“I have been intrigued by this subtle form of retraining the nervous system, which I recommend to patients whose movement has been restricted by injury, cerebral palsy, stroke, fibromyalgia, or chronic pain. I find it to be much more useful than standard physical therapy. I also believe that the Feldenkrais Method® can help older people achieve greater range of motion and flexibility, and help all of us feel more comfortable in our bodies.”
– Andrew Weil, M.D. Author of Spontaneous Healing and Natural Health, Natural Medicine
“I came to Brian over six years ago to “correct” tension in my hip that caused discomfort. Within six months of Functional Integration sessions and classes, the movement in my pelvis greatly improved. A few years later, after a fall, I required surgery on my elbow that included hardware holding the ulna together. The surgeon told me that my arm may bend 75 % to 85%, may not straighten completely and may have limited movements. Within a year, working with Brian and doing Feldenkrais Functional Integration sessions and classes, my arm bent as much as 95% and straightened almost 95%. Recently, a second surgery was done to remove the hardware holding my elbow together. Within a month of Functional integration and attending classes regularly, the flow and flexibility of my elbow continuously improves and has restored almost complete mobility. I have been going to Brian’s classes for more than six years and intend to continue. I appreciate the way this gentle method has shifted my awareness to the flow of movement throughout my body and my wellbeing.”
– Yael Bentov
I have always attended some form of fitness or yoga classes, but as I age I realize I need a program that is less rigid, intense, or outcome driven. My first introduction to Awareness Through Movement was at Brian’s studio in Fernwood. I found the classes intriguing and challenging, providing me with a wide variety of movement but including, or even requiring, an attendant awareness to every action. This was a unique experience, and one that made complete sense to me.
Then in March of 2020 Covid19 struck and Brian began providing computer-based Zoom classes three times per week. I began in April, especially curious to see what difference three times a week would make, especially alone at home without the distracting social component of a studio class. Brian often refers to these Zoom classes as a ‘medicinal dose’, providing enough consistency and practice to effect physical, emotional and intellectual changes, and now I believe he is correct. I think I have only missed one week in over a year of classes, and I look forward to each one as a practice in more confident, thoughtful and purposeful movement. I find every class stimulating and challenging, and never boring. The movements require total concentration to the instructions, but there is never an end point, or physical outcome, to achieve. My initial goal was to maintain and, if possible, increase, my flexibility, balance and function. But in addition, because Brian explains the theory behind the practice, I have been able to appreciate and be aware of my movement and trust that this awareness is critical to better function, better movement, better being. According to Moshe Feldenkrais, “the aim 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”.
I always love the integration of the movements and by the end of each class they become smoother, flowing, and even fun. I finish feeling calm and grounded and smiling and strong. Then I try to become more aware and integrate the learning into my daily life. What a gift! Thank you Brian!
– Melanie Austin
“I started taking ATM classes with Brian in 1991 when I moved to Victoria from Toronto as a relativity new RMT. I received my first Functional Integration lesson in 1993. I was at the time and continue to be impressed with Brian’s brilliant mind his commitment to the study of this Feldenkrais work. I felt the great benefits of this work enough that I embarked on a professional training and became a GCFP in 2001. In my training and advanced trainings I still haven’t met anyone who has greater experience of actually teaching the work to the public. Brian continues to bring novelty and deeper functional understanding to both his classes and individual lessons. He also continues to be a great resource for all things Feldenkrais!”
– Judi Trost BA, RMT, GCFP
“I first started taking Feldenkrais classes from Brian about 5-6 years ago hoping for a solution to lifelong back pain issues. After practicing Tai Chi for a couple of decades I noticed that my longstanding back pain was not really getting any better, and in fact was getting worse, clearly I had to make a change. I gave up Tai Chi and started attending classes with Brian, and right away I noticed that I really did not know how to move symmetrically and that one side of my pelvis was much different from the other.
