Monday, May 6, 2013

MOVEMENT!

Lately, I have noticed a growing concern to our next generations development through lack of movement. Awhile ago I came across a book titled Last Child in the Woods. The author states the lack of outdoor play is not just about advanced technology, but includes stranger danger, liability and the speed at which we need to get things done. We need to turn this around now....

 “The woods were my Ritalin. Nature calmed me, focused me, and yet excited my senses.” 
 Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

If you have the time, here are a few sites for you to browse and pass along!
Designed to move
Indiegogo

Let me know of you have others.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Movement for Improvement

Feldenkrais ® photo courtesy of ROSALIE O'CONNOR


Recently a new site, MOVEMENT LECTURES.COM was launched offering affordable downloadable lectures on the latest in movement science and nutrition. Thanks to Gray Cook and Laree Draper (who are taking the industry into an exciting direction), we can now have easy access to many lecturers from such diverse backgrounds as somatic education from Feldenkrais ® to Olympic-style Weight lifting. There will be on going additions to this site, so stay tuned and check out the reviews so far. My car commute just got more interesting!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Feldenkrais® and Performance (part two)



photo courtesy of Brett Nielsen

They have all explored the Feldenkrais Method®.They also are pioneers in their own fields (leadership, hypnosis, anthropology, neuroscience, music, author/entrepreneur, chemist,...)  
It is only a matter of time that a pioneer in the field of sport and athletic performance will also discover the Feldenkrais Method. 
Every trainer and coach knows that proper form is the key to optimal athletic performance. But maintaining correct alignment, body position, balance and breathing during exercise requires a well-developed kinesthetic sensibility that does not come naturally to all but the most gifted athletes.
The Feldenkrais Method is an educational approach based on neuroscience, physics, child development, and sensory motor learning that cultivates a better body awareness and helps one find new ways to move as seamlessly as possible
Why better body awareness or a better body sense? According to Dr. Alan Fogel, "body sense is the ability to feel our movements, body sensations, and emotions in the present moment." With refined awareness you are given choices, and can opt for the better choice to move optimally.
Also, we know that using motor imagery leads to nearly the same level of body map reorganization as does physical practice. According to science author Sandra Blakeslee, “motor imagery is the off line operation of your brain’s motor machinery unfolding as if it were happening in real time.” But, this ability to sense accurately draws from actually doing movements, and drawing distinctions to find the best movement solution, especially when done slowly and with guided attention. Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, brain child of the Feldenkrais Method, knew that we need to engage the brain in motor learning through experience, attention (non-judgmental and playful observation) and novel learning conditions. Athlete’s are seldom directed to pay attention to how they sense their bodies directly after they perform a movement to access learning. Instead they are often left finding this relaxed readiness or zone by accident. 
Feldenkrais delivers a benefit that many athletes are in search for, to help find better ways to prime themselves before they act and to acheive a relaxed readiness in high level performance.
Come join us this year at the 30th IDEA World Fitness Conference. I will be offering a workshop titled, Feldenkrais® for Performance: Do This Before You Do That! Joining me will be Andrew Heffernan, CSCS, Personal Trainer, health and fitness journalist, and teacher of Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement®. Discover how the Feldenkrais Method cultivates movement awareness, enabling both athletes and weekend warriors to achieve dynamic, functional posture, eliminate counterproductive muscular tension and promote graceful, efficient movement." 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

FELDENKRAIS® and Performance

I am amazed that so much time has passed since my last post, but a few projects have been in my way.  I am excited to announce that a Feldenkras workshop will be offered in the 30th Anniversary World IDEA Conferance in 2012, the World's largest, most comprehensive and longest-running fitness convention. This places Feldenkrais amongst other mainstream strategies to address finding and achieving optimal performance. Since this will be a first exploration with this type of sensory motor learning, I will be using this space to start to introduce some concepts that are key to learning from a Feldenkrais perspective. Stay tuned...

