‘Emma in Vienna’: Teacher Emma Douka live from the Vienna International Feldenkrais Course.

pymEmmacropOnly through learning and study do we enrich our repertoire and keep developing our work. So it is that all our teachers undertake regular learning and practice outside of the studio to enhance their own understanding and teaching methods, and bring back to PYM – and to you – the very latest techniques in movement education.

With just such an undertaking in mind Emma Douka travelled all the way to Austria where she is currently on the ‘Vienna International Feldenkrais Course.’ Her tutors there are among the world’s most experienced and established Feldenkrais teachers, some of whom were trained by Dr Moshe Feldenkrais himself.  Having completed two years of the four year course she is now authorised to teach Feldenkrais Awareness through movement classes.

Learning through movement is the essence of the Feldenkrais method: its founder, Dr Feldenkrais was an engineer, physicist and judo master. Having incurred a debilitating knee injury in his youth he faced severe disability in middle age but refused surgery and instead applied his extensive understanding of anatomy; physiology; psychology and engineering to heal his own knee. During the process he realised the vital importance of working with not just the whole body but the whole self if he was to achieve lasting change.

The Feldenkrais method focuses on guided and gentle, easy but precise movement.

Very close attention is given to every little movement and variations are explored that offer our system different options, and ultimately a more integrated movement.

The movement is deliberately slow to allow for sensing and analysis, as opposed to quick, mechanical repetition.

Says Emma: “Training as a Feldenkrais practitioner has very much influenced my Pilates teaching approach, specifically turning my focus away from strict alignment to achieving a balanced and non inhibited communication between all parts of the body. During my class I aim to keep people mentally engaged with the use of many variations as well as the introduction of new exercises.”

Huge congratulations to Emma for her course success.