Welcome to TCF!
This main page has most of the information you’re probably looking for. Scroll down for much more, but here are some basics:
- My group Feldenkrais weekly public classes are ongoing year-round at the St. Paul JCC, located 5 minutes east of MSP airport at 1375 St. Paul Ave, St. Paul, MN. They are Tuesdays at 9:30-10:30 AM, and Thursdays 5:45-6:45 PM. Beginners are welcome, and you may drop in any time. Here’s a class description and guide. Scroll down about 1/3 of page for more information about my public classes.
- Throughout the year TCF offers special Feldenkrais events and courses. Scroll down to find information about Walking with Your Whole Self, Sunday, June 9, 1-5 PM at the Lodge on the Lake at Camp Butwin, Eagan, MN (I’m leading). AND: Improve Your Yoga! July 28th, 3-6 PM at the JCC (with guest instructor and Evolutionary Yoga founder Kevin Kortan).
- To learn about future TCF classes and events, email me at email@example.com and I’ll add you to my mailing list. You can also keep up with upcoming events by liking the TCF Facebook page or visiting the Facebook events page.
- To learn about private Feldenkrais lessons, please scroll down about halfway, past the large picture, to read about the Feldenkrais Method’s hands-on one-to-one modality, Functional Integration lessons. For information about my work with children with special needs, scroll about 3/4 down this page.
- “FELDEN-WHAT?!” The Feldenkrais Method is a 50-year-old form of neuro-muscular reeducation with applications similar to physical therapy, but it’s a more holistic approach. It’s for anyone seeking more comfortable, efficient, sustainable movement, for purposes of pain reduction, performance enhancement (day-to-day/athletic/artistic), and quality of life improvement. It’s taught in two forms: Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lessons are verbally led and can be taught to groups. Functional Integration (FI) lessons are taught hands-on, fully-clothed, with a gentle, non-invasive touch, in a one-to-one environment. There’s a lot more information and a video below, and feel free to contact me with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org, or 651-252-4094.
4/29/13 update: Summer events
We had a wonderful time at Lisa Walker’s Full Body Running workshop the last two Sundays, hosted by Twin Cities Feldenkrais at the St. Paul JCC. If you missed it, consider attending Walking with Your Whole Self. And coming up in July, Improve Your Yoga! with Kevin Kortan.
Walking with Your Whole Self
- A Feldenkrais Retreat led by Nick Strauss-Klein
- Sunday June 9th, 1:00-5:00 pm, at Camp Butwin, 945 Butwin Road, Eagan, MN 55123 [Rain location: the St. Paul JCC]
- $60 • $40 JCC Member Value Price
- $30 JCC Member Early Bird (deadline: register by 5/26/13)
- Registration is open, call 651-698-0751
- Printable flier
- View and share Facebook event page
This afternoon of movement study will bring our intelligence and sensitivity to explore and improve one of our most basic human functions: walking. Walking is a boon for all ages—it provides exercise, builds bone, aids digestion, and banishes depression. But often, as we age and accumulate life’s injuries and sedentary habits, we lose touch with the pleasure of walking. This basic human function can begin to seem like a chore.
Through a series of Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lessons (in walking, standing, and lying on the floor situations), we’ll nourish the neurological “roots” of walking—integrating arms, legs, chest, and pelvis so we can walk through life with confidence and pleasure. The beautiful Camp Butwin retreat setting in Eagan, MN will offer us an expanse of time and space in which to learn.
By restoring an easy, graceful gait nearer to our potential, perhaps we’ll find a taste of what Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh says about walking: we don’t have to walk in outer space or on water to experience a miracle…walking on the green Earth is a miracle.
Please dress in layers, and bring walking shoes and a bath towel. Light refreshments will be provided.
Register early! This workshop sold out last year.
Improve Your Yoga!
Based on the work of Moshe Feldenkrais, with guest instructor Kevin Kortan.
