So how does this work? The Feldenkrais Method is taught through two vehicles: Awareness Through Movement® (ATM) lessons and Functional Integration® (FI) sessions. ATM lessons can be taught to individuals or groups, and consist of verbal directions through a sequence of movements. The individual movements range from slow, simple and gentle, to quick, rigorous and complex. The biggest constraint in every lesson is to move within a range that doesn’t cause pain, and to bring attention to how one moves.
FI sessions are taught to individuals, with the practitioner using his or her hands to guide the participant’s movements. The sequence of movements is specific to the individual and to that session. Generally, the movements are gentle and slow, bringing attention to the quality of movement, to unconscious constraints, and to improving the range and ease of movement.
A word about pain: pain is an indication of a problem, and in this method, no one is encouraged to push through pain. Rather, the approach is to slow down, bring more attention and curiosity to what’s happening and to gently explore alternatives.
All of the lessons, ATM and FI, are designed to expand and refine the participant’s self image, to improve the quality of movement, to invite new possibilities. Feldenkrais said that although he was a teacher, he couldn’t teach anybody anything; all he could do was create the conditions for learning. Feldenkrais lessons create an environment in which participants can bring attention and curiosity to who they are and to how they move—in their bodies and in the world.