“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Br. David Steindl Rast
Alane Fry McKenna
My personal experience with Feldendrais lessons, and practicing some movements for about 20 minutes 5-6x a week, has benefited my body greatly. Most noticeable is the absence of daily pain and muscle tension in my back and shoulders, that I experienced before, from sitting at a computer for 5-6 hours each day. And with my recent job change, which now requires that I am on my feet for about 8-9 hours each shift, I found a new pain in my low/mid back, which was quickly remedied with only a couple of lessons and more practice.I also find that the daily morning practice is like a meditation, or tuning in with my center,….which seems to lay a foundation that stays with me throughout the day. I feel much more peaceful and resilient on the days I practice movements in the morning.And an unexpected benefit I’ve experienced is when I do an unusual, not routine, very strenuous (for me) activity……like heavy yard work, or a yearly kayaking or backpacking or water-skiing activity, I hardly feel any strain or soreness in my muscles.Last week I water-skied for the first time in about 10 years which would normally result in feeling “crippled” for a few days, but I experienced absolutely no limitation or restriction of movement afterward and I only felt a very slight soreness to my shoulders…that I really only noticed when my husband tried rubbing my back…..amazing! At age 54…..I am moving more like I did at 35!
- Alane Fry McKenna, Salt Lake City
When I think about or practice Feldenkrais, I can here Erin’s melodious voice asking me to gently ask myself, “How can I make this easier? How can I make this more pleasurable?” I am so grateful that this practice has taught me that to do things in a way that is gentle and easy and in alignment with how my body naturally wants to move is not weak. That giving myself permission to go only as far as feels really delicious to me is not selfish. That staying with an experience in my body, gives me a stronger capacity to stay with other kinds of experiences. Spending time lying on the mat practicing these sometimes minute movements, allows me to really check in with how I pay attention to myself, with how I direct attention at myself.This sort of very subtle time spent with myself in Feldekrais has translated into an ability to feel how I pay attention to myself in other circumstances. I find that I am sometimes incredibly impatient with myself, or very hard on myself, or simply trying too hard. In these times, I am so grateful when I manage to remember Erin’s voice, “How can I make this easier? How can I make this more pleasurable?”
- Jessica Frogley, Salt Lake City, UT
What I have learned from studying Feldenkrais with Erin:To ask questions at bone-depth
To trust my inner authority
To gently inquire
To go slower, now slower, yes, even slower
That I am not stuck
That I am able to use my vision to receive, not only retrieve
That my miserable little neck is not all alone
To do things with less effort and more pleasure. The best questions go bone deep. “What does the skeleton want?’ is this kind of
question. When Erin first raised the question, I was baffled. “Who knows?” I thought.
But I was also curious. With Erin’s coaching, I began to inquire, to deeply listen.“Thanks for asking,” said my skelly, “it’s about time.” She had a list. I was amazed to learn that my skeleton knows exactly what she wants. She wants me to trust
her integrity, to remember that she is structurally sound, to see that she was
miraculously designed to support the strain of this whole adventure. In short, she
wants me to trust her and let her do her job. Also, she likes it when I notice
that she is agile, that her spine is articulate. “Our back is not a fused block.” she says.
She doesn’t care if I know how many bones are in our feet, but she does appreciate
it when I remember that our toes move individually. When my neck is strained and
cranky from holding the weight of my head, my skeleton reminds me that my
neck is not alone on the job, but supported by the power of my supple spine. On my worst day, when tendons strain and muscles tremble, I am still strong in
Erin taught me to trust my skeletal strength, to observe the depth of my
structural elegance. Thanks to Erin, I know that I always have a place to rest. I can
rest in the beauty of my bones.
- Nan Seymour
Executive Director of Local First Utah
Diane Musho Hamilton
Erin and Carl Rabke are two of the most awake, compassionate, and embodied practitioners I have worked with. Both of them bring inspiration, subtlety and exquisite nuance to their instruction. They are deeply in touch with their audience and I would entrust anyone to their reliable hands.
Diane Musho Hamilton
In 2002 I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis in the lower back. At the time of the diagnosis the neurosurgeon stated I would require a Laminectomy in the L3-L5 region of the spine. I elected to live with the pain rather than undergo the surgery. In 2008 -2010 I took Erin’s “Basics of Back Care” classes and it changed my state of being. The combined techniques of yoga and Feldenkrais learned in the classes have enabled me to manage my pain. I utilize these techniques today and I am happy to report that I have never needed the surgery. Thank you Erin!
