Grace is one of the benefits that Maggy offers to entice potential students to come and try out her Feldenkrais workshops, but as she suspects, for many people achieving physical grace seems too distant a possibility. It is a soft, lovely word, well suited to its multiple meanings –ease, elegance, beauty, kindness, the expression of gratitude, the mercy of a benevolent god. As an aspect of our well-being it is most obviously applied to movement that is healthy, efficient AND beautiful, and I chose the theme of cat-like grace for this workshop because I think the way cats move is the perfect example of grace in action. For more on grace and mindfulness-in-action check out her blog post.
Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lessons use sophisticated movement sequences to guide you through a process of new learning and self-discovery. You focus your attention on your internal sensations, and use your increasing muscular awareness to release chronic muscle tension and create new movement possibilities for yourself – you may well find yourself doing something with ease that you haven’t been able to do for years!
The Method utilises play, exploration and discovery as the most effective learning tools for all of life. Your sensory-motor nervous system is already set up to learn this way – you were an expert when you were a baby, discovering your abilities for the first time. As adults our movement habits can become restricting and even aging. As we get better at recognising the way these chronic holding patterns prevent us from moving with freedom and spontaneity, we can switch our innate ability to learn continuously back on, lessening pain and muscular tension and moving in a new effortless way as we do so. ATM directly guides the student towards the attainment of greater elegance, fluidity and sensory awareness in the way she or he approaches everyday activity. Allow yourself to believe that you can experience true grace for yourself, find your method, and dance your way through life.
Maggy Burrowes is running her workshop, ‘Organic Movement: Cat-Like Grace’ on Sunday 20th October, 1-6pm £55/45.