September 18, 2020

Taking Your Business to the Next Level
September 2020
The Magazine By, For, and About Feldenkrais® Practitioners and Trainees
In Touch 
is a monthly e-newsletter about developing one's competence as a Feldenkrais® 
teacher. Issues will contain articles about teaching the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education, 
running your own business, and more.
In This Issue
From the Editors  

We are swimming in the afterglow of a successful and record-breaking first-online conference.  A total of 347 people attended the conference and will receive video and audio recordings via email next week. Recordings will include all six ATM® lessons, sixteen workshops, the Legacy presentation and the keynote address by Dr. Rollin McCraty of the HeartMath Institute about Heart Coherence and why movement is so important. If you did not attend the conference but are interested in purchasing the recording, watch for an email with more details about that option. 

The online conference emerged out of circumstance. Being a Feldenkrais® teacher means being flexible, and this year has invited creativity, resilience and a willingness to learn as most of us shifted to some form of online teaching. We've gone beyond figuring out how to get on Zoom to refining our technology, our teaching styles and even our branding.

In this issue, two practitioners share their experiences of shifting to online teaching and offer insights from their learning process. Kathy James chose an online format for her typically face-to-face "Fifteen Daily Challenge". Barbara Leverone describes the "successive approximations" for her students as well as for herself from the last six months.  And trainer Allison Rapp shares her insights about the value of identifying your ideal client, how this clarity helps you grow your business, and some next steps to take to attract those clients in the recorded interview below.

Be sure to check the Tip Sheet for a Professional Zoom Meeting included below in the Promote Your Practice section. Also, there are some important reminders for members below and a call for articles. 

Lavinia, Mary, and LeeAnn
Witnessing the Joy of Choice, Online!
An Interview with Kathy James

IT: Kathy, how did you shift your practice when in-person classes were no longer and option? What was the process like for you?

As we began to shelter-in-place in California, I realized that I could not hold classes in my studio any longer and announced that I'd be offering classes online beginning the following week for free, as a test. If it worked we would continue. It was a trial both for me and my students. I'm not new to teaching, and my first thought was to teach something that I loved and felt very comfortable with. Keeping anxiety to a minimum was the strategy, and it helped that my students know me and I know them-many of them quite well, for many years.  

After the first class, it was clear that teaching online had a lot of potential and that I could learn and develop this way of teaching.  All who came that first free week expressed a lot of gratitude; amidst everything else we were all dealing with, they felt calmer, less anxious, and they could stay safe in their own homes and continue with Feldenkrais classes. And honestly, it gave me a focus.  At that moment, since I couldn't yet do FI® lessons,  I took the opportunity to jump deeper into the online classes and create daily classes with different themes that carried through the week. To my surprise, it worked.....

Making the Impossible, Possible
Photo credit_ Emma Matthews on Unsplash
By Barbara Leverone

In late February this year, I remember watching the disturbing images from Italy about this new and dangerous virus.  I was teaching a Child'Space®  training segment in Buenos Aires - should I finish the segment early and fly home?  Were there going to be travel restrictions?  Was it even safe to fly?   

I did finish the segment and was back home in Florida within a week.  But, by mid-March, I had cancelled my ATM® classes, my hands-on FI® practice, as well as the toddler movement program I had developed and all private parent/baby lessons.  

Undoubtedly, you, too, encountered this abrupt need to adapt to the changing conditions of COVID-19, and felt the strain of leaving your clients in the lurch. Fortunately, I read online that Larry Goldfarb and Allison Rapp were offering free info sessions on teaching by Zoom. 

I had done some Skype and FaceTime lessons with clients over the years; the Zoom idea did not seem so outlandish, but the technology was Greek to me.....

Grow Your Business: An Interview with Allison Rapp

Share Your Expertise!
Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

If you enjoy writing, consider submitting an article for the upcoming issues of In TOUCH and SenseAbility.

