by Ann Steers
I am a naturally athletic person, and I love the outdoors. Here I am on a recent trip to the Grand Canyon, a place that touches me deeply.
Unfortunately, despite my love of nature and physical activity, I have struggled with lower back pain and general muscular tightness most of my adult life. I realize now that an injury to my lower back in my mid-twenties set up inefficient body mechanics that lead to plantar fasciitis and knee pain. Just the same, over the years, I’ve remained physically active: hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and gardening.
I sought Feldenkrais out on the advice of a physical therapist. I found Maureen in Arlington and joined her weekly group classes. Plus I’ve had several private sessions. I have been amazed how my flexibility and awareness have improved. I’m now able to bend at my waist with confidence and ease instead of feeling like the Tin Man without his oil can! I am rediscovering that my body can fold and twist in subtle and obvious ways without “breaking”. I’m also developing a better sense of balance and stability when I stand and walk because I’m not trying to “hold myself up”.
My biggest reward came on a recent weekend when my husband and I were walking barefoot in the wet sand at Rehoboth Beach. I wasn’t wearing my usual knee supports or orthotics and yet my knees were completely pain-free.
Years ago I tried yoga, hoping to improve my flexibility. I admire the people who do it, but it didn’t work for me. What I prefer is how Feldenkrais allows the mind and the body to provide feedback to each another in a focused, deliberate and gentle way. This mind-body integration results in increased mobility without forcing anything.
Maureen embodies a grounded confidence that is warm and approachable. She talks the talk and walks the walk. Knowing that she, too, is spared ongoing stiffness and pain through Feldenkrais helps create an authentic bond with her students. Now, I know, Maureen would want to say that it is Feldenkrais that saved my life, not just her. However, this is MY story and just like the “mind – body” integration that we talk so much about, my journey toward increased mobility and health is a testament to a “Maureen – Feldenkrais” integration! Thank you, Maureen.