- Sunday, July 28, 3:00-6:00 pm at the St. Paul JCC
- $45 • $30 JCC Member Value Price
- $25 JCC Member Early Bird
- Registration opens 6/2/13, call 651-698-0751
- Early Bird deadline: register by 7/14/13
- Printable flier
- View and share Facebook event page
“I find that because of Kevin’s approach, I’m able to do postures that I haven’t been able to do previously. It’s great!”
- Marjorie Huebner, Rosen Method Bodyworker & Movement Teacher
In Yoga, often we strain and struggle because we think this is the only way. When we haven’t had a taste of something better, we may think that Yoga is supposed to be hard, difficult, even painful. Frequently we use more effort than is needed and don’t realize it. We can use the work of Moshe Feldenkrais to change this, to more clearly sense how we are moving. As we do, we begin to experience the Yoga postures as dynamic, rejuvenating and endlessly interesting. Flow, fluidity and flexibility–supple strength and repose-in-action–become our experience of Yoga. Kevin will be teaching different poses and lessons in this new presentation of his popular workshop. All levels of experience welcome in Yoga and/or Feldenkrais.
3/1/13 update: Testimonials from class
Due to the recent article featuring me and other Minnesota Feldenkrais Practitioners in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, I’ve had the pleasure of introducing a lot of newcomers to the work in the last two weeks. Here’s a few comments that have come in by email from people who’ve taken only a few Feldenkrais classes:
- “I have been looking for more of a connection with my physical body and am finding Feldenkrais to be of help and feel there is also an openness happening on another level; energetic, spiritual, emotional, etc….all of that and I’m thinking there’s even more to come! I am excited to be starting this class with you. You are a kind and gentle teacher and meet everyone at their own level without judgment. Thank you for your service to this great world of ours.”
- Mary Anne, 62, retired
- “Most interesting was the feeling when I laid down in bed [later that evening] and felt my lower back and hip open up for the first time in a long time.”
- “After just one class I find it really interesting and like that idea of exploring internal and external perspectives.”
- [And from a long-time student enjoying the Moving Out of Pain course as back-to-basics refresher:] “I think especially the last lesson, on the floor, was responsible for helping me dismantle (once again) the excess tension in my back and stomach. I had such a nice time sitting at my desk the next day, all afternoon, up near the front of my chair, so relaxed!”
1/1/13 New Year’s update!
“Movement is life. Life is a process. Improve the quality of the process and you improve the quality of life itself.”
This time of year I usually like to write about “New Year, new you” possibilities through Feldenkrais study. While I want to share that message with you for 2013, this year I’d also like to share some personal thoughts I’ve had about renewal over these last few weeks.
My wife Jen and I and our sons Henry and Ari just welcomed a new family member! Zelda Ruth Strauss-Klein was born on December 8th. We have much to be thankful for: mother and baby are both healthy, and all of us are falling in love with little Zelda. As I hold and love baby Z and think of life stretching out in front of this squirming, vital, tiny infant, I feel a renewed awareness of primary responsibilities we all have to ourselves, our families, and our communities–responsibilities to create a safe, supportive, sustaining environment in which we can grow and thrive, and discover and share our gifts.
Times of renewal have always moved me deeply. The excitement of the new year, the arrival of each new season, the beginning of a new day after much-needed rest, watching my children experience for the first time something I have enjoyed…. Whatever aspect of life it occurs in, a sense of change and renewal offers me the clarity of a fresh perspective, new opportunities and purpose, and refreshed hope for the future.
My attraction to renewal is in large part what drew me originally to the Feldenkrais Method. Thirteen years later, with each lesson I study or teach I am still as excited and humbled as I was when I first discovered Feldenkrais. I’ve learned that making time and quiet to reflect on the quality of my activities automatically improves them. I’ve learned that my sense of comfort and discomfort is meant to be a guide in life, not a side-effect of life. I’ve learned to create a safe and supportive internal environment for my own learning, where spontaneous renewal becomes possible. And I’m still thrilled by the sense of improvement and new learning each lesson offers!