When I was two years old my left leg was badly broken below the knee and I had to go from toddling along back to crawling for several months while it healed. Afterwards my left leg did not grow at the same rate as my right and as a result my left leg is shorter than my right from the knee down. I grew up this way, with my lower right leg bowing outward to accommodate the shorter leg and an imbalance in my pelvis resulting in lower back and leg pain throughout my life, and a subtle limp in my walk.
I did Tai Chi this way as well, and while I could develop my form to a certain point, I could not overcome the different way my pelvis moved on each side. X-Rays of my lumbar spine revealed degeneration of my discs in my lumbar spine, and I was told that I should expect that my mobility in that area would not improve and that the back pain would continue.
After starting classes with Brian, I noticed that if I just relaxed and followed Brian’s instructions I could begin to move my Pelvis and lumbar spine more freely. The lower back pain faded, and I began to move more easily. Over the years I have learned to articulate both sides of my pelvis more freely, particularly the left side, and am now able to walk, garden and play free of lower back pain. I continued to come to class a minimum of two and usually three classes a week.
For the past few months I have been taking three Internet based classes a week, and have noticed that they are far more effective than the two-three classes I used to take in person. Lately after about six months of internet based classes, I feel much more relaxed and happy, and people who have know me for many years keep saying “you look really good!” what have you been doing? So I tell them, just practicing moving with intention, and paying attention to what the movement want me to learn.”
– Peter Breen
“At the end of April 2020, my friend introduced to Brian Lynn’s Zoom Feldenkrais classes. Because I had two knee replacement surgeries in 2019, I knew I needed help with my body movements. I had suffered for several years with difficulty in moving and was sure my body was out of kilter. Though I had been going for physio and trying to exercise I wasn’t satisfied with my progress and COVID was making everything more difficult.
I can’t say enough about how much the three weekly sessions have helped me in five months. Back pain that I felt after working in the kitchen or vacuuming has gone away. I had assumed it came on because of scoliosis and arthritis in my back and had been doing physio exercises for the problem. However, because of the awareness that came to me through the classes, I realized suddenly how I was holding my body tight all the time. Then I was able to figure out how to stop that more often and more easily. I no longer get really sore after only 15 minutes of chores any more. I also do not get so stiff as I used to after prolonged physical exertion such as long walks or cycling.
Brian is convinced that not only does Feldenkrais practice give us physical flexibility, it also gives us mental flexibility. I have managed to get some long-standing repairs done in my home that dread had prevented me from doing earlier. I have solved many other little long-standing problems, first by becoming aware of them (or not ignoring them) and then looking at them with an open mind and realizing how easy they are to fix. My self-discipline has greatly improved.
I love the online classes and Brian’s chats about Feldenkrais and awareness through movement. Since we usually have our eyes closed the sessions compare very well to an in-house class. We are not disturbed by other people and of course we don’t have to travel back and forth to class. Brian is there to answer private questions on email and there is a post-class discussion.”
– Sandra E., Toronto
“I have been Brian’s student of Feldenkrais for five years having joined in the fall of 2015 after
returning from an Alaskan cruise, where I had been attending a week long dog training conference in company with behavioural science based animal trainers. The presenters included Ken Ramirez, Alexandra Kurland, and Kay Lawrence.
In her presentations, Alexandra Kurland brought the life and work of Moshe Feldenkrais to my attention, and she applied the principles as she understood them to the art of animal training. I was fascinated, and I resolved to find a Feldenkrais practitioner when I returned home. I quite arbitrarily chose Brian’s name from a list, and when I arrived at their house, Lily, asked me how I had come to be there. When I told her she laughed. ‘You’ve come to the best. Brian’s a genius, and he’s taught the other local teachers.’
If I thought that her assessment of her husband’s skills were slightly biased by her loyalty and affection, I quickly realized she was right.
Until COVID struck, I attended only one class a week. Brian transitioned from real life classes to Zoom. The immediate benefit was that now I could attend three classes a week.
