Movement Intelligence is a training system for dynamic postural re-education and mind-body suppleness into an active old age. It has been developed by Dr. Ruthy Alon, based on Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais’ approach to somatic learning. Ruthy has become an elder and mentor to students in over 30 countries.
There are five branches to the program:
Bones For Life
Walk For Life
Photography, Hanna Hyvari, Finland
Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984)
Moshe Feldenkrais (Doctor of Science, Sorbonne) was an engineer, physicist,
inventor, martial artist and student of human development. In developing his
work Moshe Feldenkrais studied, among other things, anatomy, physiology, child
development, movement science, evolution, psychology, a number of Eastern
awareness practices and other somatic approaches and Judo. Dr. Feldenkrais
authored a number of seminal books on movement, learning, human
consciousness and somatic experience.
He taught in Israel and many countries in Europe through the 1960s and 1970s
and in North America through the 1970's and 1980's. The breadth, vitality and
precision of Dr. Feldenkrais' work has seen it applied in diverse fields including
neurology, psychology, performing arts, sports and rehabilitation.
Moshe Feldenkrais’s approach to the body’s functional integration using
Awareness Through Movement® programs, is evidencedin the following
The advantage of approaching the unity of mental and muscular life through the body lies in the fact that the muscle expression is simpler because it is concrete and easier to locate. It is also incomparably easier to make a person aware of what is happening in the body, therefore the body approach yields faster and more direct results. On acting on the significant parts of the body, such as the eyes, the neck, the breath, or the pelvis, it is easy to effect striking changes of mood on the spot.
Sourced from International Feldenkrais Federation:
Dr. Ruthy Alon Ph.D
Ruthy Alon graduated from the first training of Moshe Feldenkrais in Tel Aviv in 1969. She is the author of Mindful Spontaneity and creator of the Movement Nature Meant video.
Benefiting from a close working relationship with Dr. Feldenkrais until his death, Ruthy Alon has further developed his teachings into the Movement Intelligence Programs.
At 84 years of age, Dr. Ruthy Alon actively continues to teach and train Movement Intelligence in Europe, America and in the Asia Pacific to practitioners, students and the general public.
Adam Ward has compiled many of her insights and teaching principles in Bones for Life: A Revolutionary Program for Health and Capability ~because there is no pill for posture.
Dr Alon explains the origins of Bones for Life:
Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais’ main observation was that the natural development of movement skill during the early stages of life occurs in a totally autonomous, self-directed way, this is ‘organic learning’ how a baby learns. As we mature and age social, cultural and belief systems interrupt our postural habits, and gravity bears its toll in our bodies. Muscular, skeletal issues begin to arise and grow as we age. A medical Doctor asked Ruthy. What does Feldenkrais do for bone health? From this question sprouted the ‘seed’ for the Bones For Life Program. Ruthy’s question was. How can we interrupt this cycle of deterioration of bone health, collapse and dysfunction as we age?
Bones need strength, they need anti-gravitational, vertical impact of rhythmic pressure. They need integrated coordination, partnered with awareness to arrive at a higher level of function and use. Activity needs to be challenging and dynamic in order to develop resilient bones. Our body needs to be able to not collapse under its own weight, it needs to be trained. Walking, running and jumping are the best tools for developing stronger bones. How can we do this in safety?
The Bones For Life Program combines gentleness, for somatic learning in the horizontal plane, and forcefulness to support real-world standing in the vertical plane, and blends them together.
Bones For Life, Chairs, Walk For Life all use the Wrap (seven meters of fabric, Weights as tools for developing optimal movement)
The use of isometric pressure between body parts and surfaces gives feedback for stimulating streaming pressure through the skeleton. This helps to maintain balance and stability and the student is more open to exploring, new possibilities for self-organization. A student can step in place rhythmically, or bounce on their heels with a degree of impact of pressure that is greater than ordinary everyday activity, and can load the body with force in ways that safely and gradually increase skeletal resistance from the foot to the head. The Chair program is Bones For Life in Chairs. The Walk For Life program is taken into the environment outside with walking poles. All the same principles of rhythm, propulsion and coordination are applied in each program.
Mindful Eating – We work with the actual mechanics of eating, carefully guiding the process as people ingest a meal in real time. Exploring their eating style, habitual sets of behavior and movement patterns (including gestures, pace and intensity) with which they consume their food. Uncovering obsessions that keep people trapped in their routine eating habits of ‘how much is enough’.
Source: Dr. Ruthy Alon Thesis Doctorate 2012 program Mind-Body Medicine and Holistic Psychology from Mind-Body University