January is a busy month! As well as the Queens Park morning on FEET (see previous blog), I am doing ‘Mobilise the Spine’ at the City Lit in central London, 10.15-5.15 on Saturday 21st Jan and ‘The Architecture of Strength part 3’ 10.30-4.00 at the Haelan Centre in Crouch End, North London on Sunday 29th Jan.
The City Lit is a fabulous institution offering adult training and education over a wide range of subjects. Its a wonder it hasn’t been cut! or has it? Sadly, while it has miraculously survived, it is indeed being cut around the edges. Its funding for concessionary rates on programes that do not lead to accreditated certification has been cut. or that is my understanding of the situation. It certainly means there are no longer any concessions for Feldenkrais workshops. The effect has been drastic and immediate. Over-night my workshops have gone from selling out months in advance to barely scraping enough participants to run. And in a way I am not surprised. The City Lit has always been good on ‘access’ and just by virtue of being a centre for adult ed it is popular with many older and retired people and those who are on lower incomes because they are studying, re-training, or have only part-time or no work. These are exactly the people who are hit by removing concessions – plus it comes just at a time when we are all having to trim our budgets. But I have to say that at ?51 it is still remarkably good value for a very full day of Feldenkrais in a decent venue in central London. So come anyway if you possibly can. And tell your friends to come too.
My workshops at City Lit are currently fairly simple to cater for many people who come for their first experience of Feldenkrais here – but going back to simple lessons is good for everyone. There is always another layer of discovery and a new way to hear the invitation to do something, new aspects of your response to notice and new ways to do things that can enable you to learn just as much as from a lesson you have never encountered. However, I will be teaching different lessons to previous workshops of the same name for those who have been before and would like to experience something else.
‘The Architecture of Strength Part 3’ does not require you to have done parts 1 and 2. Each one is a stand-alone workshop looking at an aspect of how we organise ourselves for strength as opposed to exercising for it. It does not preclude the need for other kinds of training but is a neccessary part that is often forgotten, simply not included or not taught so well. As Dr. Mel Siff (expert in and advoctae of strength and resistance training) says in his book ‘Facts and Fallacies of Fitness’ (Very interesting book by the way) ‘Functional Strength is not directly proportional to structural strength’ and ‘Functional strength depends primarily* on neuromuscular efficiency’ (*my italics). That’s the territory we are in.
The first workshop was around ideas of balancing/using the core as opposed to just tightening it and introduced the martial arts idea of the tanden (remember that Dr. Feldenkrais was a judo master). The second one was about going away from and returning to middle both for balance and as a way of producing power too (think of an archer’s bow or a coiled spring). This last one is about transmission of force through recruiting ground forces and by organising the whole self better.
If you would like to book details are on the schedule page of this website. You are also welcome to email or call to discuss anything you need to know!