If you were to observe a Feldenkrais group class, you may think you are seeing a movement class. After all, you would see a group of people moving together, in similar positions. You would see a focus towards physical action generally reserved for dance, yoga, or tai chi. Yet, at its core, the class is not aiming for movement.
Movement is a tool for awareness. In a Feldenkrais lesson, movements are used to invite our attention inward and to observe ourselves. These movements draw our attention to areas of our body, some we are familiar with and some we are not. The benefits of Feldenkrais are a result of this directed attention, not the performance of movements and not the ‘completion’ of movements.
Many Feldenkrais lessons have little or no movement, instead, you move and sense in your imagination. Often in these lessons, the imagined movements and sensations are as effective, if not moreso, for creating a clear image of oneself in action. This strategy of using the imagination also makes the Feldenkrais Method accessible to those who deal with mobility issues, spasticity, or paralysis.
Improvements felt during and after a lesson are the result of the quality of our attention to ourselves moving or imagining, not the quantity of movements or effort put into performing them.