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Twin Cities by Nick Strauss-klein - 4M ago

We did it! After years of dreaming, a successful six-month successful fundraising campaign, and two months under construction, today we launched this dedicated website for our donor-supported Feldenkrais lessons!

Head over to FeldenkraisProject.com to learn more. The version of Nick’s audio lessons on TwinCitiesFeldenkrais.com will soon disappear.

Thank you, listeners and donors, for your passionate support! You heard our vision and made this new site possible.

Please pardon our dust as we finish up the final details! I’m editing some text for typos and clarity, and fixing other small details. I’m also adding a more Founder and Find a Teacher listings as they arrive.

Enjoy your studies, please help us spread the word, and thank you for visiting FeldenkraisProject.com!

Nick Strauss-Klein

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Thank you so much for your financial support for my work! Thanks to you we’ve got an incredible amount of monthly listeners. I love hearing from people all over the world who are benefitting my lessons, and I love making them for you.

Your donations make it possible to get this project out into the world, and that helps so many more people enjoy Feldenkrais study!

I recently discovered that PayPal is no longer automatically emailing me about each donation I receive. I am sorry to say this has been going on for a few months and I am perhaps very late in acknowledging your support individually. I’ll be looking through the records and reaching out ASAP to say THANK YOU and give you access to the MP3s. Please let me know if you’re looking for that access right now!

If you haven’t donated but you value the lessons, please consider supporting the project. There is no other funding source for this work besides every individual who values it and decides to give something back!

Enjoy the lessons and please spread the word. More people doing more Feldenkrais equals a better world for all of us. Thanks again, and happy studies!

-Nick

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Twin Cities by Nick Strauss-klein - 8M ago

Due to high demand for Functional Integration (FI) lessons, my one-to-one Feldenkrais practice is currently full.

Here are some other options for study, available right now!

  • You are welcome to come explore Feldenkrais in my ongoing year-round group Awareness Through Movement (ATM) classes. As long as you can comfortably and safely get down to lie on a mat on the floor at the beginning of class and get back up again at the end, there are no other prerequisites, and you may drop-in to any class (here’s how). Newcomers are always welcome. Sign up for the mailing list (just click here) to know when new classes and one-day workshops are happening.
  • Each spring and fall I teach monthly evening workshops on specific topics. See what’s coming up next.
  • My extensive online collection of free streaming audio recordings of my ATM classes is available right here. They’re introduced by information to get you oriented to the process of safely and effectively studying Feldenkrais at home on your own.
  • If you’d like a referral to another Feldenkrais Practitioner in the Twin Cities Metro, please visit this reference page to see other local and regional practitioners. You can also contact me and I will be glad to help you connect to one.
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You may have noticed a new bit of fun art shows up as my website header every 10 clicks or so. I’m so happy I finally scanned it and can now share it with you with the artist’s permission!

Below is the un-cropped full version of what local Twin Cities artist Anita White made for me after attending a class I taught. I love the relaxed, perhaps slightly spacey “somanauts” in the photo. Doesn’t it capture beautifully that lovely feeling of diving deep into the inner world of an Awareness Through Movement lesson?

And thanks for the beautiful art, Anita!

– Nick

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Click here to read the November Feldenkrais Project update edition of the TCF Newsletter!

If you like what you see, there’s buttons up top you can click to see more issues, and to subscribe.

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Thanks for your interest in helping us realize our vision for The Feldenkrais Project:

  • Spreading the life-changing benefits of Feldenkrais study as widely as possible
  • Elevating awareness of the Feldenkrais Method
  • Expanding our listener community and building on the success of our grass-roots funding model

We make great Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lessons available to all with the lowest possible barrier to study. Why? We believe that more people doing more Feldenkrais makes the world a better place for all of us!

It’s time for the next phase of this project. We’re reinvesting your donations to create a better user experience and pave the way for more content in the future.

We’re looking for help from people with the following skills:

  • Google analytics data analysis
  • Logo design
  • Website building (WordPress), optimized for mobile
  • Fundraising (writing, editing, and best practices)
  • Marketing (Facebook, Twitter, and MailChimp integration, plus to the wider web and Feldenkrais community)
  • Audio engineering
  • Audio web sharing (such as Soundcloud, CDBaby, podcast publishing to iTunes, etc.)