Brian had spoken to me and others in the past about the importance of a ‘medicinal dose’ and had recommended attending more classes per week, but I had been unwilling to commute more times to Victoria to do that. Besides, I was seeing substantial improvements in my mental and physical self, with just one class a week. I am a good student and I would consciously hold the concepts in my mind and try to apply them in my every day life which had given me very good results.
When I began taking the three classes a week on Zoom, I soon understood what he meant. Three classes a week has exponentially increased my ability to build on the awarenesses that the classes provide and to maintain them in real life situations.
I am able to let go of past habits and build more functional ones more quickly and to more lasting effect. Last fall, I began to experience considerable pain on the thumb side of my wrist, sharp and sometimes burning. Had I gone to a doctor, they would likely have diagnosed it as some typical wrist ailment and prescribed anti inflammatories and physio, etc.
As a Feldenkrais practitioner, I chose to view it as a symptom of misuse of my left arm and all of the associated parts. I am happy to say that the pain has almost entirely disappeared. The classes have improved my awareness of how I use my shoulder, arm, elbow, wrist and fingers, in my daily life, and the pain as dropped away, accordingly.
This summer, I took up kayaking for the first time in my life. Last weekend, I participated in an intensive kayaking course. At the end of the weekend, although I was tired, I had no pain in my wrist, elbow, arms at all. This, is a testament to Brian’s work and my own willingness to work with my attention to improve my functionality.
I am deeply appreciative of Brian’s lifetime of work and that he and Lily continue to share that with others. I am now 64 years of age and am more pain free and flexible than I was when I was much younger.”
– Terrie Rolph
“At age 62, nineteen years of weekly Awareness Through Movement® classes with Brian Lynn have long since removed all back and neck pain caused by unconscious holding patterns. The work has also introduced smooth and natural functional movements to tennis, digging, raking, and lifting, allowing for remarkably long, pain- and stiffness-free periods of intensive work and play. The extraordinarily effective movements communicated through Brian are a blend of his own extensive personal research and the subtle and intuitive observations and principles of Moshe Feldenkrais. Together they constitute a unique and profoundly life-enhancing approach to physical and mental well-being, and have formed a solid platform for enjoying my life.”
– Elizabeth Woodworth, Head Librarian, British Columbia Ministry of Health (1978-2002) and Novelist/Writer
“I came to the Feldenkrais method and Brian Lynn’s classes in my late fifties after a long career as a cook, chef, and chef educator.
I had worked too many hours on my feet, was sore in my muscles and joints, and had very limited flexibility. After a period wrestling unsuccessfully with Iyingar yoga, I was drawn to introduce my yoga instructor as my dominatrix, such was my pain.
After a few FI sessions with Brian, and then some classes and workshops, I found I had improved considerably in flexibility and motion and could now contemplate a life free of muscle pain. We live three hours north of Victoria, so live class attendance was difficult. We have used CD’s of Brian’s classes with great success. It was obvious that the more I participated, the better the results.
This spring, when Brian started offering three Zoom classes a week, I was able to attend regularly right through until mid-August. I felt really flexible, and more in tune with my body and mind. In late August I had serious intestinal surgery. To my surprise, I was still capable of rising in and out of bed with considerable freedom, could manage the pain and the trauma that went with surgery. Sounds too good to be true? I don’t think so. I feel that the therapeutic dose of Feldenkrais over the spring and summer was instrumental in my recovery from surgery. I am still attending Zoom classes during recovery.”
I experienced an athletic injury which defied the efforts of twenty of British Columbia’s physicians and surgeons for several years. More specialists at the Mayo Clinic achieved only temporary pain relief. Not one of the “alternative therapists” made a positive lasting contribution, while diet and vitamins had no impact whatsoever. I was still in a wheelchair.
The Mayo Clinic had suggested, “go to the best pain and stress man you can find”. When Brian Lynn said that he would treat the pain by removing the stress, I thought he was worth a hearing.
He explained that his technique, based on the Feldenkrais Method, consisted of moving the body in such a way that it relaxed itself. He discussed the agonist/antagonist response, and I understood that he would harness this response to form conditioned reflexes. Thus he would exploit two of the most basic neural interactions to achieve his therapeutic goals.
