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Since I was a child I often had difficulty falling asleep. In my earlier days, I often pushed myself to work long long hours that stretched into the night and I’m still more of a night person. 

I used to work as a freelance magazine designer in order to fund my Feldenkrais and other various movement habits.  So, after I signed up for a one-week Monday-to-Friday full-time residential workshop with a renowned teacher, I eventually turned up to the workshop happy, excited … and exhausted. 

I don’t remember much of that first class beyond the initial Feldenkraisian call to action: “Please lie on your backs.” The second class I lasted a little longer, but not much: “Bring your attention to yourself and notice what you are noticing.” I was noticing that I tired and then I failed to notice that I was falling asleep. A deep and satisfying sleep.

The next morning, I feel asleep again in the first class and woke up feeling a bit chilly. We were working in a village hall in England and it was warm enough, but not cosy. I was staying at a Youth Hostel nearby, so in the break I went back to the hostel and grabbed my sleeping bag. Instead of fighting my tiredness I decided to indulge it.

Catching up

By the Thursday afternoon I’d caught up on my sleep sufficiently to manage to stay awake for whole classes and made the most of what remained of the course. And by the end of the week I felt great, so great that it felt like I’d not missed out on quite as much as I thought I had.

What I discovered was that, despite not being conscious for most of it, I felt better and better as the week progressed in a way that was more profound than simply catching up on my sleep. Something of what was being taught seemed to be filtering into my unconscious mind. 

When I completed my Feldenkrais practitioner training, some of my fellow students joked that I needed to repeat the training because I’d slept through most of it. I insisted that I hadn’t but when I listened to the recordings later, I came across many classes I had no memory of, or at least couldn’t remember how they ended.

That’s why I offer recordings

So whenever I teach, I try to record the classes and make them available so that people can listen to them later, no matter whether they fall asleep or not during the class. 

And I do my best to make them available in the evening of the same day because I love to repeat classes in the evening like that. It’s such a different experience when I know how the progression goes. I find I can sink even deeper and work with even more sensitivity.

But above all else, what I’ve learned over many years is that there is no better sleep than the sleep you have paid for! 

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