Movement is Life

Movement is life. Life is a process. Improve the quality of the process and you improve the quality of life itself. 
—Moshe Feldenkrais

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Practitioner Spotlight: Suzanne Ausnit

Entered on October 23, 2017 by FINY

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Where are you from originally?
I grew up in Manhattan.

How did you find out about the Feldenkrais Method?
By accident.  To improve my yoga teaching, I was taking a year-long anatomy course, which happened to be held at the Feldenkrais Institute.  Back then, the Institute regularly offered free day-long intros to the Method. After experiencing the Method, I was immediately hooked.

What inspired you to become a practitioner?
Having spent the first half of my life as a journalist/editor—entranced with words—I wanted to explore the language of sensation and movement. I started as a yoga teacher so morphing into a practitioner seemed a natural transition.  Plus, since the Feldenkrais Method is primarily about “learning” and learning makes me happy, the opportunity to share that learning is tremendously satisfying!

What kind of clients do you see?
Generally people who are suffering from some kind of neurological or muscular/skeletal discomfort. Also people who want to feel more embodied, more at home and comfortable in their bodies.

What do you do in your spare time?
I enjoy reading (literary fiction), art exhibits, theater & foreign films. Also enjoy the outdoors, hiking and traveling. image

Why did you create the Better Yoga with Feldenkrais class? What is this class like?
I had been practicing and teaching yoga for many years before I became a Feldenkrais practitioner. Feldenkrais helped me discover how to move more effortlessly, with less strain, and pointed out gaps in my understanding of movement and function. It also highlighted gaps in my awareness of my own body. For example, many yoga poses were easy for me on one side, but felt awkward on the other. I could never understand why. By exploring the roots of those asymmetries through the Feldenkrais Method, I was able to find so much more ease on the challenging side.

As I saw how helpful Feldenkrais was for my yoga practice, I wanted to share my discoveries with my students. I also began to see how yoga offered a way to take Feldenkrais off the floor and apply it to movement challenges in gravity.

I realized that the format of the class had to be different from a traditional yoga class—slower, with fewer poses, more exploratory movements and a focus on developing awareness. The emphasis had to be on sensing and feeling, rather than following external directions, for students to understand skeletal relationships in a visceral, tactile way.

Ultimately, I try to teach students how to pay attention to themselves in a way that traditional yoga classes don’t allow for. 

Classes are challenging and fun, and explore the joy of movement with a combination of yoga poses and Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement exercises. Each class is different, but always includes a body scan and movements to free the breath, ribs, pelvis and spine.

No experience is necessary, whether with yoga or Feldenkrais, although even advanced practitioners will find something new to learn. All you need is curiosity and a willingness to pay attention to yourself. 

Suzanne teaches Better Yoga with Feldenkrais on Thursdays from 12:30-1:30 pm, and is available for Functional Integration sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. To register for class, click here.  To schedule a Functional Integration session, please call 212-727-1014. 


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