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WHAT PURPOSE DO “INFLATABLE BALLS” SERVE IN THE FELDENKRAIS METHOD ?

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WHAT PURPOSE DO “INFLATABLE BALLS” SERVE IN THE FELDENKRAIS METHOD ?

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The Art and Benefits of Using Inflatable Balls in the Feldenkrais Method

By Ilana Nevill - Conception & Realisation: Sylvia Ghibaudo

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WHAT PURPOSE DO “INFLATABLE BALLS” SERVE IN THE FELDENKRAIS METHOD ?

This web-doc project presents a harvesting of over 25 years of experimentation, both playful and increasingly systematic, with a diversity of variably inflated balls.

As Feldenkrais practitioner (and later assistant in trainings) Ilana Nevill has made promising discoveries, especially when working with clients who just would not feel comfortable on the normal Feldenkrais table – despite their body being supported by foam-rubber, rollers, cushions, blankets, etc. Occasionally additional ‘problems’ arose when a person declared, right at the start of a Functional Integration lesson, that they felt extremely anxious about being touched.

It is entirely thanks to the challenges posed by pupils and clients traumatised in some way or other that Ilana entered on a path of absorbing research into how to make her pupils’ Feldenkrais experience as agreeable, playful, and effective as possible. During a process of consciously mutual learning about our nervous system’s extraordinary plasticity, the youngest quickly became Ilana’s best models and “teachers“. Even the most fearful little ‘cerebral palsy patient’ would soon get interested in one of her colourful balls being teasingly rolled their way. In the course of such games the practitioner was usually soon accepted as a partner . Ilana benefited tremendously from experiencing the profound immersion, engaging body and soul, young children are capable of when allowed to pursue an interesting activity without being directed by an adult.

As often emphasised by Moshe Feldenkrais, this quietly concentrated attention is the hallmark of all authentic, self-directed, and creative learning. Lesson number one was to firmly keep in check the ardent wish to ‘do’ something resembling an FI before a trusting relation had been established between the child and herself. Today’s adults mostly seem to have forgotten the curiosity, wonderment, and creative exploration of their environment that illumines our early childhood.

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