So, as I hold and love our squirming, squawking, snuggling three-week-old Zelda it’s easy to remember these things we all need in order to renew ourselves: a safe, supportive, sustaining environment in which we can grow and thrive, and discover and share our gifts. It’s a natural fatherly duty to help create that for Zelda.
And it’s the purpose of Feldenkrais, a tremendous privilege, and a great joy to help create that environment for my students!
I hope you’ll continue or begin to explore Feldenkrais learning in 2013–in class, in one-to-one lessons, and even on your own.
Happy New Year!
Public Awareness Through Movement classes at the St. Paul JCC
(1375 St. Paul Avenue, St. Paul MN 55116)
Classes run year-round with occasional weeks off. Upcoming dates: Spring Session 2 is 5/21-6/20. Summer Session 1 is June 25-July 25 (7/4/13 off). Summer Session 2 is July 30-August 29. Beginners welcome, and you may drop-in at any time.
- ENJOY your body in motion and improve the quality of your day-to-day life.
- DISCOVER how to better prevent or recover from injury.
- REFINE your workouts and physical practices like yoga and Pilates.
- LEARN to organize your whole self – body and mind – more efficiently and pleasurably.
- UNLOCK a quieter state of mind, a natural neurological response to clarified movement and reduced extraneous effort.
2013 SPRING SESSION 2
- Five Tuesdays, 9:30 – 10:30 AM, May 21-June 18 or
- Five Thursdays, 5:45 – 6:45 PM, May 23-June 20
- $90 • $60 JCC Member Value Price • $50 JCC Member Early Bird
- Call 651-698-0751 to register.
Flexible attendance policy: though you’ll register for class on Tuesdays or Thursdays, you can actually attend ANY five or six classes during any given session, regardless of which day.
Any classes missed during the session may be made up in the other ongoing class during that session. For example, if you sign up for the Tuesday class but have to miss two Tuesdays, you may attend any two Thursday classes to make them up, and vice versa. Each class Nick teaches is a unique ATM lesson, so you won’t be repeating a lesson while attending twice in one week to make up missed classes.
A video about Feldenkrais ATM classes can be found below! And here’s a printable class description and guide.
Please dress in layers so you will be comfortable with the variable temperature in the room. Bring a bath towel to fold for use as head support in class (please don’t substitute a bundled sweatshirt or similar – it’s not an even enough surface for our purposes).
If you’re new to Feldenkrais, ATM is a great way to encounter the method and start unlocking your potential for graceful, efficient movement. If you have health, pain, or movement concerns about whether you would be able to take and benefit from the class, please contact me at 651-252-4094.
ATM classes use exploratory movements and guided attention to evoke new neuro-muscular patterns in the brain, improving your strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, and focus in an easy and pleasurable way. The Awareness Through Movement lessons are scientifically designed to reduce pain and tension, and improve flexibility, balance, coordination, strength, and focus. They’re for anyone yearning to move and live more gracefully, efficiently, and sustainably.
Invented 50 years ago by Israeli athlete, Judo master, engineer, and physicist Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, the Feldenkrais Method has been called “a revolution in human health” by Smithsonian Magazine. Students call the Feldenkrais Method “the missing link in fitness” and “a user’s guide to the human body.”
What else can you expect in a Feldenkrais ATM class?
- The movements are very gentle and relaxing, never painful. Anyone, at any level can do them and benefit, from accomplished athletes to people who don’t like to exercise.
- You will feel better after class: you’ll probably stand taller, feel lighter, more flexible, and more grounded.
- A certified Feldenkrais teacher has been through an extensive 4-year training similar to kinesiology and is an expert in movement, posture, and body mechanics.
Functional Integration (or FI: one-to-one hands-on Feldenkrais) testimonials and information
A student who came to me for FI lessons with symptoms of chronic pain and fatigue recently wrote this about our work together:
“Why FI sessions? Taking time to listen to my body regularly is good all by itself – but the real benefits go on and on. More flexibility. More energy. Fewer headaches (and neckaches, and shoulder aches, and more.) The easiest fall allergy (and asthma) season I’ve had in 15 years. More than anything, more awareness of how I spend my attention and focus, so I can do more of what I want, and do it in ways that best reach toward my dreams and my goals.
