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I really enjoy hearing from all of you, and I’d like to share some of the letters and poems you’ve written below. Please continue to send me questions or comments using our contact formor by emailing asaf@bonesforlife.com


Osteo~Blast! Report — 10/27/2010 
 
Last weekend we concluded our 5-day Osteo~Blast! — the first-ever International Bones for Life conference, held in Greenfield, New Hampshire, USA, October 20–24, in honor of Ruthy’s 80th year. Here’s how one attendee described some of the highlights to BonesForum administrator Sandy Beber: 
 
There is WAY too much to tell, Sandy . . . some of it still being digested and assimilated into our bones — and elsewhere — I would guess. ;-) 
 
It was cold at night [temperatures down near freezing], but there was a full moon, and the event itself was full of warm people, and also full — even jam-packed — with opportunities to learn and exchange ideas, just as we had planned. With a few last-minute cancellations (and a few eleventh-hour additions) we had a little over 100 people on site at any given time. 
 
Mornings were Ruthy’s domain: getting the blood flowing to the brain: botheasily (leaning on a chair) and more dynamically (in a modified yoga “plow” position); imagining walking backwards for better posture, and a creative ATM-like process (on the back) for aligning the legs (bringing knees in while brushing feet out; a similar pattern with the arms on the wall, which then transformed into full-body writhing/circling); and some elbows-in/hands-out patterns while standing against a wall, approximating the shoulder blades; then a bonus Conscious Eating farewell at our final lunch on Sunday, for those who did not have to leave early. 
 
Afternoons presented a wide selection of presentations (including an improvised talk by yours truly, filling in for a last-minute canceled workshop). The scope of presentations ranged from physical to theoretical, most a blend of the two. I couldn’t attend them all (there were at least two to choose from at each time slot, run concurrently) but I was quite pleased and surprised with my choices, which included a pair of research-related reports, from both here in the US [Sheree Farber] and abroad [Christiane Feuerstein — Austria]. Two popular seminars were re-run in the evenings [Gail French & Marco Hernandez], so more people could get a chance to partake. And Friday night Dan de-Medina surprised us with an unscheduled thought-provoking half-hour after-dinner talk on Futuristic Movement Practice, referencing what was essentially the “Bionic” Man. (He began by discussing his own recent knee-replacement surgery.) 
 
Evenings were varied, jump-started by Ruthy’s keynote address, Movement as Health, which introduced a made-for-[Israeli]-TV DVD showing her teaching six different processes in Hebrew to the general public, in six different PSA-type extended clips [5–10 minutes each]. We hope to have it dubbed into English, and used as a future marketing tool. There was also another DVD available for sale, put together by Gretchen Langner, a 20-minute compilation of some half-dozen processes culled from recent BFL trainings. [$15; $10 for new or renewing 2011 FMI members
 
We watched this DVD on the second night of evening panel discussions, which was devoted to setting up a [local] practice [moderated by Cynthia Allen]; the first evening [global] panel discussion [moderated by Deborah Elizabeth Lotus] was devoted to reports from around the planet — and topped off with a showing of celebratory BFL-inspired dance at Jenny Groves’ recent training in Korea. We also had a fabulous Halowe’en/Birthday - themed party {Saturday evening}, and a bonfire the previous night. Some inspired performances at the party (Annamaria sang, and Cici Runge’s husband Bob Schlesinger (who provided exquisite tech support) improvised a two-part keyboard work for Ruthy whose themes were Wave and [pum-pum] Axis. Free dancing, and an after-party late night sing-a-long extended until all hours of the night. Live drumming was provided by Cynthia Kopyar & company. The party proper had an inflatable palm tree (which Ruthy danced with on her head — don’t ask!), delicious cake (sent by Carolyn Sue Albin, unable to attend, but whose original idea it was to host a birthday party . . . which then exploded into this full-blown conference) and June LaPointe’s son dancing/playing to the strains of latin music piped from Anna Haltrecht’s iPod while linking together glow-in-the-dark purple wristlets sourced by party-planner extraordinaire Nancy Haller . . . 
 
