Conference Workshop Preview: Fear the Floor No More
by: By Beth Rubenstein

Section: Practitioner Spotlight

What is balance in everyday life? Balance is a big concept, and a big topic to teach. We are balancing with every move we make. We balance our checkbooks, our work/play time, our sleep/wake time. To balance in our world, we must start on the ground. I've found that when people are able to balance on the ground, and able to navigate gravity, their life improves in general. When people feel safe, both confidence and independence improve. They can learn to become experts on themselves.

I'm excited to share my fascination with balance at this year's FGNA Conference in Boulder. I have worked with countless clients to improve their balancing ability using the Feldenkrais Method®. Practitioners and trainees who attend will learn the lessons I teach and the strategies I employ so that they return to their practice with tools in hand. They can then work effectively with their own students to improve the quality of their lives through their ability to balance.

Part of my fascination stems from my own balance challenges. I have danced throughout my life, beginning with dance and gymnastics training as a child. I noticed even then that I had to work harder in some positions than others. I was strong and I was very limber; almost too limber. I had to work hard to be in control of my joints. As I began my career as a physical therapist over 40 years ago, I sensed that movement, not holding, was the key to improvement. I realized that my holding pattern came from fear of falling or failing. Gradually the ideas about fear became as important as balancing itself. As I have worked with clients, the new, internalized experiences of balance and stability help them to feel the confidence, stability, and safety they seek.

I have taught this material in many iterations, and it continues to evolve. My students are always surprised by how easy each movement is. They are surprised that they can do everything in the lesson. After the first class in the series, a chair lesson in which they learned cardinal movements, everyone's ability to stand on one foot improved - with either foot! They were amazed that just by moving while sitting, their general ability to balance had improved.

By the end of the series, all students have been easily able to go down to the floor and back up again.

I have distilled this material into a one-day, practical workshop that can benefit virtually anyone. When you help your students to feel safe, confident, and independent in gravity, they "fear the floor no more."

See excerpts from Beth's "Fear the Floor No More" at the Westchester Senior Center.

Learn more about Beth:

Beth Rubenstein
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