It was an ordinary day in my studio. I was sitting on my stool exploring an eye lesson. For some time prior, I noticed I was seeing double when I looked to the left. This difficulty was especially troublesome whenever I drove through a busy intersection. So….you know what we do, we turn to our work to see what we can learn.
I imagined a horizon and softly moved my eyes along it. When my eyes were just past midline to the left, I noticed that the movement got decidedly sluggish and took more effort. I had come to what I now call my Learning Edge.
Instead of continuing, I leaned into the edge, just a little bit, but didn’t move. I don’t know the reason why, but in that moment I made a conscious decision to make a change in my breathing pattern, a big change. I then relaxed my eyes to neutral and waited to let the work, work on me. After a few breath cycles, I returned to the movement and voila! The Learning Edge had moved a little farther to the left. So…I leaned into the new learning edge and repeated the process several times. My range of ease expanded with each trial. It felt like a “Eureka” moment, so I started to explore many other kinds of Awareness Through Movement® lessons to soften a Learning Edge, and began teaching them to my students.
I’ve since tried different strategies other than a change in breath. In each case, my Learning Edge changed in the direction of more ease and freedom of movement. When I began to present the new options to my students, I discovered that each one had affinities for different ways of approaching their Learning Edge in order for it to be effective. In Feldenkrais® fashion, making options available to them was the ticket. It didn’t matter what level of experience they had with the work, almost every student found new possibilities. I then incorporated the process into my Functional Integration® lessons, and my students experienced even greater success.
Recently, I have also incorporated the sense of support in my explorations of the Learning Edge: to shift one’s attention from where they are moving, to where they feel support. My students report that this new awareness has deeply affected their lives outside the classroom.
Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioners® will have the opportunity to discover their own Learning Edge at the Feldenkrais Annual Conference in Boulder. My workshop is called Softening Your Learning Edge, and is offered on Sunday, June 30. I will teach and demonstrate the process through both ATM® and FI®. Participants will learn how to employ these ideas as they teach their own clients and students.
The Learning Edge adds yet another doorway through which to access expanding choices for our students. It is seemingly simple, profound, and elegant…just like the Feldenkrais Method. I’m deeply excited about the Learning Edge and want to share it with Feldenkrais Practitioners everywhere. I look forward to our learning together at the conference.
May all your Learning Edges be Soft.
Learn more about Connie’s 2019 Conference presentation in this interview with Elinor Silverstein.
Find out more about Carol at www..carollessinger.com