With 14 years experience in the Feldenkrais Method Olivier was another person who could give me informed feedback about receiving Functional Integration on Air. What particularly struck him was how the novelty of the experience woke up his nervous system while simultaneously stopping his well- trained analytical mind from keeping track of what was happening within his system.
“At the beginning there was some kind of uncertainty, both feeling comfortable and at the same time not feeling comfortable. I don’t know whether it was during or after the lesson that I remembered somebody asking Moshe why he was doing ATM kneeling on one knee with the other foot standing. He replied that this is a position where people feel comfortable but at the same time there is some kind of instability. So whatever movements they do in this position, the nervous system is aware in a different way. Because people are stable but not so stable, and there are things going on in their spine. It’s a disposition of unstable stability or something non-habitual like that. Lying on the balloons I had a little bit of that feeling. You are comfortable but at the same time there is something a little disturbing due to the fact that the balloons are mobile; and this is something totally strange and new which hasn’t been experienced before. But this also created a kind of awakening or some kind of different type of alertness or attention. Having done thousands of ATMs and tens and tens of FIs, this was some new stimulation and a new trick to get something through to the nervous system.
In a way I was totally tricked
Normally I fall asleep or drift between sleeping and waking, or I am aware, following very precisely what is happening; but here, in a way I felt that I cannot really follow with my mind. Of course following like that is also a kind of controlling and thinking; but here I felt that in a way I was totally tricked. I could follow, but I couldn’t follow with my mind; things were happening and they were beyond the grasp of reason. ... The only time when I could clearly feel that a lot of things were happening was when I stood up after the lesson and I felt the change. The lesson was very effective judging from how I was lying on the floor after the lesson and from how I was standing later.
Amazing clarity after the lesson
When I lay on the floor the contact was very, very clear; the support of the floor was very clear – and at the same time the feeling of being very evenly spread on the floor. It is good at some point to return to that clear feedback and contrast.
When I was shifting my weight from one leg to the other in standing, I really felt this thing happening in the whole body like a big curve from the foot to the head. The spine was just part of a whole line which was curving in one direction, curving in the other direction, with no breaks in between – some kind of perfect curve. The image I had of the curve was very continuous which was very interesting. And also when I stood up I felt very, very tall (more than normally after a lesson when you feel a little taller), but this was very tall, more than normally.
This is a very advanced development of the Method. There is a refinement of perception that can go further than the floor... But I have the feeling that this approach can only be put into the hands of people who are very experienced”.
"A different quality of attention"