So, Sandy, as you might gather from this abbreviated glimpse, there was never a shortage of things to do, or to attend. It was indeed a success [endless thanks to Catherine Wright and Cici Runge for leading us in pulling it together, and keeping it going]; a good time (and much learning) was had by all — including Ruthy! In retrospect, I wish we had had a little more breathing room to allow us to kick back, and interact with everyone personally, one by one, one on one. But that would have required more than 24 hours in the day — and as it was, I was already up until 2 or 3 am each night! Making the rounds in the dining hall, with the wonderful food (always with gluten-free and vegetarian choices available) was the best I could do. Of course each participant had a unique experience. We’ve invited everyone to contribute their impressions for Chrish Kresge’s upcoming Winter 2011 issue of Wave and Axis. There should also be a video of Ruthy’s mornings available for purchase before the end of the year (if all goes well with June’s filming) and I am working on preparing the evening panels for availability in some form or other, yet undetermined. 
 
In fact, I’m researching video conversion software this very evening. Here’s a brief clip — filmed by Tyr Throne — posted as a test, to YouTube, to perhaps whet your appetite some more: 
 
Japan Report [test] 
 
The sound is not quite synchronized (don’t know how to reconcile that at the moment) but it should give you a small sampling of the tone and flavor of the event — it’s the beginning of a presentation from Japan by country coordinator Rika Fujii. 
 
ILCMA will also be making audio recordings of the presentations available. Cynthia Allen will let us know when they are ready for ordering . . . 
 
Sorry you couldn’t make it, Sandy — and sorry I can’t be much more detailed or descriptive at this time . . . there’s still so much more clean-up to be done, in the aftermath of the Osteo~Blast! Fortunately, no one seems to have been harmed, at least not irreparably ;-) And, suffice it to say, the occasional arctic blasts notwithstanding, we all had a blast at the Osteo~Blast! 
 
Doug Boltson [recovering from mild exhaustion] 
 
P.S. There’s so much I’ve left out [Linda Howell’s pre/post measuring initiative, the research paper written on Ruthy by Madrid hypnotherapist Luis Miguel Gomez, Ph.D., the group photo shoot with Fanny Elouz, the debut of Part One of the new Chairs manual, Ruthy’s announcing a new Walk-for-Life program she’s taking the wraps off of next year], but, perhaps by asking questions, others will be willing to jump in, and fill in some more missing pieces for you . . . 

 

 


Hello Ruthy, 
 
I want to thank you so much for the Didactic and Chairs programs you did in March 2008 in Byron Bay. When I got home I had a dream that I would move to a white house in an inner city suburb of Brisbane so that I could do the BFL work — seven months later this eventuated. I now teach 2 classes a week at the Relaxation Centre of Queensland, and as well do workshops for Community Centres. I am living the work in my life. In a few weeks I will be 60, and I feel more alive than I have ever felt. So much has happened to bring me to this point. In November I presented a BFL workshop to 10 Feldenkrais practitioners; it was very well received. Your excellent teaching strategies and notes gave me a firm foundation of support, and I felt confident and passionate about the material. 


 

 
 


 
I feel much! much! much! more functionally assertive in my life on every level. Now I feel my dream has come alive again and I look forward to one day being a BFL Trainer. With deep humility and love, I carry the light of your work. I feel a deep sense of joy!! Your courage, determination and creativity are truly an inspiration. 
 
Looking forward to seeing you next year at your train the Trainers program. 
 
With Love, 
Rhonda


 

B O N E S P E A K 
  
articulation 
  bones                     words… 
they are one and the same within us. 
  
articulating bones 
  bony conversations                     joints in communion… 
language of another kind from the lands within. 
  
long and slender 
short and curved                     small and angular 
sequentially spiralling 
to impact 
to connect 
to pass the message on to ‘neighbours,’ 
  
but do ‘they’ necessarily 
hear the same message                     hear the same intent 
  understand the same nuances… 
  
from toes to thalmus 
fingers to forebrain 
how many lands and dialects 
  receive the call… 
  
…which call ?  
 