In October, we are combining several designated topics including the eyes, mouth, and emotional wellness. October also happens to be National Sensory Awareness Month. What insight or perspective can you bring to your colleagues about online teaching and ways to explore facial movement, the eyes, mouth, and emotions? 

The November issues will focus on finding balance and equilibrium, 
an ever-present theme, especially with current events and the approaching holiday season. We look forward to hearing your ideas for submissions! 

FGNA Annual Meeting - Your Presence is Important!
Photo by Clint Adair on Unsplash
The 2020 Annual Meeting of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America will be held by Zoom video conference on October 4th at 5 pm EST. You will receive an email with registration information before the meeting.
The agenda will include:
  1. A report on the activities and financial condition of FGNA
  2. A motion to amend the FGNA Bylaws. It is proposed to change Director terms from two years to three years, update the Board of Directors powers and duties, introduce gender-neutral language, and make other minor changes. The current Bylaws and proposed changes are are available here 
See you there!
Mark your Calendar to Renew! 

Sign up early! This is a reminder that your membership will expire on December 31, 2020. Sign up by September 30th, 2020 and save on the cost of renewal. For more information about pricing and membership,  click here  and save now!

The benefits of membership range from conference discounts, to service mark support to publications and PR materials. Don't miss out. Remember there is also a new member category for those who choose not to use FI® session: Certified Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement Teacher(CM). See the attached chart for the fees - September 30 is the next early bird deadline. Here is  a complete summary of benefits for ALL memberships. 

The FGNA Cafe Resumes in October!
Photo by Morning Brew on Unsplash

Do you have a burning question? A wish to share something about your practice? What would you like to hear from your colleagues? The Zoom cafes have been a wonderful way for colleagues to connect and for everyone to learn and grow. People have overwhelmingly asked for more. We want these cafes to be useful as well as fun. What are some topics you wish FGNA would bring forward? What are some issues you wish you could talk about with peers? 

Please submit your compelling questions and topics to Fariya Doc:
Promote Your Practice: Moving Onward with Online Teaching

Teaching online is like teaching under a microscope. Unlike face to face teaching in which our entire body is part of our communication, our students now view us through an unedited camera lens and screen, accentuating our physical surroundings as well as patterns we perhaps have not considered in the past. 

Here are some tips for a quality online ATM® experience. 

  1. Check the lighting in your room
  2. Monitor the sound quality
  3. Check the background and other objects in the room that viewers will see. As stated in a recent article titled, How to Look Professional on Zoom Calls, you don't want "plants growing out of your head." 
  4. Watch a recording of yourself teaching, paying attention to the following:
  • Notice your sitting posture. Are you slouching or leaning too far forward?
  • What do you do with your hands and eyes? Do you look into the camera? Or make unconscious gestures with your hands? Are you mindful of your facial expressions?  This brief article explains why your camera should be set at eye level, and offers simple ways to help people feel comfortable with you during a class.
  • Observe your use of language. How many times are you saying, "Um" or using other fillers? 
      5. Turn off or put away anything that may become a distraction, such as
          cell phones or other devices. Also, you can hide the view of yourself
          in case you tend to become distracted by your self-view.

More Tips from Colleagues Larry Goldfarb and Allison Rapp

In case you missed it in March, we include a recording of Larry Goldfarb's Zoom meeting about Rising to the Challenge:  The Art of Teaching ATM Online.  Click here for  Part 1 and Part 2 of the discussion. You can access more resources and information on Larry's website:

In addition to the interview above, read more on this topic - Do You Really Need an Ideal Client? from Allison. She offers an abundance of free business building resources along with this panel discussion about  teaching online. She's currently offering a free class on Relying on Your Strengths and supports a facebook group for   Transformational Touch businesses.

You can check out Allison's website for more resources at: and see the additional resources below:


Stamina and Your Ideal Clients: 

Not My Sweater - Feldenkrais Method® 90-Day Video Marketing Challenge: