Abby Miller: Biography
I have been teaching classes at FCMA since 1994. Initially I was the regular sub when other teachers were away. Since 1997 I've taught a class series at FCMA offered through the Health Education Department of Kaiser Permanente. Students attending this series often have no prior experience of Feldenkrais and come with a range of issues, chronic pain and mobility challenges. I appreciate that these 'beginners' challenge me to refresh my teaching and frame lessons in new ways.
Since 1997 I've also taught a weekly Awareness Through Movement class at the Golden Gate Park Senior Center. Together, the Kaiser class and the Senior class have allowed me to work with an amazing group of people of all ages and backgrounds. These students continue to teach me as much as I've been able to teach them.
I've taught themed workshops at FCMA, focused on improving the function and comfort of a certain area(eg. neck, knees, or shoulders) from the perspective of the whole body.
In addition to classes and workshops, I maintain a private practice, seeing clients individually.
How I came to Feldenkrais
I've been a Feldenkrais teacher since 1996, graduating from the San Francisco training directed by Julie Casson-Rubin and Paul Rubin.
I was first exposed to Feldenkrais in the 1970's as a dancer in my 20s. A gifted movement teacher, John Graham, began his classes in a unique way. As we lay on the floor he verbally guided us through a series of movements, asking us to notice sensations and connections throughout ourselves. “notice, don't try to change..are you breathing?...take your time...pause...rest...the body has its own language – listen to it”
These simple instructions had such a profound effect, opening a door inside. Then, coming up to stand, I was surprised by how my balance had changed. I felt both more solidly connected to the ground and, at the same time, more ready to move!
It turned out that John was sharing a process he had learned from Moshe Feldenkrais: Awareness Through Movement. This experience in John's classes continued to inform my study and practice of dance, and my work as a movement teacher.
Years later, experiencing low back strain after the birth of my second child, I was re-introduced to Feldenkrais. A friend suggested I might get help fromthe recently opened Feldenkrais Center in Glen Park. I began attending weekly Awareness Through Movement classes taught by Deborah Bowes. Again, I was surprised at how quickly my body/mind took to the lessons, finding better balance, more comfort, and more ease. As a distracted mother of young children, it also surprised me that the benefits of this process extended into my week. I was integrating new ways of moving without struggling to do so.
In 1992 I was excited to join the San Francisco training to become a Feldenkrais practitioner. I had been looking for a way to deepen my understanding of the Method for myself, and to learn how to use it to assist others.