  
                                                                        — Debra Musch 
  
  
 

 

Dear Ruthy, 
 
Your manner of speaking somehow is very poetical to my ear, 
the words you spoke (in Bones for Life at San Francisco) 
were floating in the air and I gathered them here: 
 
Conference of the Bones 
 
Sitting in a chair year by year 
bones succumb and become gravity’s slave. 
Collapsing joints suffer sore stiffness 
Despondent shuffling skeletons 
Brittle bones began to break 
Smart skulls soaked skeletons in mineral stews 
even this did not seem to help 
 
So one day a skeleton started to think for herself 
And after a time called 
A Conference of the Bones 
 
A hum filled the air 
vibrating the skeletons 
of all who were there 
Learn to listen from within a whisper said 
bones were tapped and softly shaken awake 
Spines one moment moving as a gentle ocean wave 
and the next as straight and strong as any tree branch 
 
Learning to sink, spiral, and roll 
in one smooth uninterrupted flow 
Unafraid to fall the bones started to rise 
bit by bit they became biologically optimized 
And thus called forth to grow 
become more alive and dense 
Just begin and do it 
and it will make so much sense! 
 
Skipping down stairs and melting to the floor 
her image was sweetly stamped inside their skulls 
Feeling the ground the souls of the feet 
regained their strong supple religion by 
reconnecting deep within the church of the earth 
Crowns began to rise toward heaven 
 
With a Sherpa’s smile 
and a Water Carrier’s wave 
they walk on learning how to teach 
teaching others how to learn 
to bring the bones back to Life! 
 
Robert Hamilton

 


Dear Ruthy, 
 
I hope you are well and enjoying your summer. I have been studying my Bones for Life transcripts and teacher’s manuals in preparation for the Didactic I am taking this August. I have been reading and practicing the sequences, and I am totally amazed at your mind. I find myself underlining so many of your statements and writing “critically important” after each of these points. 
 
I have no ulterior motives in sending you this positive feedback. I just want you to know that you have devised an amazing system, and that it is indeed changing my life. I have 62 years of bad habits to reverse, and after only one course with you I already sense that BFL is helping me move with more rhythm and grace. 
 
There are many things you have built into your program that I especially love. One, for example, is the fact that we often start by standing, and you ask us to rate how easy it is to assume that posture. As a researcher, I love that you ask us to assess our baseline before we do the process. Then after the process, you make sure that we again return to assessment. 
 
There are many more things I have come to appreciate about BFL. I never before realized how I moved in bursts and spurts because I was letting sections of my spinal column collapse during axis movement, or that I tended to limit my range of motion during wave-like movement. I may not have corrected everything just yet, but at least I now know that my best chance to fix the inward curve of my neck is through my arms, and that I can increase my range and coordination by using rhythm and pressure. 
 
You are helping me unlock my body piece by piece, Ruthy. There are so many wonderful concepts that you emphasize, and each one feels like a gift. Thanks to you, Moshe, and Bones for Life, I find myself continuing to grow: mentally, emotionally, and physically — as well as spiritually. You took what Moshe developed and you refined and condensed it brilliantly. 
 
I felt so thankful after the New York course in May. Now, after reading all the Kentucky transcripts and studying the manuals, I can hear you saying the words as I read them; I can see you moving gracefully, and standing all day long with only a short midday rest. Thank heavens Denise encouraged me to start on the BFL journey. I don’t ever remember feeling the rhythm of life more profoundly. 
 
And I am having so much fun learning! 
 
With deep gratitude, 
Shereen

 

Dear Ruthy, 
 
A few recent success stories: 
 
– A former Bones student of mine, for whom English is not her first language, excitedly told me that she had been to the doctor and had “grown up!” (A half-inch or so.) 
 
– Another Bones student, who in spite of being quite tall, athletic and long-legged, could never keep up walking with her husband and son. They always told her she needs to step heel-toe and peel through her foot. She went walking with them last week (after only 4 Bones classes) and was amazed to find that she had no trouble keeping up! 
 
– And me: I reduced the prescription in my glasses about 5 years ago, going from 100% prescription progressive lenses to 50% lenses for close-up and 80% lenses for night driving. I just went to the eye doctor and my L eye had improved 21% and my R eye 33%! I know for sure this had something to do with reducing my reliance on the crutch of glasses. But I felt in my gut — in my Bones! — that BFL definitely had something to do with it . . . 
 
