In Awareness Through Movement® group classes you are encouraged to move slowly, to take time to feel how you are moving and assimilate it. The movement sequences that are taught are unusual or novel. This encourages you to break free from the habitual ways that you move. It also encourages you to feel how you are moving in order to become aware of yourself.
Moving slowly also allows you to notice if you are using unnecessary effort, what I refer to as parasitic action. A simple example of this might be holding your breath while you are learning a new movement or activity, or even tightening your jaw, or clenching your fist.
Research and evidence suggest that it is not only moving slowly that is beneficial—but it is moving slowly with awareness. Awareness of how we act is essential if we are to change. The AWARENESS THROUGH MOVEMENT (or ATM) aspect of the Feldenkrais Method helps us to actually use movement to become aware of our thinking, sensations, feelings and how we move (It’s not Awareness OF Movement, but Awareness THROUGH Movement). The way we act/move can change once we are aware of what we are doing. That was one of the brilliant realizations of Moshe Feldenkrais over 50 years ago, that led to the development of the Feldenkrais Method®.