I am passionate about movement: From an active childhood in rural Maine, to dance, swimming, yoga, walking in the city and hiking in the woods, I have always been drawn to movement as a means of creative expression, as well as a path to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and wellbeing.
I was born with my left leg turned in. When the prescribed braces failed, I was enrolled in dance lessons at the age of five. I loved ballet, and went on to study and perform regularly until age 17, when I was practicing daily.
I continued with dance off and on for years as I sought “real work.” Through banking, food service, academia and high tech, I kept returning to movement and teaching, ultimately training as a yoga instructor, then – with my friend Jennifer (Preisler) Hayes – founding Yoga Pearl, a yoga and healing arts center, in Portland, Oregon in 2002.
After more than ten years of athletic yoga practice and teaching, my left hip began to complain about the turnout I was trying to impose upon it. I believed that hip replacement surgery was in my near future, that it would be the inevitable outcome given my genetic inheritance combined with the decades of activity I had enjoyed. At about that time, serendipitously, I dropped in on a Feldenkrais class while on retreat at Rancho la Puerta in Mexico. The group lesson made such an impression that I immediately signed up for an individual session, and after that hands-on lesson I knew that I would be studying The Feldenkrais Method®: I felt that my tight, aching body had been taken apart and put back together the way it was “supposed” to go. I experienced an ease and fluidity of movement that I hadn’t in a very long time – or only would temporarily after an intense yoga class or deep tissue massage, but that would eventually “rebound” into tightness and soreness – and the practitioner had handled me so gently! This was something I needed to learn for myself, and was eager to share with others.
After selling Yoga Pearl in 2012, I have studied and practiced The Feldenkrais Method® full time, completing my Feldenkrais Professional Training Program with Dr. Frank Wildman in June, 2014. I am grateful to be learning daily about the myriad benefits of the method, as well as to have the opportunity to help others learn to address and avoid injury, develop self-awareness, have more ease, and effort less.
Moshe Feldenkrais was born on May 6, 1904, in what is now the Ukraine. He traveled with a group of young pioneers to the British Mandate Palestine at the age of 14, worked as a laborer and finished high school. In his 20s moved to Paris where he studied engineering and physics. There he met and began studying with Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo, receiving his 2nd degree black belt in 1938.
He fled to England during World War II, becoming a scientific officer in the British Admiralty, then continuing his study and publication in the fields of martial arts, education, psychology and the fledgling field of somatics.
Feldenkrais moved to Israel in the early 1950s. He eventually established ongoing group lessons in his method on a street in Tel Aviv named Alexander Yanai (these are now referred to as the “Alexander Yanai Lessons”) and counted among his individual lesson students none other than Israeli Prime Minister, David ben Gurion. He trained teachers in Israel, then San Francisco in the mid-70s. He started a 235-student training in Amherst, MA in 1980, but fell ill and was only able to teach for the first two of the four-year program.
He died on July 1, 1984.