Scott & Ryan give individual lessons at:
Studio 2, second floor
32-38 Scrutton Street, London EC2A 4RQ;
closest tube: Old Street or Liverpool Street Station → map
Scott: Monday &; Friday afternoons, some weekends
Scott also sometimes sees clients in southeast London:
13 Camellia House, Idonia Street, SE8 4LZ
5 minutes from New Cross or Deptford Rail Stations → map
Lessons last an hour, and normally cost £100. Concessionary rates may occasionally be available. Please wear clothing that will not restrict your movement.
An individual Feldenkrais lesson is a conversation about how you move; a conversation partly in words, but mostly by touch. We start by talking about what you want and what you notice now; and I look to see how the way you are moving may be hindering you.
But the special part of the lesson happens through touch. I will probably ask you to lie on a low padded table (or sometimes to sit or possibly even stand), fully clothed, while I begin to explore the ways in which you can already move easily and the ways in which you tighten yourself away from ease and comfort.
We often think that the forces of pain and discomfort in our bodies require equally strong forces to oppose them. But Feldenkrais, like Aikido and some of the other martial arts, sidesteps the negative forces, blends with them, redirects them. So the way I touch you in a lesson starts off by agreeing with you rather than opposing, then redirects your own power and strength into directions that can be useful and effective. This feels at once very gentle but intense — and very relaxing.
Most of our actions are actions of the whole body. Balance, for instance, isn't something done by your trunk while your arms and head do something else; it's a conspiracy of the whole body. So I usually look at how all of you is involved with what you are doing. In that sense, a lesson really is 'holistic'.
At the end of the lesson most people feel freer, with improved posture, breathing and flexibility, and a general sense of physical and emotional well-being. We also consider whatever request you made at the beginning, and how that has been answered. I will suggest some ways to make the changes more permanent features of your life, including exercises and things to notice. The entire session takes about an hour; you should wear loose, comfortable clothing.
The number of lessons you will need depends on the depth of change you want. A back spasm that is recent and new may go away after only a few lessons; patterns that are of longer standing may require a course of perhaps ten sessions; deeper changes may require more. But certainly after one lesson, you will have some idea of what Feldenkrais can offer you. Lessons that are part of a series are usually about a week apart.
But the important events of the class are internal: the play of attention and sensation inside you. It’s like dismantling and then reassembling the possibilites of movement for a new, more effective version. Since the movements can be as small and gentle as necessary for each person, it is easier to outwit pain, to steer positively toward comfort and even pleasure in our everyday action.
A Feldenkrais class is also unusal in not being about rules, about right and wrong. Instead we learn how our own sensation can be developed into a trustworthy guide. We do this by a process of physical riddles, by comparing the feeling of many movement possibilities and many combinations of possibilities. Some combinations may feel more ‘wrong’ some less ‘wrong’ — when we can feel the distinctions more clearly, we can choose well.
Each class (and there are hundreds of basic classes, plus variations) follows the thread of a single action from everyday life. We try out the action at the beginning of the class and again at the end so that we can notice the overall difference. Most people find the difference pleasant at the very least, sometimes profound, even dramatic — differences like standing taller without any effort, breathing more freely, inhabiting our selves and our actions more completely.
Some people attend a series of classes, perhaps a term, and find enough to satisfy their immediate concern. They may find material from the classes useful as part of their personal warm-up or daily routine. Others find the regular time and place, with the supportive concentration of the other students and the variety that is part of the Method, to be a useful part of their lives for longer periods. It is an entirely personal choice, based on what works for you.