Feldenkrais teacher training throws up questions of self definition: What am I? What is the Feldenkrais Method?
In the first years of training, the student’s nose is rubbed like a dog’s snout in the evidence of our own mis-deeds. These are Feldenkrais ‘bad language’: therapy, therapist, massage, relaxation, letting go, exercise, stretching, healing, etcetera.
We end up defining ourselves by, and tying ourselves into, nots – not-therapy, not-therapist, not-relaxation, not-exercise, not-stretching.
The nose rubbing is to designed to make us understand Moshe Feldenkrais’ definition of his work. He was right – in his time. But he’s wrong – in our time.
Suppose I give you a DVD and ask “what is this?” A scientist says “it is a plastic repository of data, decoded by a laser beam, with electronics that convert data into an image…”. A child answers “it’s a film I love”. An experience.
Moshe was the scientist. He was bullish in defining his discipline, and he needed to be as the opponents to this way of thinking and living were and are very powerful.
But those times are past. If we define ourselves in terms the public doesn’t understand, only 1 in 10 students will ever grow a successful practice. In 50 years, something will become nothing, and we may say ‘Goodbye Feldenkrais Method. You failed to rise above the horizon.’
Instead of shoving the science of Feldenkrais down the throat of the public, how about we get a little clever. A little marketing. A little modern. Sell a product, sell an experience.
You can relax. You can resolve pain. You will have fun ….
So I went on to search out definitions by others who have trodden this path before me. I’ll post as many of them as I can, in the category “What is the Feldenkrais Method”.