Listening Deeply: A New Year’s Day Practice

We lead busy lives and act with our best intentions, but how can we know that our actions come from a clear and centered source? Who is the one acting and where does the impulse to act come from? What is truly nourishing to this one—myself—who is working so hard?

In “Listening Deeply” we’ll begin our self-awareness practice by opening our curiosity—cultivating a sweet relationship with ourselves. We’ll then turn to ourselves with “big ears”, listening for signals from the body in gentle motion, and get better at “hearing” subtler sensations. We’ll ask, “What is wanted?” As we move larger and stronger, we’ll find out how our listening adapts to greater challenge. Finally, we’ll rest and meditate, opening our ears to the sounds of the world around us.

Listening Deeply: A New Year’s Day Practice
Monday, January 1, 2018
10-12
Lotus Yoga
4860 Rainier Avenue S, Seattle
206.760.1917
info@lotusyoga.biz

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Growing and Learning: A Feldenkrais Immersion 2017-18

In 2014, I was approached by a student with a very exciting request. Her request was to please provide an opportunity to dive deep into her movement history. She wanted to go back through the movements of infancy so she could experience them again—and in some cases for the first time. Together we hatched the idea for this Immersion, a series of six intensives rich in developmental movement, experienced through Awareness Through Movement®, the classroom model of the Feldenkrais Method®.

WHO ARE THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE FELDENKRAIS IMMERSION?
The Feldenkrais® Immersion is for the dedicated student of the Feldenkrais Method, or other related modalities. Six four-day intensives offer a deep, immersive process for Sheri Cohen Feldenkrais Immersionself-study. Participants are already exploring personal growth and learning through movement and embodied practice, and are joining the immersion to support that path.

The Immersion will not provide an introduction to the Feldenkrais Method. If you are interested in the Immersion, and have never done a Feldenkrais class or private session before, you must do so before registering. If you have done Feldenkrais before, but not with me, you must attend at least one private session or class with me, so that we can be introduced before beginning the Immersion process.

Please contact me with any questions about whether the Feldenkrais Immersion might be right for you.

WHAT WILL BE THE FORM & CONTENT OF THE FELDENKRAIS IMMERSION?
The organizing theme for the material in the Immersion is developmental movement, or how we develop ourselves through movement from birth through walking. The schedule below indicates, roughly, the movement themes we will explore, 228Fprimarily through Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement. While the schedule describes an overall chronological approach, this is just an outline. Many movement capacities are nested inside others. Our material will move somewhat elliptically—seeming to “jump ahead” or “reach back” in the chronology—in order to more closely mirror natural learning processes. The outline creates some structure for our material, but my main concern will be attending to your learning, and adapting the material to the needs of the moment.

Schedule of six 4-day sessions, 5-6 weeks apart:

Year Month Dates Learning . . .
2017 September 25-28 to Connect with others
November 6-9 to Locomote
December 11-14 to Sit Upright
 2018 January 22-25 to Creep
March 5-8 to Stand
April 16-19 to Walk

Daily flow: Each day will include 2-3 Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lessons. Occasional supporting activities will include discussion, experiential anatomy, hands-on activities, and processing activities like writing and drawing to help consolidate your learning. There will be one 45-60 minute break for lunch Monday- Wednesday, and at least one 10-15 minute break every day.

LOCATION:
Dharma Gate
1910 24th Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98144

SCHEDULE:
Monday- Wednesday, 9:30 a.m.-  2:00 p.m.
Thursday, 12:00 – 3:30 p.m.

FEES:
Early bird payment in full by August 28: $1675
After August 28: $1875

Please contact me to register, or for more information.

Click here to read what participants have said about the Immersion.

Sheri Cohen Feldenkrais ImmersionINTENTIONS:
I hope that Growing and Learning: A Feldenkrais Immersion provides a rich, safe environment in which we all may learn from the amazing natural processes that brought us into maturity. The work is sometimes sweet and playful, and sometimes challenging; I hope to help make room for the full range of experiences to be held and honored.

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Moving from Center: A New Year’s Day Practice

When we feel centered we feel we can be more of who we are, living closer to our authentic selves. There is less of the extraneous stuff that gets in the way—less self-consciousness, confusion and compulsion. We feel we are more on our feet, as we can think more clearly and move more easily. Our actions are more aligned with our intentions.