If you want to make the world a better place through Feldenkrais by using your professional skills, please reach out to me and share some of your previous related work (links preferred whenever possible). Email me at nick@twincitiesfeldenkrais.com

As this project is entirely supported by donations, our budget for this work is limited. Please consider if you’re able to offer a reduced or nonprofit rate for your work. (The Feldenkrais Project is not a nonprofit, but this is a largely altruistic project.) Or, if you’d like to donate any of your time and skills in the spirit of the project, we’d of course be very grateful!

There’s another way to help right now too: if you are interested in offering financial support of $100 or more specifically to become a recognized or anonymous founding donor of The Feldenkrais Project, please reach out to me at nick@twincitiesfeldenkrais.com, or 612-412-8060.

Thank you for your support of The Feldenkrais Project!

Nick

I consider myself fortunate to be able to contribute. Not only do I get to benefit from your audio ATMs, but I also get to help fund such a worthwhile project!!

– Mary, online listener and repeat donor

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Twin Cities by Nick Strauss-klein - 8M ago

Our donor-supported online audio lesson project is growing and hiring! Thanks to your interest and support, it’s time for the next phase. We are proud to launch The Feldenkrais Project!

It’s starting today with a new name and link (www.feldenkraisproject.com) for the same wonderful service. We share high quality Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lessons with thousands of people across the globe.

By only seeking donations to support this work, we’re creating the lowest possible barrier to study, so anyone can learn and improve themselves through Feldenkrais lessons anytime, anywhere!

Want to join us in our mission to improve the world through Feldenkrais? There are two ways you can help:

  1. Contribute your web, writing, audio, or marketing skills to help us spread the benefits of Feldenkrais study, elevate awareness of the Feldenkrais Method, and build on the success of our grass-roots funding model.
  2. Become a founding donor to support the next phase of The Feldenkrais Project.

Please click here to learn more about joining the Project!

THANK YOU for supporting this work any way you can: whether it’s donating, contributing your web skills, spreading the word, “liking” and following, commenting on the lesson pages, or simply using and talking about the lesson. However you do it, I am so grateful for your help in making the world a better place through Feldenkrais!

– Nick

PS – These recent user testimonials have inspired me to expand the project!

Thank you for your philosophy of sharing ATM with everyone. Without your graciousness to make your course available to the Internet without any upfront cost, I would have never discovered Feldenkrais. This has literally changed the way I look at life and how I live within my body. I cannot thank you enough.

– JR, software developer, online student and $100 donor

Thanks again for the free online classes. I’ve had some incredible success with them. Now I can balance for the first time in 6 years…Maybe you can imagine what that means to me. My self-image is still adjusting. It’s a beautiful thing. I feel so grateful that I get to spend the rest of my life experiencing such ease in my body.

– Michelle, online student and $50 donor

Thank you again Nick for your wonderful lessons. I continue to benefit from them. Your lessons have become one of the best times in my day. Thank you for the work and attention you put into them. I am deeply grateful.

– Jacob, online student and repeat donor

I live in a rural area and your recordings are my Feldenkrais practice these days.

– Martha, online student and monthly donor
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I am so pleased to publish the complete audio from my 2018 Driving and Dynamic Sitting Workshop. Full workshop recordings are the number one request I get from online listeners, and something I’ve wanted to do for a while.

Follow the link and you’ll find not only the workshop’s two ATM lessons, but also two brief talks, and some accompanying handouts from the workshop and written material that participants received by email after the workshop, for further study at home.

Enjoy, spread the word, and please consider donating to help cover production costs if you have the means and you share my goal of spreading the life-changing benefits of Feldenkrais study as widely as possible!

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Below you’ll find a much more legible and expanded text version of this whiteboard photo from Tuesday’s Chronic Pain workshop.

The number one question I get from website visitors is “Can you publish workshops as part of the free audio project?” I haven’t done much of this because the lessons I teach in my workshops are often not designed as standalone learning contexts. There’s usually some other lecture, discussion, or media content. This week I found myself using a whiteboard for the first time in about a decade (and my handwriting shows it, as you can see!).

