Feldenkrais Method
(Awareness through Movement)

Name of teacher
Vivianne Rodrigues de Brito

Period, duration
Blocks 1: week 40-42
Block 3: week 9-17

Study load
Total 24 hours

1, 2, 3, 6.

The Awareness Through movement classes (ATM) are designed to help students to improve both their physical and mental functioning through the exploration of simple body movement patterns and the use of attention. In these classes students gain insight in how they move, recognising their habits and learning to acquire alternatives that promote ease and efficient functioning. The Feldenkrais Method was developed by Doctor Moshe Feldenkrais, a Ukrainian-Israeli nuclear physicist and engineer who also held a black belt in Judo. A chronic knee injury urged him to apply his extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, movement science and engineering in healing his own knee. His investigations resulted in the formulation of the Feldenkrais method; a learning system of mindful and gentle movement lessons, which aims to improve human functioning by increasing self-awareness through movement.

Content and design of the class
In these classes students are verbally led through a series of gentle structured movement sequences, in which they use their attention, perception and imagination. The movements are usually done lying down or sitting and are performed in a very small and slow fashion, by which students have the chance to sense, feel and perceive all the different components (breathing, muscle effort, timing, sequencing and range of motion) involved in these movements. Students then learn to know themselves, by learning to differentiate parts of themselves, understanding and experiencing the connection of these parts and later integrating them in optimal functioning (action) within themselves and out in their environment.

Learning goals

-    Gather the tools and strategies to better organise movements in their bodies and to prevent pain and injuries.
-    Understand the importance of moving with attention.
-    Discover and neutralise their movement habits that prevent them from moving fully and efficiently.
-    Demonstrate understanding and respect for their body anatomy, becoming more aware of how they coordinate movement, how they breath and how much effort they use while moving.
-    Learn to connect their findings in ATM classes to other dance disciplines.

Working method(s) used
Exploration and reflection.

Used study material
Books: Moshe Feldenkrais, Awareness Through Movement: Health Exercises for Personal Growth. New York/London: Harper & Row 1972 and The Feldenkrais Method, Awareness Through Movement lessons. International Feldenkrais Federation, Paris 1995.

Assessment criteria
Attendance and participation.

Method of assessment
Participation Learning goals in the class contribute to the overall development of the competency indicators 1.2 / 1.8/ 2.1 / 2.2 / 3.1 / 3.2 / 6.2 / 6.4 / 6.5 The overall development of the student is assessed at integral assessment meetings, twice a year, through combined self-assessment and assessment by teachers, coaches and mentors. This course forms a continuous line or supports all the other physical disciplines taught in the program.