On Balance 
November 6, 2020
In This Issue
From the Editors
In a time when people are openly expressing a need to feel more steadiness, more safety, and more kindness, our contributors this month offer their insights into how the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education can help us learn to sense those resources within ourselves. 

What is possible, asks LeeAnn Starovasnik, when we approach something as basic as sensing balance and movement as a learning process?  And as we learn to observe ourselves as we navigate gravity, how might our inner and outer responses to our surroundings inform us about what we need in order to find safety and quality in our life now? Dorothy Henning encourages us to explore the antigravity response by showing up with kindness and curiosity. Finally, both practitioners offer Awareness Through Movement® lessons as a way to explore your potential for balance and equilibrium. And don't miss the introduction and free lesson from Feldenkrais® trainer David Zemach-Bersin called "Finding Calm Through Rolling" in the Resources section below.

We hope that you enjoy exploring. 

Lavinia, Mary and LeeAnn
Embodying Balance in Uncertain Times using the Feldenkrais Method®

Photo by Jonathon Pendleton on Unsplash
It's not uncommon to hear friends say they feel "off balance" when life throws them a curveball. Since March, however, the year 2020 has thrown us countless ones. We live in extraordinary times. We've changed how we shop, work, study, exercise and socialize. How do we attain and retain our balance right now? 

A majority of my students' primary desire is to age well and live independently as long as they can. They know that losing their balance could mean losing that independence. Our work together facilitates their ability to embody balance on all levels: physical, mental and emotional. When I began calling my Awareness Through Movement® (ATM®) classes, "Balance in Action using the Feldenkrais Method®" and my class size more than doubled, I knew I was meeting a need.

Many students come in search of improving their balance and struggle to describe what that means to them other than "not falling." Some test their balance to see how long they can stand on one leg to see if they are getting "better". There's nothing wrong with that. However, I invite students to expand their definition of balance beyond static poses and into how they move through their daily activities, framing balance as an action rather than a destination....

LeeAnn Starovasnik, GCFP, NLP, has helped others actualize sustainable improvements using the Feldenkrais Method® since 1999. You can learn more about her classes on her website NextStepConsultingInc.com

Balancing Act

By Dorothy Henning, 
Guild Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner
Havening Techniques® Practitioner

Photo by Mark Williams on Unsplash

As the lights dim, darkening the circus tent, our chatter descends into a hush.

The spotlights bolt on, illuminating the center ring where our eyes dash, riveted to the image of a plumber crouched under a sink.
We watch in awe as the ribs on the right side of his chest move like an accordion to usher his right arm under the pipe. "Ahhhh" the crowd expels as his left arm reaches up and over the pipe, grasping it. "Ooooh" resonates throughout the tent as his left chest fans open to facilitate the reach, inviting his breath to enter the expanded left ribs.

His head is cocked to the right, his pelvis veering slightly to the left, and he leans more weight onto his stable right foot. The plumber is creating a spiral zigzag of living balance around a central vertical plumb line. The invisible line travels through his center-of-gravity down to his base of support.
Breathing softly, he places the wrench on the pipe and begins to tighten it...

Dorothy Henning is a practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method® and Havening Techniques in Louisville, Ky. 

She is passionate about helping students discover resources to live a better life. Planting possibility and nurturing hope, she works with people worldwide through online membership. 


Try this free lesson, "Finding Calm Through Rolling"from Senior Trainer David Zemach-Bersin and  Feldenkrais® Access  to directly experience the benefits of the Feldenkrais Method. Here is an introduction from David:

"During the last few years research has demonstrated, not surprisingly, that rocking and rolling movements can have a transformative relaxing effect on our involuntary nervous system, moving it from a sympathetic to a parasympathetic state. A sympathetic state is linked to stress, high blood pressure and inflammation, whereas a parasympathetic state is associated with the restorative functions of our body."

Experience the "Relaxed, Balanced, Vibrant: A is for Ankles" lesson referenced by LeeAnn Starovasnick in her article "Embodying Balance in Uncertain Times Using the Feldenkrais Method®. 

Check out Dorothy Henning's "Gentle, Crescent Side Bending" Lesson here: 

SenseAbility Call for Submissions

Photo by Patrick F on Unsplash
Have an idea for an article, podcast, interview, video, or ATM to share for a future issue of SenseAbility? Please contact us at [email protected] with your idea for a contribution.

Themes for Upcoming Issues

December: Pre and Post Surgery: Strategies and Stories
Publication date: December 4
Deadline: November 27

January:  Looking Ahead, Getting Organized
Publication date: January 8
Deadline: January 1

The deadline for an article submission is the Friday before publication date. 
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