Moshe Feldenkrais, D. Sc. (1904-1984), was an internationally regarded scientist, physicist, and engineer. He earned his D. Sc. in physics from the Sorbonne. Early in his career he worked closely with Nobel Prize Laureate Frederic Joliot-Curie at the Curie Institute in Paris where he was a Judo black belt and highly respected instructor who published several books on the subject. Judo founder Jigoro Kano chose Dr. Feldenkrais to open the Judo club of Paris- the first such school in the West.
While living in England in the 1940s, Dr. Feldenkrais found himself unable to walk after suffering a severe knee injury. Using his vast knowledge of such diverse systems as anatomy and physiology, developmental biology, psychology, physics and learning theory, he began an intense exploration into the relationship between movement, thinking, feeling, and learning. As a result, he made a full recovery-regaining his ability to walk again without pain and even returning to Judo in later life. The synthesis of his discoveries became the method that bears his name.
Today, thousands of Feldenkrais® practitioners continue his work in such diverse fields as rehabilitation, education, psychology, and the performing arts. Dr. Feldenkrais’ insights about the relationship between movement, awareness, and our human potential continue to be confirmed by the latest research in the fields of medicine, education, and neurology.
Quotes by Dr. Feldenkrais
- “Movement is life. Life is a process. Improve the quality of the process and you improve the quality of life itself.”
- “If you know what you are doing, you can do what you want.”
- “Without movement life is unthinkable.”
- “What I’m after isn’t flexible bodies, but flexible brains. What I’m after is to restore each person to their human dignity.”
- “..make the impossible possible, the possible easy, and the easy elegant.”
- “I believe that the unity of mind and body is an objective reality. They are not just parts somehow related to each other, but an inseparable whole while functioning. A brain without a body could not think…”
- “…self-knowledge through awareness is the goal of reeducation. As we become aware of what we are doing in fact, and not what we say or think we are doing, the way to improvement is wide open to us.”
- “Find your true weakness and surrender to it. Therein lies the path to genius. Most people spend their lives using their strengths to overcome or cover up their weaknesses. Those few who use their strengths to incorporate their weaknesses, who don’t divide themselves, those people are very rare. In any generation there are a few and they lead their generation.”
Publications by Dr. Feldenkrais
- Body and Mature Behavior: A Study of Anxiety, Sex, Gravitation and Learning. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1949; New York: International Universities Press, 1950 (softcover edition, out of print); Tel-Aviv: Alef Ltd., 1966, 1980, 1988 (hardcover edition).
- Awareness Through Movement: Health Exercises for Personal Growth. New York/London: Harper & Row 1972, 1977; Toronto: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1972, 1977 (hardcover edition, out of print); Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, 1972, 1977; San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1990 (softcover edition).
- The Case of Nora: Body Awareness as Healing Therapy. New York/London: Harper & Row, 1977 (out of print).
- The Elusive Obvious. Cupertino, California: Meta Publications, 1981.
- The Master Moves. Cupertino, California: Meta Publications, 1984, (softcover edition.)
- The Potent Self. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985. Harper Collins, New York, 1992, (softcover edition.)