Feldenkrais Method

Thursdays, Free At RISC: Feldenkrais, New Science of Body and Mind To Make Life Better

Updated 15 weeks ago David Stone
Thursdays, Free At RISC: Feldenkrais, New Science of Body and Mind To Make Life Better

Like other pioneers, Moshe Feldenkrais, dissatisfied with medical solutions available at the time, dug deep into his own knowledge and experience to research a way to cure a chronically injured knee. He'd been told surgery was his best option, and it would leave him with a permanent limp. Instead, he figured out how to heal himself, then spent the last 30 year of his life developing the Method that bears his name. At the Senior Center, you're invited to try it out for free.

Thursday mornings at 10:45, Wanda Gala and Dorota Puchala take turns helping people feel better in body, mind and spirit at the CBN/RI Senior Center. Both are Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioners. Feldenkrais (rhymes with "felled in rice") has as its mission improving "the quality of each individual life by restoring healthy movement and function, alleviating pain and improving many human movement related difficulties."

Wanda and Dorota lead whoever shows up in easy, but advanced exercises designed to meet the needs of a senior population. Safe and stress-free, the Feldenkrais Method helps bring improvements in balance, flexibility, confidence and comfort. It does so, in part, by teaching body and mind awareness, enabling participants to better understand and, therefore, use their bodies' natural mechanics.

A quick look at the benefits....

Guides, Certified and Experienced in Feldenkrais and More

Dorota Puchala was born in Poland and was awarded a masters degree in Biology from the University of Gdansk. Exceptionally well-rounded, she also earned a Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Fashion Institute of Technology and studied Interior Design at the New York Institute for Art.

After twelve years working as a designer in New York, she developed chronic back pain. In her search for treatment and relief, she learned about the Feldenkrais Method. Much like founder Moshe Feldenkrais, the discovery sent her on a new career path

Puchala is a resident practitioner at the Wellness Center of MindBodySoul Yoga Studio in Washington Heights. 

Wanda Gala, Feldenkrais practionier
Wanda Gala, Feldenkrais practionier
Photo courtesy of Autosomatica

For Wanda Gala, her practice means "discovering and rediscovering the benefits of the Feldenkrais Method as it relates to the specific needs of each person." 

A partner at Brooklyn-based Autosomatica, she sees the method as a reliable wellness practice with specific outcomes but an abstract trajectory - a journey as specific and subjective as the self image, perspectives and experiences of the people with whom she works.

Gala's background is in movement studies, and in addition to being a Feldenkrais practitioner, she works as a choreographer, creative consultant, movement theorist and dance educator.

Feldenkrais, Body and Mind

After suffering a serious stroke 10 years ago, my doctor told me I would never walk again. Thanks to the Feldenkrais Method I am still walking today.  –Dora G.

Before research in mind/body connections opened the door to new methods for dealing with chronic pain and physical limitations, Moshe Feldenkrais employed his knowledge of physics, engineering, and martial arts in an intensive self-study of his own movement habits. He was eventually able to relieve his knee pain without surgery.

Feldenkrais died in 1984, but followers, these days, nonprofit organizations like the Feldenkrais Foundation inherit his passion for making lives better, not just in body but in spirit. Feeling better physically enriches all aspects of your life.

I feel much more agile. It helps me cope with my arthritis. It dovetails the physical therapy I take. I have learned more and more about my body. It has made me feel beautiful at times, because positions are so elegant and I can get into them. What is cooler than to feel beautiful when you are in your 70’s? Now in terms of my brain, I think benefits are enormous. I have become more creative in my work. I feel experimenting and making errors is ok.  I am more willing to listen to other points of view. It has slowed my racing brain down. It seems to calm me right away. I focus better. –Doris V.

The Feldenkrais Method has totally changed the way I see myself, especially in relation to pain. I went from using a wheelchair to walking two miles most every day. Most of my mental energy was focused on how to live with pain. Now I have extraordinary mental freedom, and each day I am finding new things that I can do.  –Margaret F.

Moving Forward Feldenkrais classes at the Senior Center are offered free through the Carter Burden Network. You are invited to meet Wanda and Dorota and learn about the Method any Thursday morning at 10:45. The Roosevelt Island Senior Center is at 546 Main Street, across from Nisi.

Come in and see what's helping your neighbors enjoy better, more fulfilling lives.

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