Sitting With Comfort: A Feldenkrais Movement Class

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Are you having difficulty with sitting?

You want to sit with comfort again, like you used to. Like other people seem to do.

You want to do simple things, like eating an unhurried meal at the kitchen table, sit at your desk and be able to focus on your work, see a movie at the theater, get a drink with a friend.

But pain is getting in the way of easy, comfortable sitting. When sitting becomes painful, things get scary and frustrating. It is hard to imagine a life without sitting.

The stiffness, aches, and pains may set in while you are sitting or perhaps are more acute when you stand up after a long day of sitting. You may feel the discomfort after just a few minutes or it may take a few hours.

This difficulty with sitting may have been hanging around for weeks, months, or even years. For some people, the pain gets worse continually over time. For others, the pain comes and goes, seemingly randomly.

You may be experiencing a dull, aching pain in your lower back or it may have escalated to a sharp, burning pain down your leg. Your neck may be sore and your shoulders tight or the pain may have escalated to a burning sensation down your arm or a numbness in your hands.

And pretty soon you are dreading sitting, but how do you avoid sitting?

Although it may feel at times like sitting is a lot easier than standing, sitting actually can put up to 50% more stress on your body than standing.

In our culture, it is common to sit 6-10 hours a day. Wow, that is a lot of sitting and a lot of stress on your body!

Humans have not evolved to sit for long periods of time in the way that we do in our current culture. In the course of evolution, all of this sitting is relatively new.

So, there is a lot of confusion about how to sit comfortably. What is healthy sitting? How do you sustain sitting upright? What does “upright” actually mean or feel like?

 

How do you achieve healthy, comfortable sitting in a lasting, effective way?

HealthySitting

Most people have had the experience where you catch yourself hunched over, slouching in a chair, and you think, “I should sit up straight.” Then you make yourself sit up straight and within a few minutes, you have sunken back into your slouching position.

Or perhaps you force yourself to stay sitting up straight and you end up in pain. What the heck? I thought sitting up straight was the “right” thing to do.

It’s not just you. It’s not a lack of strength or diligence or intelligence.

It’s just not a simple thing to understand what sitting upright actually means. It doesn’t mean your back is straight; it actually means you have arches and curves in your spine.

And you need a way for your muscles to elongate in the front and shorten in the back in a sustainable, easy way. This is easier said than done, unless you have some really specific tools at your disposal.

In this class series, you will learn these tools for successful, healthy sitting:

    • Reducing Chronic Tension: I will lead you through gentle, easy movement exercises that will release the chronic tension that you hold in your body while sitting. Not only will this be relaxing and ease your discomfort, it will give you the physical availability to sit in healthy ways. Instead of fighting to sit upright, you will naturally sit in a new, healthy posture.

 

    • Using Your Skeletal Support: In this class, you will learn what it feels like to really use your skeletal support in sitting. This is an opportunity to learn your anatomy from a place of embodiment—that is from feeling yourself. Once you know how to support yourself successfully and your brain gets a taste of the energy conserved by structurally supported sitting you will spontaneously find yourself sitting differently.

 

    • Dynamic Sitting: An emphasis of this class is that sitting is meant to be a dynamic activity. There is not one perfect sitting posture, but rather many sitting postures that will support you well in different activities. Through a wide variety of movement exercises, you will explore a range of healthy sitting postures, perfect for all the things you do while sitting.

 

    • Supportive Environment: I will share essential information on how to set-up your physical environment to support you in healthy sitting. These discussions will include information on chairs, work-station set-ups, and computers.

“What I have really enjoyed about this class is retraining my brain and body to work better together and good, gentle teaching. I pay attention much more to how I sit and keeping my feet on the ground and being more confident.” -LM

What you learn in this class will stick in powerful way because we utilize the innate intelligence of your nervous system and brain.

The carefully crafted movement sequences that will be taught each week are specially designed to be recognized as biologically important by your nervous system and brain. To enhance you learning and the ability for all this new information to really take hold in a fundamental way in your brain, we will create an ideal learning atmosphere by using these simple principles:

1. Go slowly

In this class, you will slow way down as you learn new movement patterns. It is very hard to learn when you are rushing, so relax, breathe deeply, and settle in for an hour-long journey of novel, interesting, and comfortable movements.

2. Make it small

Making large movements creates a lot of noise for the nervous system. People make big movements when they are afraid they can’t do something or they don’t want to feel themselves. In this class, you will make really small movements, getting into the details and sensing the rich world of information in the very beginnings of movement.

3. Don’t try to succeed or do it right

Worrying about performance interferes with your natural sense of curiosity and play. Learning is about trying out a wide range of approaches, collecting all the information, and then beginning to whittle down what is right for you. If you are concerned about getting it right from the beginning, you limit your options and end up going down the same old road.

