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." 


FitOldDog said...

Hi folks,
I've been using Feldenkrais for about five years to remarkable effect. I am still surprised how few people avail themselves of this remarkable approach, and I suspect the name has something to do with it.
-kevin aka @FitOldDog

Allison Rapp said...

Great news, Stacy! It's wonderful to see how Feldenkrais® is being applied in so many different arenas. I'm sure your presentation is going to give people a lot of new things to think about in the way they approach performance!