The Talking Stick

Rhymes with Nice

Jaclyn Boone is a Guild certified Feldenkrais Teacher. I’ve attended her classes, often less frequently than I would have liked, for the past several months. At first the classes seemed like just a series of easy stretches and poses, but I soon learned that wasn’t all. Jaclyn agreed to tell us more.

Weyland: Okay, first things first….how do you pronounce "Feldenkrais"?

Jaclyn: It rhymes with nice.

Weyland: Thanks. How did you originally become interested in the Method?

Jaclyn: I was a guinea pig for a friend of mine. An organic farmer who’d studied the Method under Mark Rees, one of our founder Moshe Feldenkrais’ own students. I’m small and slender, so I was the perfect body type to practice on.

Weyland: But you don’t have to be slim and trim to do this.

Jaclyn: Oh no. You’ve seen that I have all shapes and sizes in my classes.

Weyland (pats his paunch): I’ve noticed. I also understand that the Feldenkrais Method is more than just a system of exercises.

Jaclyn: Yes. It utilizes the fact that your body is your primary vehicle for learning. It improves function itself. Moshe defined function as an interaction between a person and the outside world, the self with the environment.

Weyland: But why and how can adjusting one part of the body help other parts?

Jaclyn: Your whole body cooperates in any given movement. The Method helps people to include moves and parts of their bodies they’ve neglected or forgotten about. This helps people live more comfortably.

Weyland: I understand that sometimes just imagining or visualizing the movements can help. How does that work?

Jaclyn: Our minds and bodies are inseparable. If you can think of it clearly, you can do it.

Weyland: Moshe Feldenkrais told his students he would be their "last teacher". What did he mean by that?

Jacyln: Self reliance was very important to Moshe. He was a physicist, mathematician, engineer, and a judo master and acupuncture student. He would serve to point the way to his students. After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, you don’t get there. He felt that once his students learned how to learn, they would realize that we’re all learning ourselves. And helping others to learn.

Weyland: Cool. So where do you hold your classes?

Jacyln: Hamilton YMCA, the Yoga Center and here at the Princeton Center.

Weyland: Jacyln, thanks for answering my questions.

Jacyln: My pleasure.

This interview was originally posted in the April 2005 Full Moon Edition of Amethyst (then the Crossroads Chronicle).


author bio:

Weyland Smith lives in Mercer County New Jersey with the bright and beautiful Morgan, her two children, and their cats & familiars Flame and Macavity. They may be reached at [email protected] Any and all rumors that Weyland and New Jersey governor John Corzine were twins who were separated at birth are completely bogus–Wey’s a Republican. (And a poor Republican, at that! Sheesh…)