One of my favorite extended quotations from Moshe Feldenkrais. Audio and transcript below.
"You live the way you want it. Now, that's what we want to get. It must be good for you and not for the Feldenkrais teaching it should be good for you."- Moshe Feldenkrais
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[talking to several students] "Because some of you here have the legs opening much too wide - because they've been doing who knows, yoga or something and their legs open to much. And then others, they don't open enough.
And we will try to get something where they open just for what they should be by your structure.
Not by your "idea" of whether yoga is good or bad and therefore you have to do it or you don't have to do it. Yoga is good and bad like the Feldenkrais teaching is good and bad. Anything is good and bad. You are good and bad. I am good and bad.
BUT - there is one thing - it must be good for you and not for the yoga. And not for the Feldenkrais teaching. It should be good for you.
If it's not good for you, then your legs are too wide for you [talking to a student] and not going wide enough for you. You should find out what's good for you and let alone let all the other systems die if they want - but you live.
All right? You live the way you want it. Now, that's what we want to get. It must be good for you and not for the Feldenkrais teaching it should be good for you."
that is a wonderful quote of Moshe Feldenkrais with the emphasis on the person as a means to improvement and not the method. Even the best method can lead astray, whatever the best method could be. Listening to the quote makes it very clear to really connect with a person during an FI session.
Thanks for posting this.
If you do not mind, I would also like to post it on my webpage. Let me know if this is ok for you.
Thanks Christian! I am glad that you like it. Feel free to repost and re-use however you want it.
Moshe is simply suggesting that each person should discover, in this case where the legs lie, what is simplest, easiest, most functional organisation for their structure and leave aside preconceived ideas of a “good or correct” posture/acture. If a person has a background of yoga they may automatically have wide legs, and if a person, probably a woman, had ideas instilled in her about “good girls” or “ladies” don’t have their legs apart then their habit may be to hold their legs close together and he is suggesting that leaving all ideas aside, there is a more ideal functional place to have the legs that will in fact be easier. He is giving the student permission to find where that may be for themselves, to feel, to find, a better place and not just do it because a teacher, be they a Feldenkrais teacher or a yoga teacher tells them to do it this way. This is just another way of trying to get a person into sensation and out of habit.
I come back to listen to the audio every so often. I find it very inspiring. And a good reminder…
Thank you for this quote – it’s good to hear … again and again and again 🙂
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