|Fourteen people gathered in downtown Vernon at the Okanagan Feldenkrais™ Centre this past Easter weekend to explore how to feel more alive and confident in their bodies.
The three-day workshop titled “Somatic Awakenings” provided group sessions of Awareness Through Movement® classes along with personalized sessions in Functional Integration® for individuals to address their specific physical goals.
Certified Feldenkrais Practitioners Rob Black from Calgary and Brent Kisilevich from Vernon co-facilitated the three-day retreat.
“Somatics refers to a field of self-education that focuses on getting to know oneself more through sensing and feeling one’s own body rather than focusing on thinking about how to do things,” said Brent, “The Feldenkrais Method® for somatic learning really offers the best possible way for people to take control of how they learn with their bodies.”
“People discover they can awaken themselves to a better quality of life by discovering how it feels to move in new and gentler ways,” said Rob, “It’s about feeling more alive and ready to meet the world in your body.”
Vernon resident Bernadette O’Donnell was astonished by the differences she discovered for herself. “I realized that I didn’t need to think about the movements so much, but just feel them. I found that without even trying I was stand taller. My eyes now look up more toward the horizon rather than down at the floor. I feel lighter and more confident on my feet.”
Yves Langlois, a professional stuntman who works in Vancouver was looking for strategies to overcome the chronic pain he suffers. “I can’t believe the difference, I have found I can create pain free moments for myself just by learning to gently move in new ways. It is amazing.”
People came from throughout the Okanagan, Calgary, Vancouver and one participant, 82 year old Joan Ellis-Hill came all the way from Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia for the retreat. “I used to tell people that the reason I have arthritis in the neck is because I kept a stiff upper lip all my life and now I realize it was in fact true. I enjoyed rediscovering that I could roll around on the floor like I used to do when I was much younger,” smiled Ellis Hill.
Yoga instructor Amanda Ulmer was looking online for a weekend wellness retreat for herself to attend over the Easter break when she found the retreat , “My experience was revolutionary… I will definitely be using this method as a personal activity and with the people that I teach. I recommend it for anyone who wants to further their mind-body connection,” Ulmer said.
Rob Black and Brent Kisilevich will be joined by colleague Sandra Bradshaw of Kelowna to offer a five-day retreat “Wake Up Your Body and Brain: Move Better, Feel Younger” at the Naramata Centre this July. For more information, click here.