Feldenkrais® is a sophisticated method of improving the body’s coordination, flexibility and intelligence of movement. It is a unique system of exercise, which can be thought of as the ‘missing link’ in performance training for athletes, musicians, dancers, and those who desire easier movement in everyday tasks.Mark Reese, Feldenkrais® Trainer

Sunday, March 20, 2011

FELDENKRAIS®: ACTURE AND TENSEGRITY

As a Physical Therapist, I have long been interested in the study of posture. When I was in PT school, my learning tools were posters, cadavers, skeletal models, ..., all creations that were static. It wasn't until I entered a Feldenkrais training that I discovered how to address this study through my own skeleton while I was using movement. Dr. Feldenkrais helped me think of posture in a more action ready way. 
He coined the term "Acture", which combined the word ‘posture’ and ‘action’ together to help illuminate dynamic posture. This would make the static concepts around posture to be more action oriented. 
When foam rollers were first accessed by Dr. Feldenkrais, they were used for support, balance and to help facilitate new learning while using movement. We used them in ways that avoided stretching or over stimulation to help create ideal conditions for learning.
As some of you may know, I have been using the SMARTROLLER® to create access to these ideas that I discovered in studying the Feldenkrais Method®. I found that most people's body tissues were not prepared for the harsh pull that they were reproducing and when I came across the word tensegrity, it all made sense. “Tensegrity” is a term that Buckminster Fuller, (engineer and creator of the geodesic dome) also created with combining two words together, ‘tension’ and ‘integrity’. In Amy Edmondson's book, A FULLER EXPLANATION, she states "all systems consist of some combination of tension and compression forces." 
Thank you again Sara.
So what about the human musculoskeletal system? And what happens when we apply too much tension in the fascial system? What happens to the biological balance and the Feldenkrais ideas we support for motor learning? I would like to not make this a commercial for the Smartroller, but instead I would like to invite the dialogue of how props can be used in support of the tensegrity and  acture models when we are looking to improve posture. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

THE MAKING OF A SMART BOOK

Sara re-enacting balance with style
Myron and Dewey
Cathy and Stacy on Smartrollers going over notes

I do feel that someone was looking over me when I flew into Minneapolis last week for a brief visit. The trip was for our photo shoot and we arrived with 50┬║sunny sky weather. Looking at today's forecast and the week before, we slid in between two storms.

Feldy doll posing with a SMARTROLLER
The photo shoot was amazing. I had the great pleasure of watching true professionals at work. Our photographer and assistant at Gamut One studio, were not only excellent artists, but they took an amazing interest in the work that we were promoting, the FELDENKRAIS METHOD®. Cathy from OPTP was also wonderful. She took a leap of faith and allowed me to manage the photos. She was able to make the entire experience run smoothly and efficiently. The most amazing thing to witness was my beautiful model, AKA Pilates teacher Sara. We shot over 150 photos in eight hours. Not a studio record, but close. What was most fascinating to watch was how Sara took cues from all of us and every adjustment she made, she embodied. How she kept this up for over eight hours, is beyond me.

I cannot wait to see the photos, and I am so grateful for all the help I am receiving in the making of the SMARTROLLER® book. Stay tuned....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Smart Solutions!



2010 PMA Conference booth
I attended the 2010 PMA Conference yesterday to introduce the new Smart Somatic products, Smartroller® Links and Sits . The speakers were so exceptional that the program drew an audience of over 900 attendees.
I was pleased to find our products sold out. Fortunately, I was able to use the floor samples to help the attendees explore the products inspiration, somatic learning through the Feldenkrais Method®.
The interest also drew attention to other Feldenkrais products that OPTP offered, especially the Collected Papers of Moshe Feldenkrais, EMBODIED WISDOM. The additional bonus was when Marie-Jose Blom debuted the Smartroller in her workshop. Most people in the Pilates world can appreciate this amazing contribution. I look forward to introducing the Feldenkrais Method with the Smart products in LA  next month to more fitness and heath professionals.