— Louise (Bones For Life teacher)

 


A New Beginsey

Barefoot was taboo at eighty years old,
’Till Nancy said I could. Now I am bold,
To wriggle my toes. I just had to be told.
  
Nancy said I was flexible enough
To spiral to the floor, and although it was tough,
I can, but my landing’s still a bit rough.
  
Crimson turned I when she brought out the wrap,
Swathed in it, I sure looked like a sap.
So delicious it felt, I jumped and I clapped.
  
And when I breathed deep on the beige carpet floor,
I grew so relaxed, I’m afraid I did snore,
Slept better that night than I ’ere did before.
  
So thanks to my teacher Nancy Linsley,
Who ferrets out pains from head to shinsey,
Movement awareness for me is just a beginsey.

— Marta Sarkissian

 

 

Dear Ruthy, 
 
I taught another seminar 2 weeks ago.
 
Everyone left happy — especially a woman with MS who has walked with a cane for a long while. She twisted a harness into a crown, put it on her head and walked steadily without her cane for the first time in many years. It was a beautiful afternoon. I begin working with seniors at a local senior center this Wednesday. I taught a demo class there last month and we all had a lot of fun. Now they’ll register for a class that meets every week for 2 months.

Love,
Kim (Bones For Life teacher)


Dear Ruthy,
 
My name is Georg Feuerstein. I spent three days with you and “Bones for Life” in February in Vienna.
 
Since I am a Feldenkrais practitioner and live with a hemiplegia after a severe head/brain injury 30 years ago, you were interested in my feedback about your Bones for Life program. I apologize for my late answer. I would like to give my feedback on a personal and on a professional level.
 
As a handicapped person I personally found it very thrilling to feel my skeletal structures becoming very much clearer, and my upright organization against gravity improving in such a short time. Not only my being upright in a static sense, but also my movement patterns (altered through my handicap), e.g. walking, changed impressively:
 
The rolling of my handicapped foot on the floor while walking became much easier. The integration of my back while stepping stairs became clearer.
The position of the pelvis in connection to the spine changed, and found an improvement.
 
There are lots of other little changes that occurred, but the most remarkable thing is, that although this rather short workshop took place nearly three months ago, the process of remembering the experiences is still rather strong, and also the process of integrating the new patterns in daily life is continuing.

Now my professional view:
 
I am working a lot with elder people and the material from the workshop offered itself immediately to be tried out with several ATM-groups. For me, as a Feldenkrais practitioner, it was a strong experience and an interesting enrichment of my own “tools of work.” The elder people, aged between 70 and 85, enjoyed this way of working very much. Their feedback stated that they were feeling stronger and clearer, more flexible; the blood flow in the extremities improved significantly, and this effect stayed on.

I am looking forward to continue the learning process with you, although it looks like I cannot take part in the next workshop in Vienna in October this year.
 
Could you tell me the dates of your seminars in the German-speaking area this summer, where I can make up for the second part of “ Bones for Life” (instead of October) ?

Best wishes!
 
Yours sincerely,

Georg Feuerstein

 

Hi Ruthy,
 
I took your Bones for Life I at the Feldenkrais Guild conference in San Francisco recently. I mentioned a significant change I noticed as a result of the ATM's, and you asked me to detail it to you in an email. 
 
Here goes: 
 
For about 20 years I have played the viola da gamba, a cello-like instrument that is used for baroque and renaissance music. Since it has no end-pin you support it by balancing the instrument between your knees. I have had a problem with chronic right shoulder tension. In difficult passages of the music or in stressful situations like performances the problem gets much worse. 
 
After the “Roman Sandals” lesson I initially felt when I walked a wonderful connection to the ground, and springiness. What surprised and delighted me is that when I went home and began to practice I felt a very different relationship of my feet to the ground as I held the instrument. The right foot was much more connected to the floor, and I could feel the connection of the pressure of my foot through my leg and into my pelvis. 
 
