Australian Feldenkrais Center Pty Ltd
Performance enhancement, elite use of the self and the Feldenkrais method
The Feldenkrais method is excellent for solving problems such as pain, discomfort, stress etc. However it was initially developed for performance enhancement, to improve the quality of the use of the self, to increase power, coordination, speed and so on by increasing efficiency. Efficiency of the protagonist/antagonist relationship, the efficiency of energy use, the efficiency of oxygen exchange, the efficiency of the skeleton’s alignment in the field of gravity while moving, the efficiency gained by reducing parasitic action (contracting any muscles not required for the intended action). eg; something as simple as tightening the jaw is not only a waste of energy but can affect the quality and range of movement of the spine.
The Feldenkrais method is about developing specific awareness in regards to how we organise ourselves to act, this is generally done by following movement in fine detail with the focus on the how of the action rather than what is being done. Taking time to investigate the elements involved can yield amazing results eg something as simple as bending (flexion of the spine) can be greatly improved if one takes the time to feel how the breathing cycle affects the freedom of movement of the ribs and vertebral column. Actually feeling the difference for yourself is a much more effective way of learning such things than being told or reading an opinion. Obviously removing the goal of achievement and the stress of competition from such an inquiry will allow a clearer understanding and faster assimilation of what you find works best for You. Feldenkrais awareness through movement lessons is a context where this kind investigation/discovery takes place.
We have used this approach with a small group of extreme sports people with great success. Our students won Australian, U.S. and world championships for a little over four years running (with no other coaching input). Its amazing what slow gentle movements can achieve.. Actually its leading edge technology.
Actualy improve the quality of life-the process of living
How we treat others is largely governed by how we treat our selves. The nature of internal dialog or self direction ultimately determines the quality of our relationships and so life in general. Our use of movement (in a specific context) to refine and develop the quality of self direction not only improves the self image and physical efficiency (and therefore power) but also the personal and private world of relationships and keeps it personal and private! pb