“Why Nick? A wonderful balance of conversation and silence, a willingness to explore, but also to suggest. An external perspective who not only notices what he sees – but also what he hears and feels, and what that says about the body and response. I look forward to my sessions, no matter what else happens in the week, as a chance to stop and breathe and focus on just one thing: listening to what’s good for my body.” — Jane, 34, librarian.
From Paul, a realtor: “I have experienced sciatic nerve pain for over 3 years along with arthritic joint pain in my knees. I was not familiar with the Feldenkrais Method and was skeptical that a treatment so simple and easy could make a difference. Since meeting with Nick I have been virtually pain free in both areas and notice my posture and movement has improved dramatically. I wholeheartedly will and do recommend Feldenkrais to everyone I know.”
And while I can’t guarantee this immediate and enormous improvement for everyone, some students respond like Sandra did: “My physician son suggested I see a neurologist because of constant pain down the front of my leg for 6-8 weeks. However I decided to try Nick and Feldenkrais that a friend suggested before seeing the neurologist. I don’t understand how it all works but I have no pain after one session with him! It is amazing to me. I gained awareness of how I move and carry pain and tension in my body so I’m continuing to see him to work on other areas that cause me difficulty.”
David, a neuropsychologist, wrote: “I enjoyed your gentle manner, your attentive eyes, and your knowledgeable way of guiding me to discover my own solutions for helping me improve my comfort. What a beautiful model for personal empowerment and the discovery of internal resources of which I was unaware.”
Appointments for new students:
For most people, there is no better way to address pain reduction and self-improvement goals than the neuromuscular reorganization possible through hands-on Feldenkrais. Whether commencing a series of lessons, or just getting to know the Feldenkrais Method on a one-to-one basis before joining the weekly classes, FI lessons are an excellent way to begin studying the method.
While most FI lessons are about an hour, I meet with new students for 90 minutes. This gives us ample time for an informal interview to orient us to your needs and goals, a regular one-hour FI lesson, a consultation about what you can expect from Feldenkrais, and discussion of possible courses of study. The cost for the first visit is $100.
For continued individual study after your first lesson, I use a set-your-own-fee sliding scale, from $60-$100 per hour-long lesson.
To schedule lessons or learn more, contact me at email@example.com, or 651-252-4094.
Sliding scale for Functional Integration (FI): $60-$100 set-your-own fee
I recognize that my students’ wellness goals and financial circumstances vary. To ensure that you are able to come for FI lessons often enough and long enough to achieve lasting improvement, I use a sliding scale. These days health care as a whole is deeply divided along income lines; I teach using a sliding scale so that my practice isn’t.
- After their introductory session, all continuing students are asked to set their own fee, between $60 and $100 per lesson.
- At the request of some students who asked for guidance in choosing their fee I have created a sliding scale explanation and recommendations page which I now give to all my students. This sheet answers most of the common questions about this unusual and liberal fee structure, and I hope you’ll read it. Please contact me if you have further questions.
- Note: if you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) you may be able to pay for Feldenkrais Method Functional Integration lessons with it. Check with your HSA bank or insurance company. Receipts are available upon request.
- If you can commit study time toward your self-improvement goals but cannot afford or schedule frequent one-to-one FI lessons, you will find great value in my ongoing public Awareness Through Movement (ATM) Feldenkrais classes at the St. Paul JCC (in Highland Park, five minutes from the airport). Many students use a combination of FI lessons and ATM classes to maximize their learning in an affordable way.
- Another low-fee option my students find beneficial is guided self-study. Through our one-to-one FI work (even if it’s infrequent) I can recommend “homework” ATM lessons in audio or printed form, specifically chosen for your needs, available for purchase from other Feldenkrais Practitioners. I also frequently lend students self-study resources from my own library.
Feldenkrais for children
11/21/11 I recently received this e-mail from the mother of a four-year-old I’m currently working with:
Hi Nick -
Thank you for your wonderful work with my daughter.
