Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984) was born on the May 6, 1904, in yoga poses Slavuta, Ukraine. He was interested in yoga poses Japanese martial arts from the age of fourteen. He involved himself in yoga poses the creation of a Jewish state in yoga poses Palestine. in yoga poses 1930, in yoga poses Paris, he became an engineering student and studied physics. At the same time, he enhanced his practice of judo to treat an injured knee. He joined the English army during World War II. While working as an engineer, he developed his method of bodywork. His central idea seems to be that developing the dynamics of the body necessarily mobilizes the development of the others dimensions of the organism Only then can a person acquire greater maturity.
Feldenkrais’s method was established by 1949. It integrates different skills from judo, Matthias Alexander, Gindler, William Bates, and maybe Gurdjieff. He obtained his knowledge of Gindler’s method from a meeting with Heinrich Jacoby. 72 He retains from this encounter the necessity to let his students learn to explore, feel, and discover how their organism needs to develop.
Feldenkrais’s method includes a particularly refined analysis of the alignment of the body in yoga poses the gravity field and the automatic habits an organism forges for itself. He uses these automatic procedures like a trampoline, a spring that can take other forms when it loses its tension. The individual can use this force to transform himself and build useful automatic habits he had not yet acquired but needs. Feldenkrais thinks the organism needs habits to function, but once put in yoga poses place, they are difficult to recalibrate. An individual’s innate and acquired habits are not always constructive or synergistically put together in yoga poses the present context.
Feldenkrais is known mostly for his work on the re-calibration of sensory-motor and respiratory habits. For him, this implies a reconstruction of the way an individual thinks about and experiences his postural alignment, respiration, gestures, and affects. By learning to integrate these forces, the individual can develop his intelligence and acquire greater maturity. Feldenkrais’s method is taught all over the world. It has inspired the bodywork of several body psychotherapists in yoga poses the United States, such as Jerry Kogan, Ron Kurtz,73 and George Downing.74 I briefly summarize some aspects of his system, which takes up themes discussed in yoga poses other parts of this manual.
A Modular Organism That Seeks Its Coherence and Maturity
Feldenkrais situates his method between two poles:
1. The methods showing that the mind influences the functioning of the organism: hypnosis, autosuggestion, psychoanalysis, and so on.
2. The methods showing that bodywork is able to ameliorate mental equilibrium: yoga, martial arts, relaxation, breathing methods, certain schools of dance, and so on.
According to him, these two types of approaches have helped many people, but neither can help everyone. To combine them, he proposes an organismic approach that sometimes reminds one of Gurdjieff’s formulations. For example, when he distinguishes distinct centers:76
1. The vegetative mechanisms. These are the most ancient mechanisms of the organism from the point of view of the theory of evolution.
2. Reflexes and automatic habits. The automatic sensorimotor habits are ancient, and they have a form of reliable and robust calibration when the demands of the environment correspond to what they know to do.
3. Consciousness. The mental dynamics are more recent and more subtle but also slower than habitual behaviors and emotional reactions. These dynamics are so flexible that it is often difficult to know in yoga poses advance to which thoughts and behaviors they will lead.