The awareness of the benefits of Feldenkrais and running are slowly but steadily increasing. Awareness of movement is a major aspect of practicing the Feldenkrais Method. Running involves repetition of the same movement over and over, sometimes for hours. If you are not aware of how you are moving while running and don’t know how to run with the whole body, it can have a detrimental effect on your body and can greatly limited your mobility.
Because Feldenkrais practitioners are seeing and experiencing the positive effects and improvements that Feldenkrais is having on runners, many are now focusing more on trying to help runners specifically. The Feldenkrais method helps runners move with minimum effort and maximum comfort.
The Feldenkrais method is unique and different from other practices because it focuses on the skeleton and how it works. It also focuses on how to move using the whole body and how to utilize and develop individual body awareness. Feldenkrais has helped many experience increased flexibility and range of movement; as well as improved posture, balance and stability. Runners have experienced these benefits as well as improved running performance with increased efficiency, less pain and fewer injuries from running.
Check out the video below to learn more about how Feldenkrais helps runners.
Why do we as humans create so many problems in our bodies? When animals are born, most of them are physically fully functioning with an hour, i.e. standing, walking. They are much more advanced physically than we are. Humans take much longer to develop our physical abilities. However, our intellectual thought develops much faster and is more advanced than in animals. Could this be the reason why we develop so many physical problems that animals never experience; such as, poor posture and flexibility, lack of balance, stiff and achy muscles? We need to go back to how our bodies were at birth before we developed bad habits to re-learn movement as if for the first time.
Try this Feldenkrais and running exercise to help you develop awareness of your foot strike and hip movement. Standing in your bare feet, bring awareness to these three contact points on your feet: ball of big toe, ball of little toe and center of heel. Concentrate on feeling all three contact points on your left foot first. You should feel an even distribution of weight in all three locations. Now, place your focus on your right foot. Again, you should feel an even distribution of weight.
Shift your weight back and forth to each foot and visualize how each foot touches the ground. Repeat this until you have a strong visual that you can easily recall. Then take a step with the foot of your choice and focus landing with the whole foot. Bring your foot back and step again with the same foot. This time notice how your hip moved to bring your foot down to make contact with the whole foot. Is this how you usually take a step or is there more movement involved?
Now, step with your other foot. Notice how your hip must move to enable you to land with your whole foot, weight being evenly distributed between the three points of contact. Practice this until you feel confident and comfortable with this movement. Try this movement during a short walk before going for a run.
Sharon Starika has also shared a number of free Feldenkrais and running lessons from her sport workshops on her website at Sharonstarika.com. You can listen to them on the website or if you want to download them to your device, right-click on one of the MP3 links and then click on Save Target As. Feldenkrais exercises can help you move freely and with full awareness. Many injuries from running are caused because our bodies are limited in movement and lack awareness of full capacity.To learn the basics of Feldenkrais, check out Feldenkrais Classics, Volume 1and Feldenkrais Classics, Vol. 2 from Ryan Nagy, who was a personal friend of Moshe Feldenkrais and one of the very first Feldenkrais practitioners to receive certification. His work comes highly recommended as you will see from the reviews of his work on Amazon.
Back to top of Feldenkrais and Running
Return to Feldenkrais Method