Apparently, Jairam Jagadeesh Hathwar can. It was his winning word in the Scripps National Spelling Bee on May 26. Hearty congratulations to Jairam and co-winner Nihar Saireddy Janga (he correctly spelled "Gesellschaft.") NBC News defined "Feldenkrais" as "derived from a trademark and means a system of body movements intended to ease tension." While this definition is far from accurate, it has at least brought the word in front of millions of people. And who knows, maybe some of those millions would like to ease tension? Tipping points appear in society in unexpected ways. Feldenkrais® practitioners, stand ready! The United States has learned a new word. And while they may not know what it means yet, remember that less than fifty years ago, yoga was often confused with yogurt. This is just the beginning.
Is the Feldenkrais Method really approaching a Tipping Point that could take it into the mainstream? And, if so, what does that mean for the practitioner community, devoted students and interested newcomers to the Method? What changes are coming, and how do we best prepare for them? The best answers for these questions will grow out of the interactions of experienced practitioners, new trainees and an interested public at this year's Feldenkrais Method Conference, to be held on the campus of UNCA in beautiful Asheville, NC, July 7-10. In the intervening weeks, you can learn more about the themes that will be explored in a series of fascinating interviews with Feldenkrais practitioners and like-minded thinkers who will be presenting their ideas this summer.
When Ralph Strauch attended a Los Angeles workshop with Moshe Feldenkrais in 1980, he was already actively exploring the nature of perception and the interrelationship between sensing, feeling, thinking and acting. He was drawn to Feldenkrais's teachings, and decided to enter the Amherst training, “because Moshe seemed to have very good tools for exploring things I was interested in — the ways we put the world together, and create the experiences that we think come from the world out there.”