A New Discovery

[April 1, 2010] Feldenkrais practitioners worldwide reacted with excitement today at news of the discovery of lost lessons and notes by the founder of the Feldenkrais Method, Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984).

Workers discovered a box of manuscripts and reel-to-reel tapes in an upstairs broom closet at the Alexander Yanai studio in Tel Aviv, where Moshe Feldenkrais field-tested the majority of his group lessons, called Awareness Through Movement. Previously, 550 lessons in eleven volumes and over 4,000 pages were believed to comprise the complete opus known as the “Alexander Yanai lessons.”  While practitioners and former protegees of Dr. Feldenkrais sort through the new material, unnamed sources report that several reams of documents will keep translators and transcribers busy for years. In addition to the new lessons, numerous personal notations in the margins, in Dr. Feldenkrais’s handwriting,  provide scholars with insights that show the Feldenkrais Method in a new light.

Peeps at Alexander Yanai

“We suspected that Moshe had a wicked sweet tooth, but could never prove it,” said Elton Biskin, day janitor at the AY studio.  “There is page after page of poetry and drawings about Peeps, of all things.  Apparently, Peeps provided Moshe with a daily “power boost,” much like I have a Red Bull every day.”

Indeed, Peeps introduced their classic yellow marshmallow chick in 1953.  Biskin believes Moshe Feldenkrais was an early adopter and consumer of the sugary candy, and may have had friends smuggle them into Israel for him.

“The new lessons are astonishing,” Biskin said.  Soon, ATM classes around the world will be able to do new variations on the classic lessons, like “Peep Through the Gap,” “Distinctions in Peeps,” “Peeps and Eyes,” and the puzzling and oblique “Spine Like a Peep.”  Biskin continued, “It appears that Dr. Feldenkrais was working on a manuscript, which he never completed.  The working title was ‘The Potent Peep.'”

The new, Peep-centric lessons have raised fundamental questions about the origin of Feldenkrais’s thinking around the issues of evolution, anxiety, and sexuality.  Did Moshe Feldenkrais develop his work because of, or in spite of, repeated and long-term massive sugar jolts from Peeps?  The 2010 Conference of the Feldenkrais Guild of North America this summer will feature a morning track of Peep ATM’s in their “premiere,” open to the public.  Feldenkrais teachers are advised to acquire and stockpile Peeps during the after-Easter sales, to be able to adapt to the anticipated instructional trend.

Reported by MaryBeth Smith for April Fool’s Day!  Share and enjoy.

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