I enjoy repackaging my thinking and presentation of Feldenkrais depending on the people present and the context, and I laid out some of our basics in a new way for people interested particularly in how Feldenkrais addresses chronic pain. I thought readers might enjoy my current take on an important topic.

It’s top level stuff, without a lot of discussion, so feel free to comment publicly below or contact me with questions. I’ll reply either way.

-Nick

Notes and Principles for Feldenkrais for Chronic Pain workshop:

CURIOSITY, at the center of the photo above, was our “word of the day” (not pain or Feldenkrais).  Notice how each of these four categories below relate to curiosity, and to each other.

Curiosity requires: safety, comfort, time, trust. Click to read my brief list of Ingredients of Organic Learning (aka Curiosity!) which includes more.

1) The Self-Image (we could also call it your sense of options, or your world of action) consists of thinking, feeling, sensing, moving

  • Our nervous system is incapable of isolating these aspects of our experience
  • Any diminishment of one diminishes all others
  • Any improvement of one improves all the others
  • The self-image expands when we meet our experiences (thinking, feeling, sensing, moving) with curiosity
  • It’s easiest to improve the self-image through its most concrete components: movement and sensing. (“Thoughts are like air, feelings are like water, sensations are like earth…we can work most easily with earth.” — Feldenkrais and Embodied Life trainer Russell Delman)

2) The Feldenkrais Method

  • An educational practice
  • Primary tool: exploratory processes of movement and sensing
  • Stimulates curiosity in order to expand the self-image
  • Improves our ability to learn from our own experience
  • Learn how to
    • learn
    • move (everyday movements as well as athletic/artistic performance)
    • have more agency in our well-being: sense choices and limits and choose to be good for ourselves, moment-to-moment, including right now. And now…and now….
    • better respond to pain, and become especially sensitive to “pre-pain” sensations
    • experience our pleasures as well as our pains
    • relate to ourselves (parts to other parts and parts to the whole)
    • relate to our support surfaces
    • trust our bodies
    • change our habits and break cycles of reinjuring ourselves
    • be more efficient: use appropriate (not excess) effort

3) Pain = an unpleasant sensory/emotional experience evolved to alter behavior

  • Chronic pain: a disease of the nervous system (NS). NS organizes self-image longterm around pain. Curiosity diminished.
  • Pain, by this definition, includes unpleasant experiences that we might take for granted and choose not to respond to: stiffness, aches, pressure, feeling only willpower can do it, familiar everyday “I’m used to it” unpleasantness. With Feldenkrais study we learn to behave differently in response to even these “pre-pain” sensations.
  • All pain contracts the self-image
  • Pleasure evolved to cause us to repeat a behavior. Absence of pain is not equal to pleasure. It may seem like a long way off, but we can begin helping ourselves right now by open our minds to the possibility that what we’re seeking is a state more valuable and pleasure-rich than just lack of pain.
  • Often, because of external cultural rewards, in some or many spheres of our life we have learned a habit of not responding to pain by altering our behavior. This defies the evolutionary purpose of pain. A kind of limited emotional pleasure reinforces this “do-what’s-expected-of-me” pain-denial, but at great and unsustainable cost.
  • Restoring a simpler relationship with pain and pleasure is a goal of Feldenkrais study.

4) Our nervous system has three jobs

  1. Gather info about the internal environment
  2. Gather info about the external environment
  3. Have the curiosity to do 1 and 2, and through neuroplasticity continually develop and refine the self-image
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Nick discusses some learning context for these new lessons

[When you’re ready to explore the lessons click here to go to my new Driving and Dynamic Sitting miniseries.]

I’ve been meaning to teach more explicitly about sitting and driving for a long time, since for so many people these everyday activities are frequently challenging and even painful. Over my years as a Feldenkrais teacher I’ve noticed that most people who come to me with concerns about discomfort in sitting have the idea — consciously or unconsciously — that if they could just find the “right” chair and the “right” way to sit in that chair they would be able to engage in sedentary activities for hours without moving much.

