How You Move, Moves Your Baby

A Feldenkrais Method® and Developmental Milestones Workshop with Bernadette Robinson and Sara Elderfield   

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Our lives as human beings are relational. We are not born with all the physical, emotional and social skills that we need to navigate the world as adults fully activated. In fact, we require a long apprenticeship within our environment (other humans and our actual earth environment) to help us to activate and organize these skills within us. In the early stages of life particularly, our ability to ‘complete’ the developmental stages ‘well’/’efficiently’ is partly dependent on what, in attachment theory, is called contingent, collaborative communication with our caregivers. ‘When contingent communication is present in our interactions, our sense of self with that person feels right. It feels good. We feel understood…’. (Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Hartzell). Babies, children and adults who feel good and feel safe have the inner feeling of a secure base/foundation which is one of the elements required for successful learning, exploring and relationships.

From a purely physical or functional point of view, developmental stages of movement build on each other. Mastery of each step requires not only that we can roll for example but that we can roll ‘efficiently’. In Feldenkrais, it is well-known that the adage, ‘You can only give what you have’ is true; meaning that we can only transmit clearly, the movement patterns that we have activated in ourselves. Additionally, timing matters, words and tone matter, and how we touch matters. For parents and grandparents who want to help facilitate the development of the children in their lives, it then makes sense that how you move yourself and how you move or handle your child can be more or less skillful depending on your own physical ‘organization’.

 Who is this course for? 

1.      For everyone who is interested in how ‘re-doing’ the developmental stages of movement can enhance your ability to move with ease and change habitual life patterns.

2.      For parents/grandparents who are currently ‘in the thick of it’ and want to develop positioning and handling skills to feel more confident in their caregiving role.

3.      For professionals who work with children.

What we propose during these classes is that you:

·       Experience each of the developmental movement ‘markers’ that a child needs to do to develop social, emotional and physical functions and relationships.

·       Gain a theoretical understanding of what each of the stages are and how they are significant for developing social, emotional and physical functions and relationships.

·       Develop positioning and handling skills that can make both the baby feel physical secure and you as a caregiver more confident in your caregiving role. We will use a doll to practice handling. For those who are not doing the course in order to handle children, this time with your hands will further embed the patterns we are practicing in your nervous system.

Sara Elderfield, Certified Feldenkrais Method® practitioner

Sara grew up in Indonesia, Burma, country W.A. and Perth. She studied literature at U.W.A. for three years before taking a detour in 1993 to study yoga and meditation and began teaching in 1996. In 1999, she started Yoga Moves. At the beginning of 2005, Sara commenced the four-year Feldenkrais Method training and now teaches group classes (Awareness Through Movement) as well as seeing clients for individual lessons (Functional Integration). Since 2006, she has been running the Centre for Movement Studies studio which based in Shenton Park and hosts a variety of workshops and classes run by other local and international teachers. In addition to the classes which run each week, Sara has also taught in numerous workplaces and schools throughout Perth and takes groups overseas (Bali, Nepal, Vietnam, Tibet and France) for yoga, Feldenkrais, meditation and walking retreats. Learning new things, understanding the process of learning and sharing this through teaching has been a lifelong passion for her.

Bernadette Robinson, Physiotherapist (Paed)

Bernadette graduated at the Physiotherapy School at the Georg August University Göttingen, Germany, in 1980. Prior to moving to Australia, she worked for 15 years as a Physiotherapist in the Children's Hospital & Child Development Centre in Oldenburg, Germany. Here she treated children of all ages with a variety of medical conditions. During this time, she specialised in the treatment of children with developmental, neurological and respiratory conditions.  After she passed the AECOP Exam in 1999, she worked for a couple of years at Rocky Bay, treating young adults with neuro muscular conditions, before she became the Senior Physiotherapist at the Fremantle Child Development Service. Bernadette still holds this position and works one day per week in her private practice. 

Early Gross Motor Skills and Emotional Wellbeing of Infants & Young Children

In the course of her interactions with thousands of babies/children and their caregivers, Bernadette observed that the development of specific early gross motor skills is fundamental for many of the infant’s developing social, emotional and physical functions and relationships. For example, infants with weak stability and poor control of their core trunk muscles often have concomitant difficulties with not only fine motor skills, but also with the feeding relationship and feeding, sleeping, speech, language and communication. Daily care activities can become a stressful experience for the infant and the caregiver if lifting, carrying, lowering, bathing, feeding, positioning, and protection are awkward and if infant’s cues are misunderstood.

Paediatric physiotherapy involves a mother and infant who are in the very early stages of their relational journey together. Bernadette tries to enhance this relationship by collaborating with mothers to develop positioning and handling skills that make both the babies feel physically secure and the caregivers more confident in their parenting role.

What is the Feldenkrais Method?

Feldenkrais keeps you moving through all the stages of life. Throughout the world, the Feldenkrais Method® is growing in recognition as a way of enhancing human performance in life generally but particularly in the fields of the performing arts, sports and sciences (especially rehabilitation and pain management). It can also assist those with learning disabilities.  

The Feldenkrais Method®, developed through 40 years of study by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, is a revolutionary approach to understanding human functioning. It utilizes movement and attention to enhance our natural abilities to learn, to change and to continue to develop throughout our lifetime. Certified Feldenkrais Practitioners® use movement, attention and sensory re-education to promote ease and comfort, improve coordination and flexibility, expand self-awareness and evoke greater vitality. It is impressive in its versatility and draws on the physical sciences, martial arts, and all the human sciences.  It encompasses the developmentally based patterns of human movement and behaviour.


Hand to foot…

Hand to foot…

Dates and time: 6 Saturdays, 18, 25 May, 1, 8, 15 & 22 June, 11am - 12.30pm. Please arrive 5 minutes early to collect the equipment you will need and set up your place. 

Venue: Centre for Movement Studies and Yoga Moves Studio, 45 Evans Street, Shenton Park. The studio is a separate hall attached to the West Subiaco Masonic Hall (‘Google’ 78 Herbert Road for directions) and the entrance is on Evans Street opposite Lake Jualbup.  

What to bring:  A doll or a teddy bear with limbs that can be folded/moved. (During the first lesson we will show you one that can be bought cheaply at K-Mart if necessary). Mats and towels are provided but please bring your own if you would prefer your own. You will need to wear clothing that you can move and breathe in (no tight waistbands, jeans or belts etc).

Cost: $198/$165 concession including GST.

Bookings and enquiries: To check availability, ask questions and/or to book please email Sara: sara@yogamoves.net.au or phone/text 0415 363 313.

Payments: Your place is only guaranteed upon receipt of payment. Please make any cheques payable to ‘Centre for Movement Studies’ and post to Sara Elderfield, PO Box 7191, Shenton Park 6008 or send a direct debit. Direct debit: Please include your name on your payment as a reference.

Bank: Commonwealth Bank   Account name: Yoga Moves

BSB: 066 125 Account number: 1013 5666

Hand to foot…

Hand to foot…