Jeff Haller, PhD, GCFP
Educational Director, Trainer
My time with Moshe Feldenkrais was short. I was very fortunate to be one of the people to study with him directly, including spending time with him in Tel Aviv just prior to his death. In my 34-year career, I have been blessed to do this work, in which every day I learn something new and deepen my own sense of being.
In 1983, I founded Inside Moves and have had a successful and fulfilling private practice working with a wide variety of clients ranging from those with severe disabilities to PGA golfers and NHL hockey players.
I work with people to create the conditions so they learn to improve the quality of their life. Working together we examine what it means to live a life of physical integrity, emotional dignity, and health—the lifelong challenge of meeting the next moment with the resources to live with personal fulfillment and wisdom.
I help my students:
- Transform their patterns of action that no longer serve them;
- Learn more refined ways to function and move;
- Learn how to recognize their innate capability for learning;
- Recover from the grievous emotional wounds life has given them;
- Diminish anxiety and insecurity;
- Learn to use their mind in ways that are useful to them;
- Care for their health and wellbeing;
- Transcend their conditioned past.
Since 1993, my primary focus has been to train people to become Feldenkrais practitioners. I have participated in over 35 trainings and have been the Educational Director for trainings in Seattle, Chicago, Vancouver and Victoria, BC, New Zealand, and Bend, OR. In addition, I have run dozens of Advanced Trainings for practitioners as well as the graduate-level IOPS Academy. I have refined my teaching and honed a curriculum that enables practitioners to be successful.
Candy Conino, GCFP
I started out as a physical therapist—in fact, it was my final exam in kinesiology at UNC-Chapel Hill that changed my life. There was only one question on that exam: “The teacher is standing at the blackboard, writing with her right hand. List all the muscles she is using, along with their origins, insertions, and innervations.”
It seemed simple at first. I started with the muscles of the hand, worked my way along the arm, shoulder, and obviously had to add those of the back, but then I had to write about the legs, too (because she was standing), and by the end of the exam I had listed EVERY skeletal muscle. I walked out of that exam knowing that I would never again be able to consider a “problem” with one body part without equal consideration to every part of the system. Looking back I wonder if maybe that was the teacher’s point!
Because of this newfound passion for human complexity, I originally specialized in working with people with serious spinal disorders. For 15 years I worked in a clinic and taught prevention classes to high-risk workers in factories, city sanitation departments, tech, transportation, and media companies. I developed all manner of rehabilitation and work conditioning programs, and researched preferred spinal movement patterns. All this convinced me that the state of the art in rehabilitation was lacking something vital and mysterious.
When I learned about the Feldenkrais Method, I knew straightaway that this was what even my best work had been missing. At that time I was taking another PT degree—I dropped out of that program to do the Feldenkrais training.
The conditions in the PT clinic didn’t suit my evolving work style, and so I’ve had my own fulltime private practice since 1994. Professionally, I consider myself a Feldenkrais practitioner with a rich medical education and a PT license. I spend my days with people with complex pain disorders who have already tried everything other kind of intervention. This is challenging and exhilarating. Every day I get to use my knowledge and abilities to dig deeper, reach further and get better at my work. There is nothing better than this and I love sharing and teaching with those who want to learn.
Dwight Pargee, MS, GCFP
As a lifelong athlete, martial artist and coach with degrees in Exercise Physiology, Sport Science and Biomechanics, I find great pleasure in working with high-performance athletes and those in the arts. My daily practice in Bend, Oregon includes the continuum of working with clients managing complex chronic pain issues to refining high-level performance, from injury recovery to redefining limits and opening possibilities for the neurologically impaired. I also serve as an Assistant Trainer in Feldenkrais professional training programs as well as mentoring beginning practitioners. I have a special curiosity about dynamic balance and stability, applied biomechanics and neuromuscular learning, especially as they relate to my passions of fly fishing and cooking interesting meals.
Andrew Gibbons, GCFP
My first Feldenkrais experience happened when I was a 16-year-old pianist at the Tanglewood summer music camp. A singer friend asked me, “Want to go to the posture workshop they’re having after lunch?” Little did I know I’d learn as much about artistry in that one afternoon as I had all summer. After the workshop I walked straight to the local bookstore and bought their only copy of Moshe Feldenkrais’ book, Awareness Through Movement, and over the next few months, I worked through all the lessons in the book, reading slowly and aloud to myself. “Men of great will power tend to apply too much force instead of using moderate forces more effectively.” “During the forward movement think about lifting the knees and feet from the floor, so that the swing forward will not make you contract the muscles on the thigh, whose function is to straighten the legs.” It was the first great work of philosophy I read.
Twenty-eight years later, I am delighted to teach and learn in this wonderful work we do. In 2001, I was fortunate to work with a committed group of colleagues at Physical Therapy & Feldenkrais NYC, then to work as a practitioner and director at the Feldenkrais Institute of NY for its first four years. Now I run my own private practice, Body of Knowledge, in Union Square in Manhattan. My focus these last seven years has been to hone my understanding of the principles I have learned from Jeff Haller, to ask better questions, and to study them with clients, in public workshops and in mentoring programs for practitioners. When I’m not teaching or picking up my kids from school, you’ll find me planning sporadically, writing incessantly and reminding myself that there is only one Awareness Through Movement lesson.
