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“What am I supposed to take away from that?”

August 13, 2009

What an odd day yesterday was.

I taught the same Awareness Through Movement lesson at two different gyms in one morning. The lesson focussed on lengthening hamstrings and extensor muscles of the lower back. Both gyms had ‘first-timers’ in the class.

The earlier, mid-morning class was at a gym located in a sleepy bayside suburb, attended mostly by retirees and part timers. The first-timer, A., who has been regularly nursing a sore lower back, approached me after the class. A. was round-eyed with delight and surprise: “That was amazing! I can’t believe how much my lower back has relaxed! What can I do between classes to keep this great feeling?”

The later, lunch-hour class was in the city gym, attended mostly by office workers. This first-timer, B., was brought by her friend, C., who has recently become a Feldenkrais enthusiast. C. approached me a short time after the class: “That was amazing! I’m really discovering with each lesson that I can do more than I thought I could.” She made a wry face. “But B. just asked me ‘What am I supposed to take away from that class?’ and I said ‘I dunno, greater body awareness maybe?’ Was that the thing to say?”

Indeed.

And to quote that insidious piece of workplace training language, what am I supposed to take away from that morning’s experiences?

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