Throughout the year, my students tell me how their Awareness Through Movement(R) class or private Functional Integration(R) lessons leave them feeling calmer and happier. They depart with a new spring in their step, a smile or look of pleasant thoughtfulness upon their faces. That catch in their back or crick in their neck is magically gone, and they are able to get on with whatever life holds for them.
Then the holiday season arrives. People get busy, schedules get crowded and oops! “No room in the inn” for Feldenkrais. However, I say unto ye at this crazy time of year, “Blessed are they who continue their Feldenkrais practice in December, for they shall be fleet of foot, comfortable of back, and cheerful of spirit.”
Popular media romanticizes the holidays to a level of perfection and bliss that leaves many people feeling that they have not measured up. I don’t know any adults who arrive at the holidays without observing losses as well as blessings. For many of us, the holiday season brings painful memories that are prolonged and made more difficult by the encroachment of Christmas decor displayed with the “back to school” specials. I speak with experience when I say that to try to mask these emotions with food, alcohol, and busy-ness does not turn out well. A much better practice is to step back (perhaps literally as well as metaphorically), slow down, and pay attention. A daily inclusion of the Feldenkrais Method helps you do all three.
Just speaking from my own experience, I find that the more electronic devices I’m plugged into, the more texts and emails I receive, the more outward “pulls” on my attention, then the more I need to balance that with some “inside time.” I won’t ever unplug completely, nor would I be very successful as a solitary hermit. However, my Feldenkrais practice, just me and the floor, keeps me grounded, aware of myself and what resources I have to give, and aware of others around me. This kind of awareness helps me to welcome the holiday season and embrace it all.