If you want to get comfortable teaching Feldenkrais classes and workshops there are some relatively simple ways to do so. It matters not whether you are Guild-Certified or if you trained with Anat Baniel, Mia Segal or for that matter if you trained with anyone at all.
There are quite a few Yoga teachers, dance teachers, and other folks who have learned to integrate Feldenkrais into their teaching. And to do so in a way that is respectful to themselves and to their students. I will tell you the simple way that I learned to get comfortable teaching and to SEE myself as a Feldenkrais teacher. You can do this as well.
Here's what I did: I read Feldenkrais transcripts in my own voice and I recorded them at the same time. And then I did the sessions myself by listening to my recordings.
It was one of the most empowering experiences that I had ever created for myself. And I still do it. Every week.
The benefits of doing this are deep and multi-leveled. You become both the teacher and the student. As the teacher, when you first start recording, you may not feel confident. You may feel scared, you may even make a few mistakes. But later, when you listen to your recordings as the student, you will find that it does not matter. Why?
First off, as the student you want to have a positive experience. You are putting in your time and energy to do a session. You want a result. This is called "positive expectancy" and you will have it for two people - you the student and you the teacher. As you do the session, you may not - likely WILL not - hear the mistakes that you thought you made as a teacher. Or you may hear the mistakes but it does not matter because you know what the teacher - you - was trying to communicate. And in this way, you learn that the mistakes are not that important. That is, you realize that a small mistake does not change your positive experience - neither as the teacher nor as the student.
Does that make sense? If not, that's fine. Just do it and see how you evolve.
By the way, it was about 2004 when I first started recording Feldenkrais sessions for my own use. I bought no special equipment, choosing to use the crappy built-in mic on my laptop. And I spent very little time preparing. In fact, sometimes I did not prepare at all. I simply read Feldenkrais transcripts into the microphone. And from time-to-time, I got SUPER confused (especially with the Alexander Yanai transcripts) and did not understand what Feldenkrais wanted. And I verbalized that. I would say, "Ryan, I have no idea what in the hell Moshe is saying here, but perhaps you doing this session right now can figure it out." And I did. It was very powerful.
Question: Where do you get the transcripts and sessions? Check out my Easy Feldenkrais series. (But now there are also tons of complex and challengings sessions on there as well). You want Alexander Yanai? Ryan has Alexander Yanai.
I also record for myself! I am a first year Feldenkrais student. Our teacher want us to remember the lessons somatically in our bodies. It takes me a long time to do that! I got so frustrated by reading papers and try to remember all the steps in a lesson. Or the feeling of stopping all the time, because you need to read about the next step. So I started to record for myself. I try to read slowly. I have been recording and translating from English to Norwegian at the same time. And pausing, what does this word means, sometimes translating a bit wrong. And it is really strange first time to listen to my own voice. I thought my voice was deeper. For me, to start to record the lessons I only have written access to is really another way of deep learning. I start to understand what I need. There are some teachers, their voices feel not pleasant, I stop listen to them. I need a calm voice. A voice telling me about every tiny step I need to do. A voice without judgement. A voice telling me it’s okay not being able to do the whole lesson. Some of the teachers forget to tell you about the tiny bits in a lesson. Like having your eyes closed. That’s also frustrating! I love it when you in your recordings tell me to do less, or just imagine a movement. It is so easy to forget that this is not gym, not pressing yourself, no personal trainer pressing you harder and harder.
Thank you Ruth! That was great to read. I did not know you were Norwegian. All this time on Easy Feldenkrais I thought you were a native speaker of English. Though in Norway, you do start learning English early, yes?
It took me a while to get used to hearing my own voice as well. I think that happens to most people – they think that there own voice is strange when they first hear it outside their body (so to speak!).
I am glad that you are recording and doing sessions, it is a great way to learn. And then when you review the sessions after doing the recordings you will get even more. I am getting ready to spend an entire day, maybe even two days, reading and reviewing transcripts of sessions that I have taught. I find it very useful for learning to think about and organize sessions and groups of sessions….
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