Using roadblocks to learn

In this journey we come across road blocks from time to time. It’s not that we happened upon it, or it happened upon us, but rather it’s our response to it that matters in the long run.

In my work as a Feldenkrais practitioner I sometimes create these for the purposes of learning. We call them constraints. Given you can’t move this way how can you still move forward?

Recently I gave myself a constraint in my running. I pulled a hamstring in late April following a race. It didn’t happen all at once, but a series of things converged; not properly warming up, sprinting down a hill when I normally don’t do that, not taking enough time after the race to bring my training back up to speed, and not doing much Feldenkrais so I can keep in touch with how my body was doing and to reorganize it for efficiency.

The pain was intense enough that it kept me from running for more than a month. My wife even asked me what I’d have to do to make it not hurt. I said “not run”.

So I swallowed my pride and didn’t run.

Instead I focused a lot on my walking. Going back to the basics of how I walked.

Refining how I walked so that I could do it with pleasure, and not ever going into pain.

So with a week before the Rock and Roll Seattle Half marathon, and ready to opt out of it, I finally was able to go for a run without the pain coming on. It was slow as I had my awareness radar on high to pay attention to how I was running.

I was able to do two more slow runs before the Half marathon came up, when I decided to go for it and run it.

It may be slow, but my only goal was to finish the race and not be in pain.

I did complete the race. I felt out of shape from being away from running for that month. My time was only 2 minutes slower than last year, which really surprised me for all the walking I did in the last half of the race.

But most importantly the painful hamstring was history.

I used my inability to run because of pain as a catalyst to learn how to run without being in pain.

If you’d like to learn how to move without being in pain get your consultation now!

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Walking as a classroom

I talk a lot about running and the value it’s brought to my life.

But walking has been my mainstay and constant companion throughout my life. And as a teacher of movement and awareness I focus much of my self-learning around my own walking as a means of enhancing my professional skills.

At times when I’ve overdone myself while running or doing manual labor around the house, and some of my muscles are screaming at me, walking is waiting for me.

Walking is waiting for me, to take me back to the basics of how I’m organized with each step, to shine my awareness on when my skeleton is supporting me and when it’s not, and to find new ways of asking questions that can change my experience, both physical and mental.

Walking is waiting for me to take me out of my monkey mind, as a meditation of sorts, to unify myself as I’m striding through the neighborhood.

Walking is an activity that can be a joyful and useful activity in our daily lives and can open up our world to new adventures.

If you’d like to improve your walking book your Consultation today!

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Experience the joy of running

Running has become a joyful experience for me.

Sure it takes a couple miles sometimes to get into the rhythm of the run, but eventually it syncs up and I enter a more blissful running state.

For many, and it used to be this way for me too, the idea of running and pleasure don’t go together.

There are many reasons for the displeasure of running. Pain gets mentioned to me often as a reason not to run. Mostly this is the memory of being in pain while running. “I can’t run because the last time I ran 15 years ago I hurt myself. Never again!”

And until you understand how you move (your patterns), then you’re bound to move in the same way you did before that got you hurt.

That’s why I love the Feldenkrais Method, the ability to notice what I’m doing so I then can explore new options that may help me transcend my previous difficulty, that kept me from enjoying an activity (running).

The joy of any activity comes when you can rely upon profound support from your skeleton to assist your muscles in fluid, efficient movement.

If you’d like to find the joy in running again, or for the first time ever, book your consultation now!

 

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Endless stairs

I live in a hilly area.

So there are hills, and stairs.

Lots of them.

I call this a fun laboratory to explore easier and more pleasurable ways to ascend and descend the various hills and stairs.

While I may enjoy stairs, others may despise them.

This lack of enthusiasm for stairs is often accompanied by physical pain.

For many the pain is in the knee area, or the hip area, or even the back.

No matter where the pain, there is often no pleasure.

 

Fortunately I’ve been studying and practicing how to move about, around, and up and down for many years so that I can do so in a pleasurable and efficient manner.

So that life can be that much more fulfilling.

 

If you’d like to be able to go up and down stairs with more efficiency and less pain book your consultation today!

 

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Finding my way

This life is a journey without a destination. And along this journey there are challenges that pop up from time to time.

I think it’s the universes way of keeping us alert to our selves and our environment.

Because change is the only constant.

And our ability to adapt to change is a measure of our health. If the transition through life’s setbacks and rogue upsets throws us off enough, we perish.

This is why I am a big fan of life long learning

And my preferred means of learning is by paying attention to myself, so that I may learn from myself.

