REVOLUTIONIZE YOUR REGION
there are two schools of thought and practice that we will look at today for wellness wednesday. both have to do with learning to use the body. while i'm not personally an expert or instructor in either tradition, i know enough to give some context. Both are methods developed by specific individuals - f Matthias Alexander developed what is now called The Alexander Technique, and Moshe Feldenkrais developed what is now called the Feldenkrais Method.
Both teach individuals to use their bodies in a better way in everyday life.
DIFFERENT FROM YOGA - BUT ALIKE
many people nowadays will be more familiar with 'yoga' or using elaborate and strained postures combined with breathing and mental programming as a spiritually oriented wellness practice. Alexander technique and feldenkrais method are different from that. One of the main differences is that the poses, postures, and exercises are not designed to be physically straining in either Alexander Technique or Feldenkrais method. The movements are gentle.
Another main difference is that these methods are teaching people to use their bodies differently in everyday life. So in AT and FM one leaves classes with new ideas about how to carry out everyday activities like sitting and standing and breathing.
Speaking of breathing, it is worth mentioning that breathing seems to be a big part of AT and FM, so this would be an overlap with yoga, which also emphasizes breathing.
PERSONAL ATTENTION VS GROUP WORK
As with yoga or other forms of exercises, people have the option of soliciting an instructor for 1-on-1 attention, or else signing up for a group class. For the time being, during the extreme isolation group classes in either school could be massively beneficial for most people. One-on-one work will be more expensive, often running upwards of $100/hr.
If you search for "feldenkrais method group class online" or "alexander technique group class online" you will be able to find some things. Or you can connect with the Tucson group that I'm doing http://www.tucsonfeldenkrais.com/feldenkrais-classes.html ..
for alexander technique i was able to find a woman in toronto who offers group classes online on monday early evening, you can see her web site here www.sinclairstudio.com/ .. i also found a person on the west coast offering what looks like weekly weds lunchtime www.crispinspaeth.com/classes .. while i have not tried these online formats, i have great confidence in them. If you try them out, let me know!
WHATS DIFFERENT ABOUT AT VERSUS FM?
the main thing that i have noticed in my brief work with both of these methods that is different is that the Feldenkrais method is more about listening to your body, while resting in various postures. The alexander technique on the other hand, is more about carrying out specific activities in certain ways, while being educated as to what you can do differently to change an old pattern.
but again there will be inevitable variation from one instructor to another.
WHAT WILL YOU BE ABLE TO IMPROVE BY FOLLOWING A COURSE OF PRACTICE IN EITHER METHOD?
the nice thing about these approaches is that they can both have positive 'impact ripples' throughout many areas of life. this is because they can improve your basic bodily functions. and when that happens, you will have less pain and more energy throughout your day.
not only that but you can also expect major improvements if you have any specific types of pain related to repetitive movements or things like that. so if you have a sore wrist from playing a musical instrument a certain way over the course of years, these techniques can help!
back pain is another area that stands to gain many benefits through a program of body-use re-education. these exercises will help to improve your overall posture, change your choices in the tips of seats you frequent, and release tension in many key areas of the body which up until now have most likely added to your woes. once these tensions are released and posture habits are improved, many people will find great relief for chronic pain in the back area.
do you have experience with alexander technique or feldenkrais method? let us know in the comments below!