This new connection allowed me to move my weight more freely on the pelvis, and at the same time drop my right shoulder. Certain passages became much easier to play, I can tell you, with a more relaxed bowing arm and shoulder. I feel that previously I had not let my right foot support my weight. Because of that I think I was holding in the pelvis and right shoulder in an effort to ground myself, i.e. if the weight couldn’t be supported by the floor I had to create that support higher in my body. 
 
Quite a lesson! Thank you.
 
Sincerely,
Karen Ande


 

Dear Ruthy —

Your workshop was quite superb. Thanks for your commitment. The evaluations are excellent and many people would like you to return. I am among them. We would be honored to have you come here again and offer a longer training. I will be working with Olivia to facilitate that happening. I am looking forward to working with her to offer a certificate training program, Bones for Life, beginning in the Fall 2004. The proposal should be organized with academic content and a particular format to request university option credit.
 
Wishing you a joyous and peaceful New Year!

Many blessing and appreciation —
 
Ken Zeno, Director
Institute for Body, Mind, and Spirituality

 

Dear Susan,

You asked me what’s new about Bones for Life developed by Ruthy Alon and why I’m so excited about it. Here are some of the reasons and then some explanations of how it relates to the Feldenkrais Method(R).

It’s a safe way to do weight-bearing exercise to stimulate healthy bone growth. All regimens for dealing with osteoporosis call for weight-bearing exercise. This type of exercise is pain free, brilliant and it works!

It adds a spring to your walk! Ankles and knees and hip joints spring you into action. You are light on your feet!

It makes you stand tall and gives you flexibility to walk, run, advance freely! Your head is held high, your neck and spine feel straight yet are flexible and your ribs move in such delightful new ways, that you breathe more fully — without huffing and puffing.

It’s empowering and energizing, giving you a “can do” feeling that Ruthy Alon calls “biological optimism!” The new energy adds a sparkle to your eyes — your whole being! Susan, all of these things happened to me when I study Bones for Life (tm) with its developer Ruthy Alon. Ruthy is an expert teacher of the Feldenkrais Method(r) that she learned from Moshe Feldenkrais (1904–1984). 
She was among his first pupils.

Cheers,
Susan
Hedy Ohringer

 

I want to thank you for your “Bones” course at Kripalu. It is too soon to know whether it is possible for me to grow new bones, but I have already received at least one hugely appreciated benefit from those three days. As I drove my rented car back to the airport at Albany on my way home, I noticed that my head felt as if it were “floating” above my shoulders — in other words, the stiffness in my neck that had been bothering me for months had disappeared, and I could turn my head freely once again. Probably your lessons had helped me realign my body so that I was carrying myself more efficiently and more comfortably, a happy byproduct of the course.

When one takes into account that I am eighty-six years old, and have had a hip replacement that somewhat restricts my mobility, it makes me even more grateful.

Thank you! 
Helen Weinrich (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

 

Hi Ruthy —

Just wanted to let you know how much I'm enjoying sharing the material from 
your three part “Bones for Life” training in Los Angeles. I have offered several half day workshops since last year's training, which have been well appreciated. The room I use is small, so it is a small group each time, three to seven people. Last month I offered a three and a half hour Continuing workshop, for people who wanted more Bones for Life after the Introductory workshop. I always love to offer this material, and there is plenty of it, so I enjoy feeling generous with my students.

See you at the conference in San Francisco! I'm signed up for your Thursday workshop on Integrating Weight Bearing in FI Lessons. Really looking forward to seeing you and to absorbing all you have to share! The Bones for Life training has helped me develop my understanding and ability to work with clients in weight bearing movements.

Fondly,
Jean Elvin, MFA, GCFP

 

Hello Ruthy,

Thank you ever so much Ruthy for the nine days in Wellington. It has propelled me into another level of understanding Feldy work. I am having much better results in my classes and F.I. now.

As I stick to the principal thinking of what I learned from you, when I let the body come to the biological experience of the mechanisms of walking and gate, in all its various forms and complexities, things begin to shift. Ingrained patterns of gait change and another choice of how to be eventuates.

