Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc., (1904 - 1984)

Moshe Feldenkrais

The Feldenkrais Method® was originated by Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc., a pioneer in movement science and the innovator of therapeutic and educational approaches. Feldenkrais was born in Russia in 1904 and immigrated to Palestine at the age of 14. He undertook this journey without his family as a member of a caravan from his village. As a young man, he was an excellent athlete and through the influence of a British officer, learned Ju-Jitsu. He was both a very physical young man and an excellent student with a creative mind. Even at a young age he was interested in the inner development of the human being. He was influenced by Coue's work in autosuggestion and early writings on both the unconscious mind and the self-image.

Feldenkrais earned his doctorate in physics at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he assisted Nobel Prize Laureate Frederic Joliot-Curie at the Curie Institute. During his university years, he met Kano, the originator of Judo. He became one of the first Europeans to receive a black belt in Judo and was the founder of the French Judo Association. Feldenkrais studied Judo intensively and became a well-known Judo teacher.

During World War II, Feldenkrais went to England where he worked in antisubmarine research, trained paratroopers in self-defense techniques and authored books on Judo. He aggravated an old soccer injury to his knees and began many years of extended work on himself. His own recovery process and subsequent wide-ranging research resulted in the creation of the unique educational system — the Feldenkrais Method and it components Awareness Through Movement® and Functional Integration® — which incorporated his background in physics and Judo along with a lifelong interest in human development. Upon moving to Israel, he gave up his work as an engineer and researcher and proceeded to use his genius to directly help people live more fulfilling lives. Feldenkrais was fluent in six languages and authored six books on his method. Feldenkrais died in 1984, leaving a small group of highly-trained practitioners who have continued to teach his method worldwide.

  • Famous Quotes

    Famous Quotes by Dr. Feldenkrais

    Movement is life. Life is a process. Improve the quality of the process and you improve the quality of life itself.
    - Moshe Feldenkrais

    If you know what you are doing, you can do what you want.
    - Moshe Feldenkrais

    What I'm after isn't flexible bodies, but flexible brains. What I'm after is to restore each person to their human dignity.
    - Moshe Feldenkrais

    I believe that the unity of mind and body is an objective reality. They are not just parts somehow related to each other, but an inseparable whole while functioning. A brain without a body could not think.
    - Moshe Feldenkrais

    Find your true weakness and surrender to it. Therein lies the path to genius. Most people spend their lives using their strengths to overcome or cover up their weaknesses. Those few who use their strengths to incorporate their weaknesses, who don't divide themselves, those people are very rare. In any generation there are a few and they lead their generation.
    - Moshe Feldenkrais

    Without movement life is unthinkable.
    - Moshe Feldenkrais

    We make the impossible possible, the possible easy, and the easy elegant.
    - Moshe Feldenkrais

    ...self-knowledge through awareness is the goal of reeducation. As we become aware of what we are doing in fact, and not what we say or think we are doing, the way to improvement is wide open to us.
    - Moshe Feldenkrais

  • Books

  • Audio

  • Learning to Learn

    Do everything very slowly

    I do not intend to "teach" you, but to enable you to learn at your own rate of understanding and doing. Time is the most important means of learning. To enable everybody "without exception" to learn, there should be plenty of time for everybody to assimilate the idea of the movement as well as the leisure to get used to the novelty of the situation. There should be sufficient time to perceive, and organize oneself. No one can learn when hurried and hustled. Each movement is, therefore, allotted sufficient time for repeating it a number of times. Thus, you will repeat the movement as many times as it suits you during the span of time allotted.

    When one becomes familiar with an act, speed increases spontaneously, and so does power. This is not so obvious as it is correct.

    Efficient movement or performance of any sort is achieved by weeding out, and eliminating, parasitic superfluous exertion. The superfluous is as bad as the insufficient, only it costs more.

    No one can learn to ride a bicycle or swim without allowing the time necessary to assimilate the essential, and to reject the unintended and unnecessary, efforts that the beginner performs in his ambition not to feel or appear inadequate to himself.

    Fast action at the beginning of learning is synonymous with strain and confusion which, together, make learning an unpleasant exertion.

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