I first found out about the Feldenkrais Method when I was 17 on a drama training in Paris. The movement teacher had known Moshe Feldenkrais himself and her teaching was extremely closely related. I had been a fairly sporty kid but I will never forget the experience. It was like being plugged in: I could really feel what I was doing for what seemed like the first time. And I discovered the pleasure in moving and doing the simplest things – just for its own sake.
I stayed in touch with the method on and off from then on and while I had long gaps away from it, the sense of it never entirely left me. It just seemed to inform everything I did.
After my actor training and university (oxford) I spent twenty years being an actor in everything from traditional and classical plays to cutting-edge performance and physical theatre (with a smattering of film and TV too) and especially in that place where speaking and moving meet. I also ran theatre companies (Tattycoram and then Jade) in order to make the shows and work with some of the people I really wanted to and worked occasionally as a movement director. And I spent quite a while sorting out a few things in my life and getting to understand something of the relationship between movement and the self: the physiology of emotion.
Time went on: I married, got pregnant and found myself more and more drawn to the Feldenkrais training that began in Lewes in 2003. Partly it was because I had spent quite a few years too busy to be much involved with Feldenkrais and in that time I had damaged my knee. It had been sorted out medically but I could tell I had lost some of my movement possibilities along with a chunk of cartilage and knew I really needed to get back to Feldenkrais – but at a deeper level. I also increasingly felt I needed more of it as a tool for the movement work I was doing with other actors in the theatre.
What I discovered coming back to the method and really immersing myself in it was so much more than I had imagined. I had no idea how much movement I had been losing ‘around the edges’ until it started coming back. I had no idea I wasn’t standing on my right leg much or using it, that I couldn’t really run or even get up and down from the floor as easily as I once could. It all came flooding back and I remember spending hours jumping about with my 2 year old on the grass after a day of training – just because it felt so good. And now – in my mid 40s – I am running up to 14 miles without running shoes, learning karate and have more flexibility, ease and power than ever before. And while I do work with actors and in drama schools and very much enjoy it, I rapidly found the method opened up a much wider and very interesting world to explore and engage in too that brought together many of my life’s interests and experiences. And now this is what I do all the time.
So far I have been working in individual sessions or classes with:
- People with back /knee/hip/ankle pain (chronic or injury related) etc that interferes with their work, sport, yoga, or life
- Musicians, actors, Movement Directors wanting explore and improve their skills or get out of habits/pain that is getting in the way
- Runners, trainers, sports people of all kinds and martial artists for the same reasons
- Mums finding that child birth and then carrying babies/toddlers or pushing prams has wreaked havoc in their systems
- People dealing with conditions such as ME, arthritis, fibromyalgia, insomnia, migraine, RSI, cerebral palsy
- People dealing with the somatic aspects of emotional issues
I am always open to new challenges. I am always interested.