I am teaching three classes per week per term and four hours per week is Bones For Life material. I also add my stability work with the raband and balls and weights into two of the classes also. And the integration of this work is much more connected now. Since doing the nine days I can adlib, change, and adapt my lessons, which before doing B.F.L. I had always struggled with this in teaching A.T.M. The integration has been incredible. I am so glad that I had played with your material for the 18 months prior to doing your B.F.L. My students are relishing in the material that I am teaching them now. Some of them have been with me for years, and others are new to my teaching, the response has been really positive and exciting. Thank you Ruthy.

I am really interested in studying with you further, if that is at all possible. Is there an outline that you can give me of how I can achieve this? I live in country Australia which makes it quite isolated for me, however, the benefit is that it keeps me well motivated.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with us, one that I truly treasure.

Yours sincerely,

Jenny

 

 

Bones for Life — and the Moving gets Easy 
a poem to the melody of George Gershwin’s “Summertime”
(adapted by Petra Riedel-Willems)

Bones for Life — 
and the moving gets easy. 
Limbs are pushing softly into the wall. 
This Ruthy is so smart; 
Makes us all so good looking . . .

Don’t rush, little student; just take your time.

      Wake up to better Alignment, 
      Take Bones for Life Class. 
      Wake up to better Balance, 
      Move Slowly and have Fun!

      Wake up to better Posture, 
      Do your daily Pum-Pum; 
      Your Bones will grow Stronger. 
      And Get the Spring Back into your Step!

Bones for Life — and the living gets easy; 
New sensations arise along the way. 
Do you dare to follow, and take a little new risk? 
And end the strife 
With Bones for Life?

Bones for Life — and the living gets easy!

 

Hello Ruthy,

What a pleasure to hear from you; thank you for your congratulations on my becoming a certified Bones for Life® Teacher. It has been so much fun to study with Cynthia and Carol, to discover the wonders and magic of your program, and to see the work helping people.

I love it when a student has "ah-ha" moments, just as I do during every class! The insights continue as I appreciate more and more why changes occur. Since I am not a Feldenkrais practitioner, I marvel at your philosophy of movement that teases the body into letting go of habitual movement patterns. How stuck we can all be in those habits.

I am going to invite active women who are approaching, are experiencing, or are post- menopause to come to classes where they can look at and become aware of their habits -- which if not corrected might negatively influence their aging. I wish I had had that opportunity myself twenty years ago.

I am also inviting golfers (we have many golf courses in Tucson) to engage in my Bones for Life® classes in order to improve their posture, balance, coordination, body awareness, bone alignment, etc. -- all of which could have a positive influence on their golf game, and maybe even prevent back troubles that golfers often develop. Perhaps I will find some evidence to support these ideas.

Cynthia and Carol have been supportive and encouraging, as well as great teacher models for me. Realizing how valuable their classes are, I have decided to take at least one class a year to stay fresh and inspired by them.

I am very happy to join the team of Bones for Life® ambassadors. I'll do my best to maintain the standards you have so generously established.

With very best wishes,
Joan Peet
 

Move Through Your Bones
Composed and sung by Rhonda Ohlson, Australia
(click the song title to listen, and sing along!)

Move through your bones, and you’ll move without strain. 
Move through your bones, and you’ll move without pain. 
Your muscles will be free, to work in harmony, 
when you move right through your bones! 
  
Move through your bones, and you’ll feel very light. 
Move through your bones, and you won’t be uptight. 
Your muscles will be free, to work in harmony, 
when you move right through your bones! 
  
Move through your bones, and you’ll feel very strong. 
Move through your bones, and you’ll feel you belong. 
Your muscles will be free, to work in harmony, 
when you move right through your bones! 
  
Move through your bones, and you’ll feel so alive. 
Move through your bones, and you’ll certainly thrive. 
Your muscles will be free, to work in harmony, 
when you move right through your bones! 
  
Move through your bones, and you’ll feel very tall. 
Move through your bones, and you’ll feel how to fall. 
Your muscles will be free, to work in harmony, 
when you move right through your bones! 

 


Remembering Christle and Reinhart in Vienna

 


 

 

 

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