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Will practising a skill in your head make you better at it.

I found this article on Feldenkrais Practitioners Around the World facebook group.

Deborah Lotus wrote this and I thought it was too good not to share on this forum.

Moshe told us in San Francisco. As he used the word "imagine", he would sometimes substitute "Inner Eye", or "Image of Achievement" (Pribram's term, slightly different). He wanted to explain that you can't "image" something in your head" accurately, unless you have actually done it. So, you could not imagine yourself flying by watching superman fly. But you could imagine yourself 'swimming' in the ‘air', which might be similar enough to actual flying using your 4 limbs, so that at least you would have a facsimile.

But if you are working with someone who never has crawled, to 'imagine yourself walking', it is an impossible feat for that person. However, if you ask a person who has walked but cannot at the moment actually walk, still they could accurately imagine it and thus perhaps actually walk in reality in future at some point.

Moshe did not know about 'mirror' neurons, but I believe he would not have wanted us to watch videos of Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lessons while we did the movements. I can't even do it this way, I like to learn from a live teacher. Moshe believed that by using only our "kinaesthesia" (one of his definitions was 'all of our senses, minus vision'), this approach duplicated childhood development more accurately.

For me, the difference between ATM and Bones for Life, is in ATM you are encouraged not to 'imitate' movements. In BFL you are encouraged to utilize your 'mirror neurons' and watch the teacher or your fellow classmates as a kind of 'shortcut to good alignment and differentiated movement'. Some say Bones for Life is not Feldenkrais. I would say Bones for Life is not Feldenkrais, perhaps a 'variation' or "the frosting on the Feldenkrais cake".

I have played with other students who cannot 'imagine', so I have put them in BFL classes. Yes, it is more like dance, and we even have 'choreography', which is lots of fun! But the support of everyone in the room, doing the same movement and rhythmical patterns is very powerful. Brain's that wire together fire together, and rhythm provides that 'glue'. One can still move one's own unique way, but there is an 'ideal' alignment intended, similar to Alexander Technique intention. But easier to do with others and the intention of aligning well by using an imaginary inner 'plum line' and being in unison with others is yes, a lot like dancing. At any rate, when you have done a process, say in sitting, where it is less stress on your joints, you can then transfer that same process, say 'Roman Sandal', you can transfer that into imagining you are walking, and then practice it in walking, say with the support of your fingers lightly on the back of your chair. I think "Bones for Life on Chairs" is Ruthy's crown Jewel of her many protocols...others will have their own favorites, of course.

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