If I know what I’m doing, then I can do what I want….maybe now, maybe eventually, maybe never.

The journey is the important part.

Am I being kind to myself?

Am I having fun?

Am I loving those around me?

 

If you’d like to hone your exploration skills as you find your way, then get your consultation today!

 

Erik LaSeur

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Always growing, never growing up

“Maturity is not a state reached with age or experience. It is a process that goes on until death in all evolving and creative people.” Moshe Feldenkrais

Whew!  That takes the pressure off.

I can just go one step at a time. And enjoy each step.

With childlike curiosity I can continually play with and refine how I dance with gravity in my life and daily activities.

Sometimes I’ll play with just one area or part such as my foot, to see what different shapes I can make by finding support on different parts of the foot or toes. Finding for me what feels more supportive or less supportive for me overall in different orientations such as sitting and standing.

Options are nice to have as our environment changes around and under us.

So as we age it’s always wise to stay in a curious state about the world and about your own body.

The finish line is final.

 

Erik

 

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Inch by inch

Learning new habits, ways of moving, and being, is a lifelong dance. Move an inch here, move an inch there. Sometimes moving backwards or sideways. Sometimes at rest.

The transformational change shows up in spurts and over time.

Given how many years we’ve relied upon the existing habits to keep us alive and functional, change needs time to show results.

And what’s the hurry anyway?

The enjoyment of life at whatever stage you’re in is more important than putting off your life till some point in time.

As I recall a poem by Alan Watts ‘Life isn’t a journey, it’s a dance’:

 

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“Look at the people who live to retire; to put those savings away. And then when they’re 65 they don’t have any energy left. They’re more or less impotent. And they go and rot in some, old peoples, senior citizens community. Because we simply cheated ourselves the whole way down the line.

If we thought of life by analogy with a journey, with a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at that end, and the thing was to get to that thing at that end. Success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead.

But we missed the point the whole way along.

It was a musical thing, and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.”

 

If you’d like to enjoy the music more in your life book your Consultation Now!

 

Enjoying the dance,

Erik

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Training to be tenacious

 

Yesterday I ran my first 10k race in over 35 years.

Since I took up running again about 6 years ago I’ve run a bunch of 5ks and Half Marathons (21k).

So yesterday was a cross between the speed of a 5k, and the longevity of the Half Marathon.

Starting out back in the pack the first mile felt like I was in a herd of turtles; it gave me time to warm up without burning out.

After a while I was able to comfortably move forward through the pack and run at a surprisingly fast clip without worrying about running out of gas.

Other than the two water/fuel stations I didn’t stop to walk except for a brief moment in the last mile as I was pushing hard to finish strong and got a bit ahead of my breathing and needed that moment to get everything back in sync.

With the finish line in sight I turned on the afterburners and pulled away from anyone near me to fly through the finish. Usually I turn off the engines and coast when I see the finish line.

Afterwards I was feeling much gratitude for the fitness level I’ve achieved through my own tenacious training. Keeping to a consistent training regimen throughout the year no matter the weather has helped me to have the strength to go out and run more of my race than I’ve experienced so far in my racing history. And I managed to place second in my age group!

Most importantly is my regular practice of the Feldenkrais Method and how it helps me to run with the most efficiency possible, while using myself in a way that is sustainable over the long term.

If you’d like to find the joy in your running, or walking, or just your every day life,

schedule your consultation today!

 

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In the Feldenkrais community we’re getting excited about this years Conference being held in Seattle.

Seattle has a large (relative to the rest of the country) contingent of Feldenkrais practitioners, which is one of the main reasons we chose to have the conference in Seattle this summer.

While the conference is mostly geared towards practitioners and trainees, we also have public workshops scheduled every day.

And the keynote is for practitioners, students, and the public.

If you’re in Seattle this late August and would like to learn more about how the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education can enhance your life come to our conference being held at Seattle University, August 23 – 27th.

 

In health,

Erik

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We’re Connected

Everything is connected.

Our head to our toes.

The mind to the body.

And each of use to one another

 

I recently saw a woman who presented a few movement issues.

While the focus of the lesson was on how she could find the clearest support through her right foot and up through her hip,

the final result was that her right shoulder pain went away.

I didn’t work with nor did I even address her shoulder during the lesson.

But there it was, enjoying the lesson from a different part of the body.

 

Many times the pain isn’t the source, but merely a symptom.

Perhaps her shoulder was relieved of having to do so much work to hold itself up, when the foot was able to find better support from the floor.

 

Find how you can make your connections clearer and live a happier, pain-free life.

Schedule your consultation today.

 

peace,

Erik

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