- The Method
- Practitioners/Classes and Events
- The Profession
By Paulette Dolin, GCFP
The Northern California/Northern Nevada Region of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America [FGNA] stretches from the Oregon Border to San Luis Obispo, from the Pacific coast to beyond the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Feldenkrais Method® is as rich and varied here as the terrain. Over 240 practitioners live and work here, many in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a growing number reaching out into smaller towns and communities bringing our work with them.
In many ways, the Feldenkrais Method took root here. One of Moshe’s first visits to America took him to Esalen in Big Sur and he personally taught practitioners in the first American training in San Francisco. Practitioner Judy Windt, who works with seniors a lot, recently said she enjoys that her students bring a sense of history to the Feldenkrais Method because many of them took lessons years ago with some of the individuals Moshe taught, or even with Moshe himself.
Another aspect of practicing here, according to Windt, is that even the seniors who are new to the Feldenkrais Method are open to change. She believes their attitude may be particular to this area since, as she wonderfully observes, “seniors here tend to seek out new stuff, tend to think of themselves as still active, not doomed to decline!”
Similarly, practitioner Jean Elvin, who also teaches dance, loves practicing here because “generally speaking, we have a sophisticated audience in this region, who tend to be well informed. Those who try [the] Feldenkrais [Method] often grasp the concepts and develop a working understanding of it quickly.”
We are fortunate the tradition continues to find fertile ground here. We have numerous practitioner training programs in Northern California. Typically, at least three a year are in process. These trainings take place over four years and are an opportunity for students to learn more in-depth about the Method and themselves. After the training, the graduates are eligible for certification by FGNA, so they can teach public classes. If you see the initials GCFP after a teacher’s name, you’ll know that person is certified by FGNA.
There are also a plethora of workshops for the general public on any given weekend. As Holly Bonasera, MPT, GCFP notes, “the Bay Area is luxuriant in Feldenkrais® opportunities.” There are classes at rec centers, yoga studios and Y’s, through wellness centers at local hospitals, and even at a local pharmacy. Private lessons are available at more and more physical therapy and chiropractic offices or integrative medicine centers. Berkeley is the home of Feldenkrais Resources and San Francisco has the Feldenkrais Center of Movement Education.
There’s a great sense of camaraderie and cooperation in this region—just one more reason this is a great place to practice and learn.
Paulette Dolin is the Regional Rep for the Northern CA/ Northern NV Region.