I discovered the Feldenkrais Method while studying maskwork and found that it improved not only my performance but also my imagination, spontaneity and ability to go beyond physical boundaries. I became a Feldenkrais practitioner to continue that improvement of my art and to share the pleasure of the method with others. I am a Guild Authorized practitioner and a graduate of NY4. I have an MFA from the University of California, Davis and BA from Sarah Lawrence College.
My purpose is to allow people to move closer to actually being creatures of free choice, to genuinely reflect individual creativity and emotion, freeing the body of habitual tensions and wired-patters of behavior so that it may respond without inhibition to do what the person wants. - Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais
The Method began when Dr. Feldenkrais injured his knee and set out to understand the structure of his own body. In that exploration, he created a method to work with others through touch and through spoken lessons. The aim is to help the student increase awareness of the bodily self and how one moves.
The two arms (or legs!) of the method are FI (Functional Integration) and ATM (Awareness Through Movement.)
FI stands for Functional Integration.
FI is the hands-on, one-on-one form of the method. The teacher works with the student on self-organization. It is called functional integration because it can help improve many thing you might want to be able to do better. Raise your arm higher, swim longer, breathe more fully, whatever!
TESTIMONIALS for Emily's Functional Integration work
My one-on-one work with Emily has been great. I feel much more open after each session and slightly taller. On her recommendation I am carrying my laptop in a backpack now and that is helping a great deal. Also, I have increased awareness of my body usage as I move through the world. I look forward to continuing my work with her.
- Rebecca Harris, Actor
Emily is a skilled Feldenkrais practitioner. She has a deep understanding of what it is to be human and live in a body. When she works on me I know that she can FEEL (without me having to tell her) where I'm feeling injured or vulnerable. She also has the patience and curiosity to seek out what feels pleasurable and important to my nervous system. I always look forward to her working on me.
- Lauren Wolk, Independent Curator and Alternative Educator
Having her work on me feels like she's organizing my body. . .the Feldenkrais work offers the added benefit of release, comfort and ease that generally lasts much longer than the hour of time she gives me.
- Sevrin Anne Mason, Actor
Emily will make your body feel like a body.
- Jon Stancato, Director
For almost 2 years now, I have been in pain since I had a foot operation. I also have Parkinson's disease since 2007. I am now taking Feldenkrais lessons with Emily Davis. She is very patient (a good trait), gentle, always smiles. She goes all out to get you well or make you feel nice. She knows a lot about Feldenkrais. You can tell that she connects to how you feel at the moment and what is wrong in the body. As a matter of fact, my daughter, who was visiting after a session with Emily made a comment that I looked happy and well. My husband who happened to hear the comment, also added that indeed I was looking pretty! Who wouldn't when my pain was gone that day! My balance was also good. I will truly miss her when she doesn't come every week.
For most Americans, an ATM is a machine from which we get cash. In Feldenkrais, an ATM is a lesson from which we get better self-organization and improvement. It stands for Awareness Through Movement.
A typical lesson involves a group of students lying on mats on the floor while the teacher guides them through a series of movements.
There are thousands of ATMs. Some lessons are athletic, others involve working solely with the imagination. This one was adapted into a dance. This one features a baby doing many things that look like Awareness Through Movement.
Contact me to schedule a lesson for you, your rehearsal process or your arts group.
Starving Artist Rates available.
What to Expect in a Class
A Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement class usually begins with the participants lying on the floor on a mat, while the teacher provides verbal instruction. The first few minutes of a class give the students some time and guidance in noticing where they are and how their bodies are organized in the moment.
Then, the students will be guided through a series of slow, gentle movements – lying on the back, the side or the belly depending on the lesson. Each lesson is designed to provide a renewed understanding of how parts of the body relate to each other and to the whole.
Each lesson focuses on a different movement sequence or organization and each one is adapted to the people in the room. Some lessons can be quite small (there are eye lessons and jaw lessons, for example) and others are more expansive (like a lesson that moves from the floor to standing.) Each one helps the nervous system understand something about self-organization.
At the end of a lesson, students will be guided to sense themselves in standing. Many will feel taller, wider or lighter, depending on the lesson and the person. Some of my students have called the whole experience a Moving Meditation. And certainly, like a meditation practice, we work with attention and awareness – but sometimes it can be as basic as trying to figure out how to grab your foot from a new angle.