How do I structure a practice?


The positive effects of mindful movement are cumulative. Like meditation, both a daily practice and a focused intensive can be beneficial. Consider that it took years for your habits to develop to the point where they are now!

1. Time frame

My strong suggestion is to take six months out of your life to invest in rewiring your nervous system. This can be a powerful process, and the results can last a lifetime. Relearning how you relate to gravity is in essence relearning the most fundamental connections you have to the world. 

2. What's your practice style? 

Here are some options. Try one and see what happens.

  • Option 1: Commit to seven lessons in seven days. Try this twice a month for three months!

  • Option 2: Make it a 14-day challenge. Do one lesson a day for fourteen days. You could do two series on the hips, or one on the hips and one on the low back.

  • Option 3: Take one weekend and do all seven lessons of a series over the two days. Try this twice a month for three months.

  • Option 4: Do one lesson in the evening and one in the morning until you’ve done all seven lessons in a series. (I personally use this option.)

At the end of the day, do what feels right for you.

3. Other activities

If you do other physical activities that have started to give you discomfort, like yoga, pilates, swimming, running, or going to the gym, my strong suggestion is to take two or three weeks off of that activity while you invest in intensive Feldenkrais. Give your system a break from the habits you've developed. Then go back to it and see if it has changed.

This pause of activity is very important, especially if you have intense training around a physical activity, like dancing, cycling, or martial arts. It can be challenging to take a break, but if you are experiencing discomfort, why not be smart and pause now rather than risk getting injured and have to give it up later?

4. Other modalities

If possible, avoid doing Feldenkrais on the same days as massage, chiropractic, or physical therapy. In fact, if you can take a break from all other nervous system and musculoskeletal input while you dive deep into Feldenkrais, it allows more time for your system to integrate new learning without conflicting or confusing information. 

The most important thing is to listen to yourself and do what is right for you.

5. Reflections

I often suggest that my students log what they experience after a lesson, even if it's wordless, giving a lesson the equivalent of a thumbs up or a thumbs down. If you're not sure what to think, here are some ideas:

  • Where do you feel a difference? In the hips, back, shoulders, neck, arms, chest, carriage of the head, uprightness of posture?

  • When do you feel a difference? When you're reaching, bending, turning, standing, sitting, walking? Getting out of bed, riding a bike, putting on a shirt?

  • How do you feel it? Do you feel like you're longer, taller, wider, heavier, lighter, more bouncy, more fluid, more sleek?

For example, a teenage gymnast I worked with said she felt “silky.” An older dancer would get off the table and exclaim, “Shocking!” One student said she felt so different on each side it was like wearing a clown suit. An equestrian said she hadn't felt this bouncy since she was five years old.

Kinesthetic impressions are personal and subjective. You will find your own vocabulary.