Monday, February 23, 2009

Swimming and the Feldenkrais Method®

My last posting on this blog followed when I had just finished teaching to Health and Fitness professionals on the Feldenkrais Method. I have since had some time to reflect on my thoughts of where I am today with Fitness and Feldenkrais. I started my power point presentation with a short story on one of the ways I discovered I was a kinesthetic learner. My parents and I were at a neighbor’s pool and I decided to jump in. I was under the age of 4. Our wonderful neighbor jumped in fully dressed to rescue me. Once we were both out of the pool, I proceeded to jump in again. This is when my parents decided to start me with swim lessons.

I have returned to the pool again. I do this time to time. In the past it usually was attached to competition, i.e. triathlons and ocean races, but this time it was different. I usually have certain drills that I do to push me and then I follow with something fun. What felt new to me this time was that it all had become fun. I found I could continue to fantasize and move towards a relaxed readiness the way Michael Phelps inspired us to do. But this took my Feldenkrais and athletic training to the next level. I began to play with the strokes to see how I could pace for strength and play at the same time. Wow! I found that I was thrilled to return to the backstroke because of the pleasure of swimming with sensing the two symmetrical sides. I also found that the backstroke became more interesting because my breathing was simplified. Since my face was open to breathe in anyway I chose, it was fascinating to see how taking that effort away created even more ways to follow with more observations.  As I watched the pace clock I noticed that my timing was also improving. 

My habits of working out had been so ingrained and through this process the water baby I started out being had returned. I finished the work out with resting on my back with my ankles on foam tools. As I floated on my back I could tune out sound and feel the ease of floating while I observed my breathing and comfort. I have often thought that my kinesthetic curiosity was linked to my athletics and over the years I have been fascinated to find that this inspired learning had existed in many other ways.I am looking forward to my next time in the pool to continue to develop new ideas to address this renewed awareness.

Go to for the next upcoming course on Feldenkrais and Fitness

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