BOOKS WRITTEN BY MOSHE FELDENKRAIS
(his first book)
(his most accessible book)
(the most "psychological" of his writings)
(his last book)
Moshe Feldenkrais' Collected Papers
All Feldenkrais' books are brilliant and the man was a no-holds-barred genius.
English was his umpteenth language and his thinking so out-of-the-box it sometimes takes a while to chew through a page.
while most of his eye-blinking-ly brilliant thoughts and ideas and are now fully validated by state-of-the-art neuroscience, biomechanics, psychology and philosophy,
a tiny handful are a bit 'hmm-maybe'.
he was a kinda 1950's guy and his books have kinda 1950's guy feel.
SEE BELOW FOR MORE RECENTLY PUBLISHED EXCITING READING SUGGESTIONS
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Our brain moves our muscles; our muscles don't move themselves.
(If we live with neurological impairment, like MS, Parkinson's, or if we have had a stroke, we know this intimately.)
How comfortably or easily we move depends on how our brain has mapped our body, which in turn depends on any prior conditions or injuries (of course)
on our particular personal history of moving through our particular personal environment.
A soccer player will have denser-than-average neural connections of his or her ankles and feet; pianist will have more pathways representing wrists and fingers.
None of us use, or even know we don't know, our potential movement options because those connections don't exist in our brain - duh.
Just by moving through life, our brain creates the sensory/motor connections we need in an unconscious, ad hoc sort of way.
Most of us don't need all of our sensory motor possibilities - have you seen that YouTube Video of a woman braiding hair with her toes? Wow!
*if we are frustrated by a performance plateau
*have had an injury
*are in chronic pain
*are concerned about movement limitations that have come with aging
*are living with neurological challenge
*just want to FEEL more like ourselves
and not be so buffeted about in this whirlwind of a world
(this last one my personal favorite and the one that brought me to Feldenkrais ;)
maybe Feldenkrais will change your life.
(It did mine).
Doing easy and gentle, online, Feldenkrais Awareness through Movement lessons
*Shine a spotlight on your overused muscular patterns,
*illuminate alternative possibilities that you don't yet know you don't know, ha ha.
It's like finally finding
the owner's manual to your own self.
Which, like any owner's manual, is handy to check out when things aren't quite working out exactly as you'd like.
More current reading suggestions . . .
The Body Has a Mind of its Own - Sandra Blakeslee and Matthew Blakeslee (one of my favorites)
Intelligence in the Flesh - Guy Claxton (another fav)
Why Zebra's Don't Get Ulcers - Robert Sapolsky (a crucial read about the insidiousness of stress - how is this relevant to Feldenkrais? You need to be able to feel yourself to know you are living with chronic stress. Feldenkrais will also give you ideas on how to physically 'shrug it off', so to speak.
The Body Keeps Score - Blessel Van der Kolk (who doesn't love this book?) We don't only carry our history of "movement" in our body but our history of everything! We have one nervous system and use it to think, feel, move and sense. These qualities are only separate in language. Learning to feel yourself moving is a kind of neutral window through which to slowly start also noticing how you think, feel and sense.
How Emotions are Made - Lisa Feldman Barrett (along the lines of the above, in a way). Our emotions are physical sensations - we "feel" something happen physically and then interpret that physical sensation depending on where we find ourself at the the time (more or less). Being able to recognize those physical sensation as they arise give you more time to decide how you want to respond to them.
The Brain's Way of Healing - Norman Doige (about exciting frontiers on neuroplasticity and how you can access your own neural pathways through movement)
The Brain that Changes Itself - Norman Doige (more by the wonderful Norman Doige)
Action in Perception - Alva Noe (awesome book on the intersection of philosophy, CBT and neuroscience and movement is at the center of it - of course!)
Out of Our Heads - Alva Noe (I agree! And into our bodies!)
The Feeling of What Happens; Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness - Antonio Damasio (the title says it all)
The Mass Psychology of Fittism - Edward Yu (what exactly are we trying to accomplish at the gym?)
My Grandmother's Hands - Resmaa Menaken (a brilliant read on how history is embedded in our bodies)
In Love with the World - Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche (brilliant insight into Buddism and awareness. He goes into wonderful detail about he becomes aware of his whole self as he mediates. Mindfulness is not just a "head thing" - we need to learn to feel our whole selves.
The Divided Mind; the Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders - John Sarno (there is no such thing as pain being "all in your head". ALL pain is "all in your head" and sometimes, even after tissue damage has healed, it finds a way to stay there.)