Letter from Jeff

Photo by Carey Haskell, GCFP

Dear Colleagues,

I am passionate about guiding Feldenkrais practitioners to realize their highest potential in this work. 

Many of you desire a prosperous practice that satisfies and supports you personally, professionally, and financially. My goal is for you to fulfill that wish. 

Based on my years of curriculum development and teaching, I have created this cohesive training program that provides you with the best conditions possible to take your practice to the next level. 

I am happy to introduce you to IOPS Academy—where we work together, develop our selves, and grow our practices.

The IOPS Academy is an 18-month graduate program of unparalleled support. IOPS combines intimate in-person trainings, interactive online video classes, and access to a comprehensive library of DVD support material.

You will emerge as an exceptional teacher who communicates a clear, precise image of human function and brings out your best self in your work.

This is the program where you’ll grow strong as a practitioner, where your hands-on skills will ripen and your deepest motivations will emerge to support you in a successful professional practice.

In the IOPS Academy, you’ll be inspired and energized in your teaching. You’ll engage with positive practitioners who, like you, work hard to understand and foster the functional outcomes their clients seek. You’ll study with a supportive community that thinks deeply, shares its talents, digs into the work, and is committed to skillful growth.

You don’t have to struggle alone. We’ll do it together. We'll inspire each other and have an incredible time.

I sincerely hope you join the IOPS Academy and that I will have the good fortune to work with you.

My best to you, 

Jeff Haller

The biggest change in my work since training with Jeff is that I am no longer confused about what the client needs. I no longer have vague hope or baseless confidence in what Feldenkrais can do for them. Instead I’m clear and confident in my own ability to see function, to work with their abilities, and get them back on the right track in their life.
— Andrew Gibbons, GCFP

Overview

Ideal Organization

Without an articulate sense of the ideal,... we become like every other frustrated professional: applying techniques to people and seeing if they change.

From the International Feldenkrais Federation archives. Used with permission.

From the International Feldenkrais Federation archives. Used with permission.

Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais taught from a keen grasp of the ideal organization for human functions like walking, sitting, squatting, reaching and lifting. He used the ideal as a compass for his work, and he knew how to move his clients toward that ideal.

It is important that, as Feldenkrais practitioners, we understand and embody the fundamentals of ideal organization. Practitioners are often trained with a heavy emphasis on the method's process of exploration. But it is equally important for you to understand what the process is pointing to—the goal. 

As practitioners, we should have an image of the ideal in mind.  With it, we can see and measure function far more accurately than without it. Our creativity, accuracy and potency can grow from this sound foundation, and we are safe, secure and more effective with clients. We can then engage in a deep interaction that draws on anatomy, psychology, physics and physiology, all serving our understanding of function and making our lessons more effective. Without an articulate sense of the ideal, we touch and move our clients using strategies and explorations, but struggle to point our work in a clear, positive direction. We become like every other frustrated professional: applying techniques to people, seeing if and hoping that they change.  

Profound Strength

In Amherst, Moshe said: 

"What I teach here is strength, not weakness."

As an IOPS graduate you will be comfortable, skillful, articulate and insightful in the functional terrain of the activities your clients enjoy.

As a physicist, Judo teacher, and a manual laborer in his youth, Moshe was well acquainted with the nature of physical strength and mechanical power. As a teacher, he knew that while a momentary display of strength could be extorted from the muscles through willpower, true strength—as a consistent way of being and functioning in the world—emerged from accurate and efficient organization.

“The aim [of the Feldenkrais Method] is a person that is organized to move with minimum effort and maximum efficiency, not through muscular strength, but through increased consciousness of how movement works.”  — Moshe Feldenkrais

As practitioners, we can understand Moshe's statements about strength in four ways:

  1. Physical: Understanding the ideal biomechanics for physical strength.  
  2. Behavioral: Meeting the changing moment with the appropriate internal resources, and the skill to inhibit unnecessary or parasitic actions.
  3. Educational: Willing to enter again and again the endless process of refining our ability to learn, to acquire and fine-tune more accurate, adaptable, resilient behavior and face our weaknesses and inadequacies with intelligence, diligence and without fear.
  4. Maturational: Developing the inner resources to leave our heritage behind and transcend the conditions and conditioning in which we were raised. Honoring our ability to thrive in uncertainty. 

IOPS participants will study strength from these perspectives. You will learn how the perspective of ideal organization allows your physical strength to flourish in a healthy, efficient manner. You will craft and refine your own ideal organization in standing, walking, and sitting. And you will learn the art of guiding your clients to mature along the same path. As an IOPS graduate you will be comfortable, skillful, articulate and insightful in the functional terrain of the activities your clients enjoy. You'll know how they maintain their injuries in their daily lives and how to help them gain the skills they need to be competent and comfortable. An IOPS graduate will wield a valuable skill set and know how to craft the distinctions necessary to make any pursuit—be it yoga, running, walking, recreational sports, or martial arts—safer and more fulfilling.


Photo by Andrew Gibbons, GCFP 

Cohesive Curriculum

In IOPS, we study the foundational principles of the work. These principles are the keys for improving your own self-organization and equipping you to effectively guide your clients to improve theirs. Because we comprehensively study a few, key questions about human function, the IOPS curriculum is especially cohesive. These questions hold the golden criteria for what we want to bring forth in ourselves and in our clients:

  • What is the ideal organization for basic human functions like sitting, standing, walking, reaching, rolling, etc.?
  • What are the principles of bearing weight with a sense of lightness?
  • How can we use the support from the ground to create self-organization that is strong, light, flexible, stable, sharpens the senses, and enables a person to move in any direction without hesitation?
  • How can we develop our internal resources so that we are self-reliant and able to meet the demands of our changing environment?

THE PROGRAM IS FOR: 

Practitioners and trainees who: 

  • Are dedicated to a career as a Feldenkrais practitioner;

  • Want to understand how the ideal organization supports and enhances a practitioner's work with clients, and how functional strength is created through this organization;

  • Enjoy breaking down ATM and FI lessons and looking into the details of what an expert practitioner must understand and embody to be truly effective;

  • Can study video material and bring their insights and questions to the live segments and online classes for further consideration, exploration and testing;

  • Place a high value on self-reliance and daily practice.

 

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