If someone were to say that you could lie on a mat, watch yourself BE (yeah, man, be!) and move a little less than your maximum ability and that this would actually be good for your body, you’d call them a liar, right? Right??!!
If there’s one thing I know, there is a time and a place and you can’t drag a horse to the water. What am I talking about? Well, how many people do you know who moan about stress and aches and insomnia, ya? But when the opportunity is in front of them, dancing topless on a table, how many of them actually grab it? Very, very few. For instance, I told my aunt who suffers from spondylitis about the Feldenkrais Workshop at Infinite Souls and she said “Kirtu, I get spondylitis just by driving out there. And right now, touch wood, I’m ok, so I don’t need it.” Go figure. What I probably should have said is that Feldenkrais is a long-term cure for more than just the spine.
But as it turned out, on Day 1 of the Feldenkrais Experience, Michel Casanovas had 13 willing learners, including Vaneeta and Joseph from last year. And by Day 3, we had swelled to 16.
There are some people I know who belong to a certain monk-hood. Let’s call it the Brotherhood of Body & Soul. They practice austerity as easily as hedonism. And are in constant pursuit of that thing called truth or self or the perfect thin crust pizza; the rest be damned. Michel Casanovas, is one such monk. He’d wake up early, work long hours, be infinitely patient and generous with his instruction and then sit alone on the verandah with a cold beer watching the sunset over the hill.
He’s a gypsy and travels very light – a couple t-shirts, a sheet – essentially no material possessions. He likes sleeping outdoors and both times he has been at Infinite Souls, he opted to sleep beneath the thatch in the rehearsal space. It’s a little crazy actually because it’s so cold outdoors in January, but Michel goes for it. Like Konarak and I, he takes his shoes off before he climb the rocks and this time he got the rest to do the same so they could feel that intense energy underfoot.
As I went down to the Rehearsal Space at 6.30 am on the last day, I saw Michel seated on a mat draped in an orange dupatta, quiet in the early morning fog. 14 other bodies settled on mats around him and he began an Awareness Through Movement (ATM)* session “Take a few steps. Be aware…watch your self…”
Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble.
Michel gives the most precise instructions, and in the simplest, most quiet tones. To appreciate this, one has to try giving a group of human beings a set of physical instructions that will be understood in exactly the same way by all of them. I know from experience with Theatre Lab…it’s a challenge, man! To know left from right, to induce a diagonal in someone else’s body, to get us to move… Direction Sky.
Très bien ensemble.
Check out Michel’s website (www.micha.in/)
* From www.feldenkrais.com/ The Feldenkrais Method is expressed in two parallel forms: Awareness Through Movement® and Functional Integration®.
Awareness Through Movement consists of verbally directed movement sequences presented primarily to groups. There are several hundred hours of Awareness Through Movement lessons. A lesson generally lasts from thirty to sixty minutes. Each lesson is usually organized around a particular function.
In Awareness Through Movement lessons, people engage in precisely structured movement explorations that involve thinking, sensing, moving, and imagining. Many are based on developmental movements and ordinary functional activities. Some are based on more abstract explorations of joint, muscle, and postural relationships. The lessons consist of comfortable, easy movements that gradually evolve into movements of greater range and complexity. There are hundreds of Awareness Through Movement lessons contained in the Feldenkrais Method that vary, for all levels of movement ability, from simple in structure and physical demand to more difficult lessons.
Awareness Through Movement lessons attempt to make one aware of his/her habitual neuromuscular patterns and rigidities and to expand options for new ways of moving while increasing sensitivity and improving efficiency.
A major goal of Awareness Through Movement is to learn how one’s most basic functions are organized. By experiencing the details of how one performs any action, the student has the opportunity to learn how to:
· attend to his/her whole self
· eliminate unnecessary energy expenditure
· mobilize his/her intentions into actions