physical difficulties, but make us even better than we were before. And the
Feldenkrais Method is the fastest, most effective means around to access that inner learning. Through guided attention and gentle movement, you can release chronic tension, improve your alignment, and move with more power, elegance, and pleasure.

Only you can decide what's adaptive in response to "hard times." Perhaps at the end of this crisis we'll all live less on credit, bicycle at least once a week, grow our own tomatoes, and cook a wicked bean stew-and be better for it.

Feldenkrais Method is better experienced than described. Take one of the upcoming Awareness Through Movement® classes or a Functional Integration® lesson and see for yourself how to raise your quality of life.

Joanna Myers is a
Feldenkrais teacher in Ann Arbor, MI, USA. Email her at

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