Notes from Feldenkrais for Chronic Pain workshop

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

Whiteboard photo

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.



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. Continue reading

Driving and Dynamic Sitting: two new free lessons added!

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. Continue reading

Private studio currently full

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.

Local artist Anita White’s artwork added to website header rotation

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?

Art after an ATM

And thanks for the beautiful art, Anita!

– Nick

Added new free lesson, The Hip Joints: Moving Proximal Around Distal

Construction noise has quieted down at the JCC and I captured a good recording of yesterday’s class. I’m so pleased to offer you this new free streaming audio lesson, the first I’ve been able to record in a while. Have a pillow or two nearby, and please enjoy The Hip Joints: Moving Proximal Around Distal.

Remember to join the mailing list, spread the word, and consider donating to support making high quality Feldenkrais study available to all, easily and freely!

New York Times Article: Feldenkrais for Chronic Pain

I had long refrained from writing about this method of countering pain because I thought it was some sort of New Age gobbledygook with no scientific basis. Boy, was I wrong!

–  Jane Brody, New York Times personal health columnist

This week the New York Times published an article in print and online called Trying the Feldenkrais Method for Chronic Pain, by Jane Brody. Brody has been writing about personal health for the Times for over 40 years, and it’s fantastic news for our community that she’s taken an interest in Feldenkrais and benefitted so much. She acknowledges her misconceptions (above) as she begins; let’s hope her article will help other people understand it better!

The article is a quick read and does a nice job summarizing the method and her experience as a new student.

Want to help get the word out about Feldenkrais? Leave a comment at the bottom of the Times article. It really makes a difference for exposure for the article and the method!


Free ATM project flyer for practitioners

ATM project flyer for Feldenkrais practitionersDear colleagues,

I created an informational flyer for Feldenkrais Practitioners attending the Feldenkrais Guild of North America conference, August 23-27, 2017 in Seattle.

This is a great way to tell professional Feldies about my extensive free resource, including suggestions about lesson planning for class, studying ATM pedagogy, “homework” for FI students, and a few testimonials.

Click here to check it out. Visiting a study or mentoring group soon? Kindly print a few copies to share with our colleagues!

I am able to continue this free lesson project because of the growing user base and the generous individuals who donate. Thanks for helping me spread the word!


Nationally recognized walking workshops presented again this fall!

Two page flyerThe Marsh put together some beautiful publicity for my fall workshop series, including some excerpts from the Experience Life magazine articles.

Click here to have a peek at the flyer and please spread the word!

Click the titles for full info on each 6:45-9:15 PM Tuesday evening event:

Sept. 12: Walking with Your Whole Self

Oct. 17: Walking with Grace and Ease

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

An overseas student comes back to Feldenkrais basics

Ever wrestle with an ATM lesson that seemed impossible, only to later discover something new and wonderful? I enjoyed an email exchange with Maria Noel from Uruguay, who was struggling with one of my more challenging audio lessons, Legs Crossed, Freeing the Spine and Chest Part 1. She gave me permission to share our thread.

Notice I initially gave her a firm nudge toward simply not doing the lesson (safety first!) but she persisted in a beautiful, sensitive-to-herself way, and reaped the benefits. Too long, can’t read? Just skip to the bolded sentences below.

For all of us doing ATM lessons I find these kinds of study stories to be a helpful reminder of the value of going back to the Feldenkrais basics. Look what can happen when we explore from a place of kindness and curiosity towards ourselves!

Maria: Very difficult for me to tilt the legs while they are crossed and I do not improve although I have been doing it for a very long time. And impossible to leave them tilted to one side. Continue reading

My free audio ATM project turns two today!

Two years, 30 free ATM lessons
(and counting…)

Thank you listeners and donors from around the world!

Back on May 11, 2015 I launched my free streaming audio ATM project as a personal passion project. Sharing the life-changing benefits of the Feldenkrais Method as widely as possible — without paywall or password — is my goal. I love the feeling I get from freely sharing something incredibly valuable to me, as well as the learning opportunities I’ve found while creating and uploading these edited, live-recorded classes.

Just this week I finally presented a satisfying new teaching of an important Feldenkrais “basic training” lesson. I studied, recorded, edited, and uploaded this month’s featured new lesson… Read more in the May edition of the Twin Cities Feldenkrais Newsletter.

You can click here to sign up for this monthly email!