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Welcome to TCF, Twin Cities Feldenkrais

Group and private Feldenkrais study with Nick Strauss-Klein

“What I’m after isn’t flexible bodies but flexible brains.
What I’m after is to restore each person to their human dignity.”

– Moshe Feldenkrais, D. Sci., 1904-1984

1/17/17 Important note from Nick: my web developer has just finished clearing out a substantial amount of hacked files, and we are taking significant steps to increase site security. Sorry if you’ve ever had trouble on this site or found something unpleasant! It is safe now, and we are working to restore all functionality (the PayPal donate button is broken, as well as some other small things, but free audio lesson streaming is working!). Enjoy your studies, and thanks for your patience. -Nick

FREE STREAMING AUDIO: Study at home with live recordings of Nick’s classes. Click here!
 

Notes, Announcements, & Updates from Nick and TCF

Year-end update and spring workshop preview

2016-hyland-lake-minneapolis-late-fall

I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog and audio project for a while, and as I look back at 2016 I realize I haven’t shared with you why, so it’s time for a quick update. One reason I haven’t been doing a lot of web work recently is that my family and I are enjoying a new baby, our fourth child, Eve! Another was a tragic illness and death in my family of origin, which has taken a toll on all of us as well as added the blessing of lots of extra family visits.

A third reason is that Twin Cities Feldenkrais has been really, really busy! I’ve been blessed with many curious, inspiring students in my private practice, weekly classes, and monthly workshops all fall. I’m also receiving comments, emails, and donations from all over the world as more and more remote students explore my free streaming audio lessons.

I’d like to just say thank you to all of you who make my work possible. Feldenkrais is a gift in my life and I’m thankful every day that I get to do what I do for a living!

To my students: as the years go by it feels more and more apt to simply say that what we actually do together is explore being human, and it’s such an enjoyable, nourishing process. I am always deeply grateful for the opportunity to teach and study with you.

In related news, because of ongoing donation support for my free streaming audio project, I’m planning to get back to producing new recorded classes in early 2017. Stay tuned, please keep spreading the word, and thank you for your donations, which really do make this project possible.

Finally, this fall workshops at The Marsh (my newer Twin Cities venue) have really hit their stride, with lots of interest and excitement about Feldenkrais. Because of this we’ve scheduled four more for the spring. Links are on the home page (and I’ll add descriptions soon), but here are the dates and topics to jot down, for you Twin Cities local folks:

  • February 13: Free Your Hips
  • March 13: Fundamentals of a Healthy Back
  • April 17: Reduce Stress and Get Grounded
  • May 15: Dynamic Posture

But that’s spring…far off and nice to think about because it’s bitter cold in Minnesota now. This is the period of the year where Minnesotans cuddle up close and find cozy indoor activities. In a month or so we’ll have found our thick winter skins and we’ll venture outside more! My family and I have been playing board games in front of the fireplace and passing the baby from lap to lap. I can also say that doing a Feldenkrais ATM lesson on the floor in front of a fire is an exquisite experience that I highly recommend!

I hope the upcoming holidays are warm, cozy and restful for you, and include quiet restorative times, as well as much love and fun shared with family and friends.

Happy Holidays, and see you in 2017!

Nick

Fall Workshop Preview

Marsh Fall 2016 copy[Updated 8/30/16 with link to pdf flier. Please share!]

I’m pleased to announce I’ll be returning to giving workshops this fall with regular monthly evening events at The Marsh. See below for a list and links to detailed descriptions of each event, or click here to view a flier with all the workshops (and please print and share!)

I’m starting with some of my most popular and requested workshops. More details are coming, but mark your calendar now!

And in response to questions I’ve been receiving from many TCF streaming audio lesson listeners out there: yes, I’ll be hoping to record and distribute whatever I can from these workshops!

Each event is a Monday evening, 6:45-9:15 PM.

Sept. 26: POSTPONED ONE WEEK TO 9/26: Walking with Your Whole Self

Oct. 17: Walking with Grace and Ease

Nov. 14: Organizing Your Feet for Balance, Posture, and Power

Dec. 12: Breathe Easy

What is Functional Integration? A student responds to a lesson

The Feldenkrais Method, as a holistic approach to improving human learning and wellness, can have interesting and sometimes unexpected effects as lessons influence the entire nervous system (read: the entire person!). This is one of the reasons practitioners resist the label “bodywork” for Feldenkrais. You can read my description of Functional Integration (FI), our hands-on, one-to-one modality right here. But today I invite you to read about it in a student’s own words, in the form of a response from a student shortly after an FI lesson.

Amy sent this email between her two lessons this week (you can read about my prefered way of scheduling–“pulses” of lessons followed by pauses–right here). She gave me permission to share this with you. Enjoy, and check out her photography below!

Hi, Nick.

Just a few quick thoughts tonight since I’ll see you tomorrow (but wanted to get them down while they are fresh).

  • There were a couple of moments toward the beginning of our lesson when I felt a strong emotion; I realized it was a sense of relief. There was a (not completely formed) thought of, “Oh… I can let go. Nick’s got this.” There was a sense of safety and willingness to trust and be vulnerable because of that safety. I really appreciated that and, like I said, felt a deep sense of relief in that moment.
  • As I walked afterward, I noticed how much more of my body was moving with each step. It seemed that the simplicity of movement was a greater integration of that movement throughout my whole body. The same thing tonight while grocery shopping–I found there was a way to hold the cart without extra effort and I could feel the pressure shifting from hand to hand as I took each step.
  • Also during my walk afterward, I had a sense of being able to differentiate my senses more than usual. I recognized this most through my hearing and vision. I was able to hear an insect, isolate that sound from the rest of the sounds, follow it to a specific location on a specific branch of a specific plant, and then clearly find the camouflaged insect. That’s not something I’m typically able to do. I never realized it before, but, in retrospect, often all sounds get “blended together” and it’s not easy to have an isolated focus on one sound. This also extended to when I was listening to music tonight–I had a much richer sense of each instrument in the music and an ability to focus on each part of it in a new way. It is like a quiet but enhanced awareness.
  • My headache felt “clarified” after our lesson–I’m not sure if that makes sense but it’s the best word I can think of. Before our lesson, it was a diffuse throbbing, whereas after our lesson, it was located in a smaller, more focused region (above my left eye, up over the left side of my head, and into my neck and upper back) and it had become more mild and was dull instead of throbbing (though if I bent over and stood back up, I had a short moment of throbbing again in the more focused area). I did not notice this shift happening during the lesson.
  • I came home and took a short nap, after which the headache was almost gone.

Okay, not quite as “quick” as I thought it would be, but good to write it out just the same.

I’ll see you tomorrow.

Amy

 

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[Amy is a 30 year old research scientist. She enjoys photography and often takes photos in the woods by my studio when she takes walks after lessons. She gave me permission to share this photo collage with you too! -Nick]

 

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