- Terry Prymek, Salt Lake City, UT
National Account Manager, ARUP Laboratories
Along the years spent in SLC, I got the chance to experience Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement classes with Erin and Carl. I did a variety of session with different focus: Shoulder and Neck workshop, a retreat at Snowbird, and more. The most life altering experiences were a series of 10 classes working along the 10 sessions of Structural Integration and also the Empelvised, Embellied, Empowered classes for women which rippled joy throughout my pregnancy. Each of their classes helped me embody my Self further more. The awareness I gained from these sessions is cumulative and empowering. I still use some of the movements whenever I experience body discomfort. I am a Kinesis Structural Integrator and constantly talk to my clients about the benefits of Feldenkrais. I like how accessible it is, easy and slow, and how it allows the nervous system to re-pattern (so much hope in that!)But not all instructors are alike. Erin and Carl are outstanding educators. I trust their skills, I trust their heart!
- Ingrid Bregand, Salt Lake City, UT
If you're forcing anything, you're not doing it right. Isn't that a mind-shift when you're used to, "No pain no gain?" I've been utilizing Erin and Carl's practices for several years for one-on-one treatment (mostly with Erin), online classes and Awareness Through Movement lessons, which are group classes. I've hobbled in at different times with balance issues, a sore back, hip bursitis, a wrist that a PT gave up on, an injured SI joint, or a shoulder that had frozen up, and again and again I've walked out more fluidly and hurting less, all with zero pain during treatment. We're not even focusing on the sore spots. Somehow by learning to feel within the parts that aren't hurting and working with your body rather than fighting and forcing it, the painful sore spots relax and aren't as painful anymore! It feels magical to me every time. I also usually leave with strategies to continue at home. The same theory applies to online classes. Don't go into a class expecting to force or shame yourself into changing because you're not going to find that here. Instead, you'll feel the messiness and hard parts of life while learning strategies for simultaneously finding and deeply feeling the joy, awe, and wonder. Erin and Carl aren't just health practitioners, they're healers and teachers, and I'm so grateful I found them!
Teacher of 8-year-old geniuses and animal-assisted-therapy teams, and connoisseur of hiking trails through the great outdoors.
The Feldenkrais sessions have brought about changes that I would have never expected. My introduction into Feldenkrais was via 3 gift certificates from a friend. As I mentioned to Erin in the beginning, my “issues” have been more lung related vs. musculoskeletal, and I never had the expectation that the treatments would help me to walk more easily and freely and breathe more easily, but inexplicably it has. I also have noticed that my 51-year-old body is walking and standing straighter, in a relaxed way, but with very little thought or effort given to this. Erin is a marvel and a gentle teacher in Feldenkrais. After only 5 sessions, I have a deeper sense of how I move; I walk more easily, and feel less overall tension in my body. I come away from the sessions feeling deeply relaxed, which is a bonus.
- Karen H., Salt Lake City, UT
I have been lucky to have taken a number of workshops with Erin and Carl, all of which have perfectly impacted my life both during and after. I find now that when I'm doing the dishes I'll suddenly notice I'm holding my breath, so I'll pause, take a moment to feel my feet on the ground, take a big breath, and often smile at the knowing that their support and presence are with me always. I even have a big sign as I leave my office that says "Pause", and find the lessons they have taught me influence the language I use and my compassion for others. I often find myself thinking about the wonderful community of people who attend their groups and am grateful for the safe space they create and the sharing that takes place. Erin and Carl have offered me so many tools to help support me through this crazy life including a daily gratitude practice, being gentle with myself, bowing to what is, poetry, maitri, and so much more. The Embodied Life practice is a brilliant gift that has made my world better.
Janene M. Holmberg
My experience with Erin & Carl's embodied Feldenkrais practices has been transformative. As a PT who cherishes the concept of exercise as powerful medicine, in practicing and experiencing their work, I have joyfully discovered an even deeper and profound therapeutic awakening thru movement. I have been able to go beyond just movement as exercise, to movement as a vehicle to tangibly experience my own body's innate powerful inner healer. I have been able to experience that when I release something in my body, I'm often also able to release something in my mind as well and when I open my body to ease, my mind opens and softens as well. In other words, the intellectual concepts of "somatoemotional release" and "mind/body connection" become real, alive and living experiences. Until experiencing their work, I had grossly underestimated the internal resources my body possesses to bring peace, groundedness, authenticity, and even great levels of pleasure. There is a gentle genius in their work that is refreshingly new, personal, individualized and spaciously respectful. I bow in honor to the beauty of their work as a most grateful beneficiary.
The Integrative Embodiment work I've experienced with Erin and Carl has deeply affected my life. Since working with them, I have learned tangible ways to distinguish how present and grounded I am in each moment, and how to shift into deeper awareness and presence at any time. I have learned skills that help me to ground my energy in my everyday life so I can really be present with each moment as it occurs, as my true authentic self. I have grown my awareness of my connections to my body as a whole and experienced how much spaciousness and wisdom lives inside my bones and tissues. I've grown my capacity for kindness towards myself and others, while integrating the connections with my body, heart and mind. The deeply authentic community of belonging Erin and Carl create is another profoundly life-changing resource for me. I truly feel like I've come home to myself here. The connections I'm creating within my body, heart, and mind, are rippling out to my relationships, community and the world.