I used to believe this too. I discovered Feldenkrais as an injured concert pianist. My study and intended livelihood required me to sit on a piano bench for 3-5 hours a day. I was rarely comfortable for much of that time, but I did what we so often think we have to do: I hunkered down into the position I thought was best, accepted the pain, and got my practice hours in. Over the years the unnecessary efforts, pain, and inefficiency of my static sitting began to interfere with the freedom of my arms and fingers for playing the piano, and I developed repetitive strain injuries that traditional medical approaches couldn’t relieve. Luckily I discovered Feldenkrais, which helped almost instantly when I began to think about and support myself better as a whole, and far more dynamically.

In the 17 years since then my understanding about sitting has been maturing, and though I frequently study and teach lessons that benefit sitting I thought it was time to share some of my learning more directly.

So in December I recorded the first of these two new lessons, Driving and Dynamic Sitting 1 (floor-seated and back-lying), which I designed as always to help you develop your learning-from-yourself skills through guided awareness and movement experiments, but also intended to intellectually stimulate you about options available in sitting.

The strategy I used was to divide movements into the three planes of movement analysis (here’s a simple graphic and explanation from elsewhere on the web), then lead the students through experiments about how thinking, sensing, and moving in one or more planes can create much more dynamic and creative self-images of pleasurable, sustainable, dynamic sitting, even while somewhat confined in the driver’s seat.

With these new self-images in mind, and some floor-seated practice at the beginning and end of the first lesson, my intention is to lead you to experiment more with how you sit in your everyday life. We’re seeking to give you options of movement and weight-bearing that give you a lively, curious, dynamic relationship with the seats in your life, instead of a passive, static one. Particularly in the first lesson the idea is getting to know how the use of your whole spine in the sagittal plane (front/back or rounding/arching) affects your movements in the transverse plane (also called the horizontal plane: turning, looking around your horizon).

It turned out that was plenty of material for the first lesson, so I skipped introducing the third plane (the frontal, side-bending movements plane) and hatched plans to record a second lesson. At the same time I thought it would be nice to explore moving in an actual chair, and create the first chair-seated lesson in my collection.

So last week I recorded Driving and Dynamic Sitting 2 (chair-seated). In this lesson we go into a detailed exploration of the sit bones and go into all three planes of movement, using basic seated Feldenkrais material made popular in my favorite Feldenkrais handbook, Relaxercise, by David and Kaethe Zemach-Bersin and Mark Reese. If you’d like some related lessons with text and illustrations to study after doing my lessons, you might enjoy picking this book up. Here’s an Amazon link.

My primary hope with these new free recordings is that you’ll begin to discover that you have a lot more options available while seated, including in the car, and that you’ll continue to discover more and more comfortable sitting over time by studying these lessons, and by paying attention to yourself and improvising on ideas from the lessons in regular life situations.

Safety first: As stated clearly in the recordings, if you’re working on how you sit and move in your car seat, please practice only when the car is parked.

My second hope as you encounter all this new free content is that you’ll donate whatever you can to support it. I’m passionate about sharing the benefits of Feldenkrais study as widely as possible and I need your help. I believe that the more our Feldenkrais studies help us to know and grow and heal ourselves, the more resources we have to help and heal the world around us. And the world needs us right now, healthy and vital and ready to contribute something good.

My free audio project is made possible by generous listeners just like you! If you enjoy the lessons please consider donating by clicking below. Each donation helps me make time in my professional schedule to continue this important work, maintain the website, and keep creating.

Thanks for listening and for your support. Enjoy discovering more dynamic sitting, and please spread the word!

Nick

$5-$15 per lesson you value is the recommended donation, though any amount is appreciated to help offset my production costs. I record and add lessons regularly and your donation directly supports my ability to continue this project and offer these lessons freely to all without paywall or password.

Clicking this button takes you directly to PayPal, where your information is securely handled. You don’t even need to create a PayPal account to donate, and you’re not sharing any payment information with me or Twin Cities Feldenkrais. I’ll be in touch via the email address you use with PayPal within 3 days (usually 1 day) to give you access to the mp3s.

Thank you! Your feedback is welcome, about the lessons, audio delivery technology, or donation process (yes, you can send a check instead of using PayPal!): just .

 

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