After a large number of small, incremental improvements, I am running again. Of course, beginning to run at age 60 introduces its own problems, which we are working through, every problem addressed successfully.
There is no other plausable explanation for my recovery. The gradual improvements, leading to freedom of movement and freedom of pain, speak for themselves. There have been no subsequent interventions after I began working with Brian. I unreservedly endorse Brian Lynn for musculo-skeletal problems of all descriptions.
– Terence B. Peace, M.Sc., Ph.D
In 2004, I had to gave up my healing/counseling practice because I was suffering from burnout and chronic pain. I moved to Victoria and went on a disability pension as I was unable to work.
I started attending Brian’s classes and my pain went away in a matter of months. Periodically I would have recurring bouts of pain due to old holding patterns. Today, a little over two years later my pain is gone. I am still doing classes twice a week as it has become my lifestyle and is much more effective than anything I have tried.
Brian has a incredibly brilliant mind and is still studying on a daily basis even though he has been teaching Feldenkrais for 30 years I went to see Brian for my pain but what I have learned is to be aware of my movements and holding patterns through sensory perception. My cognitive abilities and critical thinking have vastly improved. I am much more grounded and have much more awareness regarding my body. I have more endurance, feel more empowered and stronger within myself. I am totally grateful to Brian for his giftedness, genius and newness he brings to his Feldenkrais practice.
– Kasandra Tayler, Victoria, B.C.
I started attending Feldenkrais classes in 2003 to find relief from pain caused by a severe muscle spasm in my lower back which halted all my physical activity at the age of 38. I was not able to walk without a great deal of pain. Not only did I regain full mobility, I improved my flexibility, regained physical height and improved my vision enough to stop using my prescription eyeglasses. I “lost” my protruding rib cage, eased my shoulder tension and learned to move with more grace.
Brian’s method of guiding people through an ATM class is somewhat different than I had experienced before; he explains more about the methodologies behind the movements and integrates what he has learned from other similar practices. After only a few months of taking Brian’s classes, I have a new awareness of how I hold my carriage and how slight adjustments in my holding patterns can give me instant relief from muscle pain while moving through my daily life. I think Brian is a continual leaner and a teacher who cares. He has a great ability and desire to help ease people’s pain.
– Melissa Roht
I am a retired actress and teacher in my late seventies. Twelve years ago, I had been suffering from very bad neck pain and hip pain which were preventing me from looking after myself independently.
I could no longer vacuum my house, nor mow my lawn without going into neck spasm. After several years of going for massage, which resulted in only short term relief, my therapist sent me to Brian Lynn for Feldenkrais work. I was soon able to perform all the tasks that I had had to give up, as a younger woman, and at 76 years of age I am able to do everything my body is called upon to do for a healthy, and full life. Thanks Brian and Feldenkrais!
— Trisha Wainman-Wood, Victoria B.C.
I started seeing Brian about 13 years ago for pragmatic reasons – pain in my shoulder, stiff neck and other similar stress induced ailments.
In the first few sessions these problems were resolving and I was becoming intrigued by both the ideas behind the Feldenkrais Method, the notion of “functional integration”, and Brian’s broad understanding of physical / spiritual connections.
Brian demonstrated some of my chronic patterns in relationship to “how I face the world” and transforming these old patterns then became the focus of the work.
I have found that working with Brian has created a deeper personal experience in “embodiment” and this has become an integral part of my spiritual practice. What shows up physically becomes the messenger for deeper psychological, emotional and energetic levels of being. Working with him at more subtle levels has led to insights and ongoing integration of mind, body, and emotions. Since Brian is knowledgeable of and has personal experience with many spiritual traditions discussion of these is an added bonus during a session.
I greatly admire Brian’s dedication to his “craft”, his ongoing commitment to refining his skills, and walking the talk.
— Rick Ellis, Victoria B.C.