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Educational content of our training programs


Bringing together some of the best trainers in the field today, it is the explicit goal of the Instituto Feldenkrais to prepare highly qualified Feldenkrais teachers who are able to teach both Awareness Through Movement® and Functional Integration® with confidence, while remaining reflective and open to explore.

During a Feldenkrais teacher training program, a student undergoes an enjoyable and profound learning experience. Intense study phases are balanced with periods to assimilate the depth of information. Classes provide a wealth of hands-on experience, group discussions, lectures and videos, helping you learn at your own pace, in an open, non-competitive environment.

Our training programs are designed to support each student in their learning process. Students receive individual support and guidance through close interaction with the training staff. Working in small groups fosters precious relationships among students and a sense of mutual support. It is often from these groups that lifelong colleagues and friendships emerge.

Students in the teacher training undergo a process of maturation that involves acquiring knowledge, technical skills, increased self-awareness and self-reliance. As a participant you will be learning through movement, which will enhance your ability to find solutions through both your sensory and cognitive functions. You will feel younger, more flexible and in better shape. From this new self-awareness, you will improve your ability to make relevant and significant contact with others: by fostering your own growth, and supporting the learning of others.

 

Syllabus 

FIRST AND SECOND YEAR

The first two years of training emphasize building a solid foundation in Awareness Through Movement.

Students get an understanding of the Feldenkrais Method through direct experience rather than passed-on theoretical concepts. You will be immersed into Awareness Through Movement, covering every muscle group and joint in the body and recreating the organic learning process of childhood.

Students get to experience the ATM and FI lessons in such a way that develops their own ability to sense differences in their self-perception, feeling, actions, and to thus discover new possibilities for change and growth, both as individuals and as part of the group.

Beyond the intense immersion into the ATM process, we will gradually enter a process of observation, discussion and analysis of ATM structures and the logic of specific exercise progressions. You will develop both your verbal and nonverbal skills for teaching ATM and get the opportunity to practice under supportive supervision. At the end of the second year, most students will be authorized to teach ATM classes to the public.

Handling skills are gradually introduced to prepare students to develop the skills needed in Functional Integration®. We will work on observation, sensing and touch with a skeleton and fellow trainees. Students work on awareness and improvement of the “self-organization” of a Feldenkrais teacher when working on the floor or at a table, and developing a way of touch that sensitizes both the student and future practitioner.

Elements of anatomy and function of the human body are clarified by using a series of different educational materials.

Examples for (ATM) lesson’s themes in Year 1 and 2:

  • The first movements of life (sucking series, eye movements)
  • The use of the flexors, then extensors
  • The use of the eyes in orientation and in directing movement
  • Transition between different positions
  • The importance of head and neck control for ease of movement and tonus of the body
  • Tonic reflexes of eyes, head and neck
  • Connection of head and eyes for swift and smooth movement
  • Early movements, use of constraints to move different parts of self
  • Differentiation as the basis of learning
  • The pelvis as the power center of the body
  • Integrating the arms with the core of the body
  • Head and neck mobility
  • Connecting head and pelvis in using developmental patterns and big movements
  • Sound and voice
  • Integrating arms and legs
  • Mobility of hip joints
  • Integrating mobility and control of arm movement in larger, whole body movements

 

THIRD AND FOURTH YEARS

Students begin to work intensively on developing the thinking and skills necessary for Functional Integration®.

Exploring the relationship of FI to ATM and their common underlying dynamics, students learn skills such as the ability to think functionally and present themes both in ATM and FI, construct an FI lesson and support a client’s learning process.

By continuously developing their handling skills, students evolve into practitioners. You will learn what constitutes a complete FI lesson, how to interview and begin a lesson, what is necessary in the body of the lesson, how to complete the lesson, how to generalize the function to another position in table work, and finally how to start thinking about a series of lessons. Students learn to give a wide range of lessons and explore different functions in all possible positions: on a table, on a chair, using rollers, in a standing position. We will learn how to put FI movement sequences together and sense what additional information is required to integrate a particular function.

FI instruction will be further complemented by in-class study of video footage of Moshé Feldenkrais giving FI lessons and additional demonstration lessons taught on guests from the public.

Examples for FI themes in Year 3 and 4:

  • Exploring the relationship of ATM to FI lessons
  • Proportional distribution of effort
  • The potential value of starting an FI from the center of the body
  • Working on one side only
  • Options versus thinking right or wrong
  • Use of board on feet to reorganize feet and contact with floor.

We will continue developing student’s familiarity and confidence in teaching ATM lessons with voluntary peer lessons with Assistant feedback before each class.

Throughout the training, our students receive a minimum of 12 Functional Integration® lessons as part of their training program. We encourage our students to observe various demonstrations of Functional Integration® lessons taught by our trainers before or after class.

Prior to graduation, each student is required to have successfully completed a supervised FI practicum.

 

The complete package

All lessons, lectures, demonstrations and discussions are recorded on mp3 and made available to students. These recordings provide an invaluable means of study and reference during out-of-class periods.

Supplemental lectures will be given by outside speakers to elaborate on topics taught, or provide a different perspective on the subject. Topics may include embryological development, cognitive psychology and functioning of the nervous system, among others.

Students are supported in developing the verbal skills necessary to communicate the work of Feldenkrais practitioners and to conduct themselves professionally with other practitioners, members of other professions and the general public.

Throughout the training, we will address different uses of ATM and FI for a variety of specific applications in domains as encompassing as arts, health, sports, interpersonal behaviour and wellbeing. You will receive guidance on how to apply acquired skills either in your own areas of work or in a variety of new career opportunities.