What has this F…eldenkrais method to do with tango?

You can find on the web lot of links about The Feldenkrais Method.

Here, I just want to explain with my words, what are those ATM we do on Friday, and what results one can expect from them.

ATM stands for Awareness Through the Movement. For one hour, people try to do moves that a voice (mine on Friday) describes to them. Doing so, the participants look for their own effortless way of doing it (this is why nobody shows, so that you can not copy someone’s else way), with awareness of their body. The voice helps to focus the attention on its different parts and to make observations. Then, it is up to the creativity of the participants, with the help of the clues added by the voice during the session, to make the move easier and easier.

You make easy what was difficult.

You make elegant what was easy.

those ATM have many benefits:

  1. You relax.We all have plenty of muscles that are out of our direct control. In other words, wishing to relax them is not enough to achieve it. ATM is an indirect way that allows to relax. You can check the changes in those muscles out of reach, through the changes in the position of your skeleton on the floor. Muscle release can make your posture healthier, it can change your grounding, it can get you rid of pain. Even deeper, muscle release gives emotional release. Getting free of the block in your body, you get free of the block in your mind.
  1. You change your self-image.First, because most of us have a quite wrong idea of our body. Where is which part? How far from which other? It is easy to check and in some place the mistake can be huge. For example it įs common that people imagine their hip joints to be twice or thrice further than they really are.And so what?Our brain use our body the way he imagines it.Let me give you an example and introduce Cunigonda. To go faster and more clearly to the point, we got Cunigonda rid of her flesh and organs:

Cunigonda, for some reason, believes that her hip joints are wider than in reality. Subsequently her brain wants her feet under the hip joints, so that she should stand :

In reality, it is pretty hard for the muscles around the knee to hold the legs straight in such a position. Hence, we can suppose that Cunigonda will stand more or less like this:At the dance class, her teacher repeat all the time to Cunigonda: Put your foot under your hip joint, but it does not help because she feels like she does it. When she looks in the mirror, she sees there is something wrong, maybe she even can correct her position, but as soon as she stops looking, she does like before. At some point, Cunigonda goes to the doctor, who says her: the muscles inside your leg are weak, while those outside are all the time shortened. Here are some exercises to strengthen the first and stretch the second. Cunigonda, who is very serious at doing exercise, start to feel better in her knees. But the problem is still here isn’t it?

Now, a few question for our young readers:

Do you think that when dancing, Cunigonda is well balanced on one leg?

Do you think that if the mistake between the real position of her hip joint and her picture of it was, let’s say, 20%, it would not be an issue?

Do you think that your own self picture is closer to reality than a 20% margin in every place of your body?

If ever you answered „No“ thrice, ATM are a way to adjust your self-image to reality.

  1. You discover new ways of moving.It can be another way of standing up, or of lifting the hand, as well as some pretty complicated moves, as the ones you need when dancing or when doing yoga. It can be one that seems perfectly useless, but next day when you go for jogging, you realize that you are running differently than usual, and it is easier and faster.Have you ever felt stuck between: either I try the new way of doing a move, and then I get stiff, slow, awkward, unnatural, tensed… or I relax, and then it is nice, I feel good, but I do not learn or change anything?Feldenkrais proposes answers on how to find new moves in a natural way… and enjoy them. It reminds how a small child learns.

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