LotusYogaIn this New Year’s Day practice, through yoga, breathing, meditation, and Feldenkrais®, we will seek center, explore around the edges of center, and move out into the world from our sense of center.

Sheri is a Guild Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner, choreographer, dance teacher, and registered yoga instructor. She has been teaching movement arts to diverse students for 25 years.

Lotus Yoga
4860 Rainier Avenue South
Seattle

Register here
$20 with paid preregistration
$24 day of event
10% discount for unlimited members

More info: info@lotusyoga.biz or 206.760.1917

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Spreading Our Wings in Yoga

It’s a theme I’ve covered many times in Feldenkrais classes, and now I’m bringing it into weekly yoga classes. After many weeks of exploring the Roundness of Ourselves, including long forays into the roundness of the pelvis, the ribs, and even the legs, we’ll begin to spread our wings.

Morphology

Many students are surprised to find, in a quick study of the skeleton, that our arms are not skeletally linked to our torso anywhere but at the sternoclavicular joint. That’s the Yoga with Sheri Cohenplace where your collar bones (clavicles) meet your breast bone (sternum) just under your throat. From there it’s a chain of bones and joints all the way out to the finger tips. The shoulder blades (scapulae) are not attached to the back at all, but are attached to your collar bone and your upper arm bone (humerus). So, (please sing) … the arm bone’s connected to the shoulder blade, and the shoulder blade’s connected to the collar bone, and the collar bone’s connected to the breast bone, and that’s the way of the world.

She shoulder joint, then, is designed for a great deal of freedom of mobility, not unlike the wings of our phylogenetic ancestors, the birds. But, we don’t need just freedom of mobility for the arm, we need stability, too, to push, pull, grasp, and, in yoga, balance on our hands. Where does the stability come from? In part, the ligaments and muscles around the joint are relied on for stability. Some will say that a “strong core” is necessary for shoulder stability. Indeed, the abdominal muscles are an important part of the picture, but I think this is overemphasized, causing unnecessary antagonism in the back.

Function

The key to stabilizing  the arm through the highly-mobile shoulder joint, without straining the soft tissues that encapsulate it, is in finding skeletal support. So many of us use our arms as though they were attached at the seam where our shirt sleeve is sewn on. This puts strain on the glenohumeral joint (can you say “frozen shoulder”?) and ignores the important role of the shoulder blade and collar bone in healthy arm function.

Let’s not stop there. The spine supports the rib cage (or breast basket, as I prefer, from the German brustkorb), the front of which is the attachment for the whole wing (arm and shoulder girdle). Efficient movements of the spine and rib cage, then, are essential for moving the arm and shoulder well. Of course, the spine intersects with the pelvis, and the pelvis is, in most of our activities, supported by the legs and feet, so we could look all the way to how we transmit the ground forces—our support from the earth—to how we play the piano or or balance in chatturanga dandasana.

So, in yoga classes this fall, we’ll turn our attention to our wings, exploring our arm and shoulder anatomy experientially, so we might learn to sense more clearly there. We’ll look for more efficient qualities of mobility and stability by recruiting skeletal support from below—from the legs, pelvis and spine. All this while we attend to the breath and  arrive into the present tense of being.

All levels Yoga
Sundays, 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
and
Gentle Yoga
Mondays, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
(Drop in for $16 / $14 seniors, class cards for less)
Lotus Yoga
4860 Rainier Avenue South
206.760.1917

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Enlivening the Spine in Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement

Curvy spine, snaky spine, vine-y spineEnlivening the Spine with Sheri Cohen
Spine like a chain, bending link-by-link
Supportive spine, like a pyramid, wide
on bottom and narrow on top
Breathing spine that spreads and gathers with every breath

There may be no part of the skeleton that is as important to our self-use, self-image and self-expression than our spine. Providing support for the head, the spine allows for the mobility of our teleceptors (eyes, ears, and nose), which is essential to how we read the world outside of our skins. Providing support for the ribs, the spine is integral in the movements of breathing, affecting every aspect of our health. Breathing movements, in turn, allow us to communicate through vocalizations, a fundamental feature of self-expression. The shoulder girdle and arms connect to the spine via the breastbone, so reaching, pushing, pulling, plus all the subtleties of gesturing and making things with our finer hand movements, effect and are affected by the spine. Of course, the spine shares a bone with the pelvis—the sacrum—making the spine important both as a stabilizing center and as the engine of our mobility.

