What is Feldenkrais®?

Feldenkrais® is a movement methodology developed by Dr. Feldenkrais which aims to :

Improve your ease of movement
Releases tension and pain
Increase your physical awareness

Improve your ease of movement and your overall mobility

Feldenkrais® uniquely focuses on the skeleton and guides you in making movements that flow through your entire skeleton and body.* The movement sequences you will encounter in Feldenkrais lessons engage your skeleton and soften the transitions between the bones. As a result, the joints that connect the bones start to release and this leads to an increase in the overall flexibility of your body. When you improve the ease and flow of your movements the joy and spontaneity of movement can return. Previously unknown possibilities become available. Regular Feldenkrais practice widens your movement repertoire by giving you more freedom to choose from different options and different directions to get to the desired result.

*You may want to explore the lesson “Spinal Rotation and Elongation” in the Video section to feel how this works.

It releases tension and pain

When we have chronic pain it affects our body image and our nervous system. Our nervous system recognizes that movements in certain parts of our body may cause pain, so, as we start moving the affected area, the muscles there contracts in anticipation of that pain. Unfortunately, in the long run, these “defensive” muscular contractions may add to the original problem.

As you make a series of soft and flowing movements, you start to identify where you may have unnecessary, and often unconscious, muscular contractions. As you become aware of where those contractions are and when they are happening you can let go of them.

Foto Pain

Increases your awareness by helping you learn how to identify your movement patterns and habits

The movements you typically make in Feldenkrais® lessons allow you to slow down and reduce unnecessary effort and still leave you with enough time and energy to notice what else is going on in your body.  It is a scientific fact that as we reduce the effort, our sensitivity increases. During your practice, as your awareness deepens, you may notice things which you may have never perceived before. You may feel exactly how you are doing a movement while also noticing if there is tension somewhere else in your body, or, if your breathing is becoming strained.
You may discover small asymmetries in your body, or where your movement becomes limited, stressed. Importantly, as you start to feel yourself more clearly and get to know yourself better, you can let go of the habits and patterns that hinder you, that no longer serve you.

Feldenkrais Gruppe beim Üben

Who created it?

The Feldenkrais Method® was developed by Dr. Moshé Pinchas Feldenkrais (Doctor of Science, Sorbonne) who was a Ukrainian-Israeli engineer and physicist. He developed this extensive system of physical exercise following a knee injury. His Doctor advised him to undergo knee surgery, but as the outcome of the surgery was uncertain, Dr. Feldenkrais declined. Instead, he searched for a better way to heal himself and thus, drawing on his vast knowledge of the laws of Physics, his deep practice of Judo and Ju Jitsu he started developing the Feldenkrais Method® over several decades. Since Dr. Feldenkrais’ passing in 1984, the method spread worldwide. Medical Doctors often advise patients, who want to regain mobility and reduce chronic pain and tension, to start practicing Feldenkrais®. Students typically start to feel improvements after several lessons.

Moshe Feldenkrais portrait
© International Feldenkrais® Federation Archive