You have helped her transition from kid who found it so stressful to attempt any fine motor tasks, that every OT session ended in tears – to a happy, comfortable girl who is eager to try out challenging things! What she has been able to achieve through your work is a comfort in pushing her limits – and that gives her a great foundation on which to build hundreds of skills. We used to spend long days – even weeks – trying to master individual skills (holding a pen / buttoning / using a spoon or a fork). Now she moves through skills a lot easier – and most importantly, she does it with excitement and joy.
- Manpreet Kanwar, MD
Dr. Kanwar has expressed an eagerness to speak about her daughter’s experience working with me to parentsconsidering Feldenkrais for a child. Please contact me and I can put you in touch with her.
The short video below features Sheryl Field, the prominent pediatric Feldenkrais Practitioner who I have trained with in recent years. She discusses how we work with children. The child in the video is my son Ari.
What is the Feldenkrais Method?
Feldenkrais is a system of movement education with applications similar to physical therapy, but more holistic. When someone wants to reduce pain, recover from an injury, or improve an aspect of themselves (anything movement, balance, posture, or performance related), a Feldenkrais lesson addresses the whole person – not just the symptom – by eliciting changes in the nervous system. Scientists call this process “neuroplasticity” – the brain’s extraordinary ability to acquire more efficient patterns of movement and action if given the right environment. Nothing creates that environment like the Feldenkrais Method. Lessons are pleasant and effortless, and done fully clothed. For the one-to-one Feldenkrais modality, called Functional Integration (FI), lessons are done lying on a low, comfortable table, with the practitioner using a gentle, non-invasive touch. Students describe lessons as pleasurable and relaxing, and you will find reduction in pain, specific improvements to how you function in your day-to-day life, and tools for continuing to improve yourself.
The following short video is an introduction to the group modality of the Feldenkrais Method, classes called Awareness Through Movement, as they are taught in wellness centers and fitness clubs.
The Feldenkrais Method uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement, enhance human functioning, and relieve chronic or acute pain. With this method, you can increase your range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement. By expanding the self-image through movement sequences, the method enables you to include more of yourself in your movements. Students become aware of their habitual neuromuscular patterns and rigidities, and learn to move in new ways.
You can learn more about the Feldenkrais Method, including answers to frequently asked questions, testimonials, and research here.
|Nicholas Strauss-Klein, Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practionercm, is a graduate of the New York Feldenkrais Method Professional Training Program and has studied the method over the last 13 years in New York City, Baltimore, and Israel. He brings to his Feldenkrais practice the unique background of an advanced Master of Music Pedagogy degree from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, and 20 years of individual and class teaching experience.
He currently teaches Feldenkrais to students pursuing all types of improvement: people searching for relief from chronic pain, tension, and anxiety, people who are interested in making their day-to-day activities more effective and pleasant, people seeking to enhance their fitness training and athletic performance, musicians, dancers, and performing artists, people recovering from injuries or living with disease or disabilities, and children growing up facing developmental challenges.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 651-252-4094 for more information about the method or to schedule a lesson.
Lessons and Class Schedule
I teach one-to-one Functional Integration lessons by appointment in my sunroom studio at our home in Eagan, Minnesota, south of St. Paul, convenient to I-35E and I-494. Lessons are about one hour, by appointment, available Tuesdays 12-5, Wednesdays 10-5, Thursdays 9-5, and–during the school year–Sundays 9-12. Please call 651-252-4094 or e-mail email@example.com with questions or to make appointments.
Awareness Through Movement classes:
Group Feldenkrais ATM classes are ongoing at the St. Paul JCC. See above!
Feldenkrais®, Feldenkrais Method®, Awareness Through Movement®, and Functional Integration® are registered service marks of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America.
“What I’m after isn’t flexible bodies but flexible brains. What I’m after is to restore each person to their human dignity.”
– Moshe Feldenkrais, D. Sci., 1904-1984
Some photos by Rosalie O’Connor www.rosalieoconnor.com