“Have you ever noticed that anyone driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone driving faster than you is a maniac? You are the only one who knows how to drive at the right speed.” George Carlin
The funniest jokes are the most true to life. We all develop habitual movements or actions, like driving or walking, that become comfortable and familiar. Anything out of this comfort zone tends to be annoying or unpleasant. It could be trying to keep up with someone who walks too fast, or being stuck behind someone who walks too slow.
People like acting within their habits. It has a low energy cost and is easy to do. So easy that one does not need to pay attention, just go into automatic pilot and get it done. Unfortunately, automatic pilot does not always work, sometimes pain issues or dysfunction interfere with the process.
The Feldenkrais Method® is known for helping people resolve pain issues. To get the best results from each lesson, one must learn how to move slowly. Why go slow? Your normal moving speed, the one that feels most natural, is probably too fast for new learning. This habitual groove will only reinforce what you already know. To learn something new and make productive changes, you have to slow down and pay attention.
What are the benefits of going slow?
Going very slowly breaks you out of your habitual patterns, it closes the door on “same old, same old” and opens another door to new choices and possibilities.
When you move slowly, it’s possible to monitor and discover more information about yourself in real time. Instead of projecting ahead to what's coming, you track your actions in the present moment. This is how to know what you are doing.
When going slowly, you are better able to take care of yourself. Faster speeds may incite pain patterns or take you beyond your limits. Slower actions allow one to discern the quality of movement. Once the movement gets rougher or requires more effort, you are losing quality of movement. This is a warning to stop before the motion triggers pain or becomes uncomfortable. Slow ensures that you do no harm while doing yourself some good.
You would not rush through a fine meal, so why hurry through a Feldenkrais lesson. Let each bit be done so slowly so it is savored and enjoyed. But instead of feeling heavy and full, you will become light and free. So take it slow, and gracefully go into 2024. Learn more here at S3NSE.org.