4. Only do what’s easy

Ah, this one is my favorite! In this class, I want you to do only do what is truly easy and comfortable. Practice using less effort, doing less, and feeling pleasure. Learn the subtle, yet powerful ways you can care for yourself through movement by sticking to what is truly easy for you, and experience your self-image transform before your very eyes.

When you go slowly, make it small, don’t try to succeed, and only do what’s easy, you will quickly and lastingly find your way out of chronic pain. The old, painful habits fall away and are steadily replaced with your new findings—easy, comfortable, pleasurable movement!

“I’ve enjoyed the gentleness of it and the increased body awareness. The subtle exercises help my body relax and unfold on its own.” -TF

Presenting the Sitting With Comfort Class Series

In this class series, you will experience deep relief, relaxation, and learn an effective, systematic approach to getting out of chronic pain and improving your sitting habits.

You will feel increased comfort immediately and the improvement will last longer and longer after each subsequent class.

Are you longing to:

      • • Eliminate aches and pains, and sit more easily.

 

      • • Improve your co-ordination, posture and flexibility.

 

      • • Restore lost function.

 

      • • Improve the fitness and agility of your brain at any age.

 

      • • Gain renewed physical vitality, health and emotional well-being.

So what does the class actually look like?

At the beginning of each class, I will lead you through a short body scan. During this time, I will direct you to feel different parts of your body while you sit. This is a time for you to sense yourself without judgment or trying to change in any way. You just feel what your body is doing, expanding your image of yourself in sitting and giving you something to compare to at the end of each class and throughout the class series as a whole.

Then I will verbally guide you through a carefully crafted sequence of movements. Each week, we will focus on a specific functional theme. Using gentle, easy movements we will explore many variations of that week’s theme in order to touch on everyone in the classes habits and offer new options for movement and postures in sitting.

At the end of each class, I will lead you through another short body scan, so you can feel exactly what has changed throughout the class. Often people feel greatly relaxed, light, and effortlessly upright after the exercises.

After some classes, there will be the opportunity to discuss the exercise with a partner and with the class as a whole. Other times, I may ask you to draw or write about your experience. After some classes, I will ask you to stay quiet and really feel yourself for a little bit before you go back out into the busy world.

Over the course of the class, I expect you will find a spontaneous new ease in sitting, noticing yourself in new, comfortable sitting postures. Your awareness of yourself will also increase, so you can make subtle distinctions between what causes you pain and what doesn’t. These insights into your own self-use can be simple keys to profound improvements in your comfort and health.

Although it is not necessary, you will feel a greater improvement if you practice each exercise two times during the week before the next class meets. You will have recordings which you can play at home.

If you want to gain a clear understanding of healthy sitting postures and movements and how to reduce pain in sitting, this is the class series for you.

“This class was my first taste with the Feldenkrais Method. I enjoyed the simple subtle sequencing with rather amazing results.” -MM

If you have tried other healing modalities and only found temporary relief and sometimes no relief at all, this is the class series for you.

Radically different than other healing modalities and exercise classes, this class stimulates your brain, utilizes your innate ability to learn, increases your flexibility, and improves your posture –all through easy, gentle exercises.

You will end the class series with:

      • • Practical tools you can put to use immediately to find relief in sitting

 

      • • A chance to dialogue with others experiencing similar challenges

 

      • • A deeper understanding of your body and yourself in movement

 

      • • A wider range of easy motion and flexibility

 

      • • Improved posture

 

      • • An updated, positive self-image

 

      • • Clarity about how to achieve healthy sitting

“Try it, you will like it. It’s different, but results are amazing!” -BC
If this sounds good to you and feels right in your heart, I invite you to sign up for Sitting With Comfort class series below.

Sitting With Comfort: The Fundamentals of Healthy Sitting
A 6-week Class Series
March 2 – April 6, 2016

Wednesdays, 6:00 – 7:15 pm
Location: SomaSpace, 4050 NE Broadway St, Portland, Oregon 97232
Tuition: Early bird special (until February 22): $125
Regular Cost: $150
Pre-registration required ~ Space is Limited!

To register, you may mail a check to:
SomaSpace, ATTN: Jacqueline Rubinstein, 4050 NE Broadway St, Portland, Oregon 97232 or pay through the Paypal button below. You do not need to have a Paypal account to use this service. You can check-out as a guest without setting up a Paypal account. If you would like to pay with cash or check, please just contact me.





Is this class series not great timing for you, but you are interested in future classes and workshops? If so, please sign-up for my e-newsletter, and as a *bonus* get my free Sitting More Comfortably Guide and Exercise. Just click here!