Roger Russell, GCFP
I had the great luck to learn the Feldenkrais Method with Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais in San Francisco, Amherst, and Israel between 1975 and 1982. Moshe was creative, brilliant, and a fascinating character. I am a physical therapist and movement scientist, and have been a Feldenkrais Trainer since 1997. Born and raised in Denver, I now live in Heidelberg, Germany, where I am co-director of the Feldenkrais Zentrum Heidelberg.
Since 1990 I have taught in 32 Feldenkrais trainings as Assistant Trainer and Trainer across Europe and in the US. In Germany, I have been the Co-Educational Director for 11 Feldenkrais trainings since 1994.
A question that has fascinated me since my first experience with Moshe in 1975 is: What makes a good Feldenkrais lesson tick? To find an answer I have studied such diverse fields as evolution, biology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, dynamic systems, biomechanics, neuroscience and infant development—all in relation to the Feldenkrais Method. This question has shaped my career. For example:
- I led a Feldenkrais research project which was published by the German MS Society in 1993.
- With, Ulla Schläfke, my partner in the Feldenkrais Zentrum Heidelberg, I have filmed and analyzed infant sensory-motor development.
- I led two science symposia: “Movement and the Development of Sense of Self” (Seattle 2004) and Embodying Neuroscience” (San Mateo 2012) and made presentations at other conferences in North America and Europe.
- I have published two books in German and many articles in the American and German Feldenkrais Journals, including two articles about infant movement development, and an article from a neuroscience perspective looking at why we insist on easy movements in Feldenkrais lessons.
- I regularly teach “Feldenkrais and the Brain” workshops, including recently together with Jeff Haller.
I look forward to sharing various scientific perspectives during the Feldenkrais Training Academy as to what makes a good Feldenkrais lesson tick.
Alice Friedman, GCFP
I’ve pursued a lifelong interest in the relationship between motion, emotion and human development. I began as a dancer, performing and teaching in New York City. I also explored dance as a means of self-expression and creative endeavor for children with challenging life situations and this inspired me to take a graduate degree in psychology. As I worked with children with Autism, psychiatric disorders, and those in special education classes, I continually invented ways to include movement into the programs. It was clear to me that there were reciprocal relationships between emotional health, physical well being and the ability to be resilient, learn, and move gracefully in life. My frustration with the narrow vision present in academia at the time and my excitement about what was emerging from the human potential movement led me further on my path of discovery.
Moving to Canada became part of that discovery. I continued to evolve, learning new skills and refining existing ones in a new country. It was a 10-year growing and maturation period during which I discovered the work of Moshe Feldenkrais through his Awareness Through Movement book and eventually attended a workshop. Finally, a way to bring all the threads of my explorations together.
My engagement in this amazing work started with my training in 1984. As a Feldenkrais practitioner my work is enhanced by the skills and insights gained from my dance, my professional work in psychology, and my study of human development. My continuing education has included studies in Ericksonian hypnosis, mindfulness and anatomy. I trained with and taught for Peter Levine PhD in Somatic Experiencing® and studied Cranial Sacral Therapy. As an Assistant Trainer I’ve worked in training programs across the US and in Canada. In addition, I’ve organized two Feldenkrais training programs in Victoria, BC. Currently I maintain a private practice, offer workshops and mentor Feldenkrais practitioners and across disciplines. I continue to weave the current advancements in neuroscience, movement education and somatic psychology with the principles and applications of the Feldenkrais Method.
Laura Yedwab, GCFP
I graduated from Jeff Haller’s Victoria 2 Feldenkais training and founded my Feldenkrais practice, Kinetic Inquiry, in 2012. During my training, I became frustrated by my inability to find and learn about Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lessons. I created Feldy Notebook so that the community had an easy way to collect, organize, and share our vast knowledge of ATMs.
In 2014, Jeff Haller and I joined forces to create the IOPS Academy, an 18-month intensive graduate program for practitioners trained in the lineage of Moshe Feldenkrais. The New York IOPS Academy has completed, IOPS Seattle is underway, and Buenos Aires will start in December 2017.
Before delving into the world of Feldenkrais, I spent 20 years in the computer industry, first as a programmer, then as a manager, and finally managing the Natural Language Group at Microsoft. I have a Master’s degree in computer science from M.I.T.
Lila Hurwitz, GCFP
A professional dancer and movement educator, I completed my Feldenkrais training in Berkeley in 1997. I’ve taught Feldenkrais, dance improvisation, Authentic Movement, and related topics at the University of Washington Dance Program, Cornish College of the Arts, Hampshire College, Oberlin College Dance Department, Conduit Studio (Portland) and many other venues. A lifelong organizer and administrator, I was Associate Director of Artist Trust and Administrative Director/Co-Artistic Director of the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation, which I co-founded and produced for 18 years. I am co-owner of Doolittle+Bird, a communications firm that loves working with artists, scientists, Feldenkrais practitioners, and non-profit organizations.
“I am going to be your last teacher. Not because I’ll be the greatest teacher you may ever encounter, but because from me you will learn how to learn. When you learn how to learn, you will realize that there are no teachers, that there are only people learning and people learning how to facilitate learning.“
Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais