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S3NSE: Go in Any Direction

Updated: Feb 25

 © International Feldenkrais® Federation Archive

“Posture is good for posts, but not so good for living creatures.”

~Moshe Feldenkrais

Moshe Feldenkrais felt that posture related to movement would be a more valuable concept than posture that maintains a static position.  After all, how much time do you spend standing perfectly straight and still?  Feldenkrais even created a new word “acture” to replace posture.   

In Feldenkrais’s book, The Potent Self, acture is defined as “the way an action is accomplished and the way it can best be accomplished by a human being” (Page 108).  More simply, acture is how you create an action.  One key attribute of good acture is the ability to go in any direction.  Feldenkrais learned this essential skill in his Judo practice.  The ability to move in any direction not only helps you throw an opponent easier but also enables you to avoid being thrown.  This video of Master Mifune shows his amazing ability to go in any direction: 


Going in any direction is built into most Awareness Through Movement® lessons.  The wide variety of movements and variations help you develop and hone the ability to change your direction as needed.  Let’s dig deeper into this idea.

Many Practitioners begin and end their lessons with walking.  This functional movement both integrates and highlights improvements learned from the lesson.  Here is a little experiment you may do with your walking before and after an Awareness Through Movement lesson (people with balance or walking issues could walk beside a table or counter that can be used for support):  

As you walk before the lesson, change your direction.  Turn to the right and then to the left.  Reverse your direction and go backwards. 


Could you go in any direction with equal ease and comfort?  Which directions were the easiest?  Which ones were more challenging?  

 At the end of the lesson, retest walking in any direction.  Go to the right, left, forward and backwards. 

Is it easier and more comfortable to go in any direction?  Which direction improved the most? How could this improve your life?

Going in any direction may be applied to more than just movement based actions.  My Feldenkrais friend had trouble getting her family to come to the table for dinner.  She was tired of yelling; so she went in another direction.  When dinner was ready, she quietly sat down and ate.  Within minutes, the rest of the family joined her at the table.  The principles learned in Feldenkrais lessons are useful for more than just moving.

Do you feel stuck?  Join us here at S3NSE this month and realize how going in any direction will help you find new choices and possibilities.             


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