Every movement of every part our our selves must coordinate with the movements of the spine. So this fall, in weekly Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement® classes, we are Enlivening the Spine: clarifying it in our self image, learning how it prefers to move, and how it might move in new and more supportive and expressive ways.

Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement
Sundays, 10:45 a.m.
Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m.
(Drop in for $16/$14 seniors/class cards for less)
Lotus Yoga

4860 Rainier Avenue South
206.760.1917

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Winter In-Town Feldenkrais Retreat

The Winter In-Town Feldenkrais Retreat offers three days of gentle movement, awareness practice, self-care and restoration; a clean, quiet, comfortable space; an experienced teacher … and you don’t even have to travel to enjoy it!

Dharma Gate, Location of Winter In-Town Feldenkrais Retreat with Sheri CohenEach day of the Winter Feldenkrais In-Town Retreat will include three Awareness Through Movement lessons. The lessons will vary from quiet breath work to larger, more challenging (and fun!) movements. On Thursday, we have a shorter session, with a short break between our lessons. On Friday and Saturday, there will be time for a longer break, so we may eat an unhurried lunch in the center’s comfortable kitchen. The schedule is designed to help you travel during off-peak hours, so you can sleep in, arrive without too much hassle, and return home well-rested.

Come for some solitary time, or share introspective time with new and familiar friends. The manna we’ll all share is Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement, and the process of self-discovery it provides.

Our theme for this retreat will be Rising from Down to Up. Through playful and in-depth explorations, you will discover ease and fluidity as you travel from reclining to standing. The pace will be slow and incremental over the three days, as you get comfortable in one part of the journey before moving onto the next.  Through this process you will identify unconscious efforts that impede your actions despite your best intentions, and make clearer, more elegant movements.

“Learning . . . is not the training of willpower but the acquisition of the skill to inhibit parasitic action and the ability to direct clear motivations as a result of self-knowledge.” Moshe Feldenkrais, The Potent Self.

Winter In-Town Feldenkrais Retreat
Thursday – Saturday, December 8-10
Thursday, December 8, 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Friday & Saturday, December 9 & 10, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Dharma Gate
1910 24th Avenue South
Seattle
$300
Limited space available

Registration holds your space on a first-come, first-served basis:
First:
 Contact Sheri
Then, pay:
By check to Sheri Cohen, 2366 Eastlake Ave. E #309, Seattle, WA 98102
or by credit card or paypal: paypal.me/scmove
Questions? Contact Sheri

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Artist Moms: Supporting Creative Mothers of All Kinds

Artist Moms Group with Arni Adler and Sheri Cohen

By Turns by Arni Adler

How can I continue, when the structure of my creative life has changed so much, and the demands on me are so great?

How can I adapt my creative process to the new constraints defining my time and resources?

How is it that even when my time opens up, I find it difficult to pick up the thread again?

Artist Moms Group with Arni Adler and Sheri Cohen

The Third Arm by Arni Adler

Two artist moms (Arni Adler: visual artist/musician/writing teacher; and Sheri Cohen: dancer/yoga and Feldenkrais teacher) bring together decades of creative work and proven teaching methods to provide a nurturing and practical process for moving artists along their creative path during the most challenging years for
artistic output.

Sessions include:

  • Creative exercises to stimulate and inspire (and which apply across disciplines)
  • Writing and visual work to discover and organize thinking
  • Defining projects and identifying manageable steps
  • Guided physical awareness to support the creative process
  • Carefully guided group facilitation

Sunday, October 23
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

$75
12 maximum
Registration: shericohenmovement@gmail.com
Classes take place in Mt. Baker art studio/home, three blocks from Mount Baker Community Center

For more information about Sheri and Arni:
https://arniadler.wordpress.com
http://www.shericohenmovement.com

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