Thursday, October 26, 2006


Walking is good for me. Walking is good for every body, because this is how human bodies are made. First we are blobs. Then we learn to roll over. Then we learn to sit up. And then we learn to crawl. And then we learn to walk. And then we learn to stand.

Standing is harder than walking, which is a graceful means of falling and catching ourselves and falling and catching ourselves.

We are amazing creatures.

Try to make a human shaped sculpture and not have it fall over. Feet are small and we are very big compared to our feet. This is an amazing feat to walk on our feet.

When we walk we are moving our upper torso one way and our lower torso another way, and thus we are continually massaging our spine.

When we walk we are upright and can look out at the world, out at the trees and the blue skies, and the trees around us. Bicycles are immensely ecological and immensely efficient, but walking is immensely satisfying for our souls and is far more healthy for our whole system.

So: good for your soul, good for your soles, get out and walk every day is the advice from this healer.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

ERICKSONIAN HYPNOSIS: Gentleness and Possibilities

Milton Erickson was an amazing man, a healer and wise person, an MD and father, and a skilled hypnotist who sometimes used trance to increase a person's potential for change, and sometimes just used a way of communicating that allowed the client to discover a new path.

This is often the core of healing.

As in Feldenkrais: it's not the "sore shoulder" that is the "problem. No, the "problem" is between the ears, being stuck in an habitual way of using ourselves that will result in "sore shoulder" no matter how many operations or massages we have.

With Erickson, if you were stuck, he didn't delve into the why, and had no interest in overcoming your "resistance," but was very concerned with giving a person new ways of tasting and experiencing and succeeding in reality.

One nice story is of a little boy, brought into his office, who stomped on the floor in protest at being there. Milton looked, nodded and said, "Pretty good for a little small boy. But if you were a big boy could you stomp harder?" Sure the boy could. "Almost. Could you stomp harder, like a really big boy?" And so on, until, exhausted, the boy more or less begged to sit down and do whatever talking was necessary. The boy never failed, never got into conflict, was never made wrong. His natural energies were used and then he came to a decision to do something else.

And he had proved to both his and Milton's satisfaction, what a "big boy" he could be.

Another client, in a mental institution, was driving everyone nuts going around saying he was Jesus, and didn't need to work, he just needed to give them all the Truth. Milton listened, nodded and then innocently asked, "But if you are Jesus, aren't you a carpenter?" The guy had to say yes. "And then you must be good at doing carpentry?" The guy had to say yes, and ended up becoming quite useful and proud of himself doing odd jobs around the place.

Neither of these instances involved hypnosis per say, and both show a key aspect of Ericksonian hypnosis: the client is always right, and that right can always be used in new and interesting ways.

A trance, which as I use it, is not some wuwu way out thing, but a sense of deep absorption, is a chance to imagine a world in ways that begin to show new possibilities.

In Feldenkrais we might work with one side and have all sorts of amazing improvements, and then "just" imagine doing the work on the other side, and be amazed to have results "just" from imagining. In an Ericksonian trance, we can imagine an alternative set of behaviors in which we try out and succeed in some new behavior: eating more healthfully say, or exercising and enjoying it, or being thrilled and happy to see ourselves in the mirror, or taking time to really enjoy and relax each day.

The essence of Ericksonian hypnosis is the expansion of possibilities.

Amazingly enough that is the essence of WakeUp Feldenkrais, and of Feldenkrais work, and of the Byron Katie work. What a small sweet world we have here, all for your change and improvement and delight!

Saturday, October 21, 2006



That's the eight word definition.

We can try these as well:
  • One word:

  • Two words:

  • Three words:

  • Four words:

  • Five words:

  • Or:

    One sentence:
  • With human beings basically asleep to their lives, waking up is essential to knowing who we really are.

  • Two sentences:
  • While the Feldenkrais Method, in and of itself, is one of the primary systems in the world in coming to an awareness of who we really are, WakeUp Feldenkrais makes this explicit.

  • The goal is to not just wake in the lessons, but in all of our lives.

  • Three sentences:
  • Take everything written in the What is the Feldenkrais Method? essay/composition.

  • Mix in the incentive of waking from our ongoing sleep.

  • Add to the mix a realization that to truly transform our lives, an ongoing connection to pleasure and learning and awareness is necessary.

  • Four sentences:
  • People basically want to stay stuck.

  • We have this magical thinking: sure I want to change, as long as I don't have to change anything.

  • Although the unfamiliar can be “scary,” even more scary, to me, is staying in the same rut for years and years.

  • WakeUp Feldenkrais applies to all areas of our life: work, talking, moving, thinking, feeling, making love, taking a walk, changing a diaper, washing a dish.

  • Check this out, too, as highly pertinent:

  • Feldenkrais and our Big Self

What is WakeUp Feldenkrais?


Because Feldenkrais work is modeled on how we, as genius babies, learned from blobs to crawling and walking and talking, it is the premier approach for people who want to come to a higher state of organization and use of themselves.

This could be the undoing of deficits.
Deficits could be in childhood, as with cerebral palsy, autism, or various learning difficulties. Dyslexia and the normal reaction to the confinement and rigidity of even a 'good' school system create a narrowing down and a limiting of a child. This limiting cries out for waking up options to learning and growing.

This is the Feldenkrais Method and the WakeUp Feldenkrais Way: How many more options for a full and rich and aware and now cenered and delight centered life can we together create?

Deficits could be in adulthood, strokes, pains in the back or neck, shoulder, hands, stuff that happens from accidents and strokes, recovery from surgeries. or even the wish to avoid surgery. These are troubled times, with one good aspect: people decide it's finally okay to do something besides what they've always done.

In desperation they return to one of the most wonderful aspects of human life: learning.

But this work is not just bringing back of deficits.

We want people to recover from a stroke or an accident or a sore shoulder or back and keep learning and end up functioning better than they have since they were a child.

This is learning, not fixing.


So, another use I'm interested in is the enhancing of excellence,helping people who are already good at teaching, or some sport like golf or skiing, or are excellent at an instrument or singing or acting, helping them, by getting them to tap into learning and learning about learning in new ways, to become even better at what they are already good at.


And finally: my work, the work of WakeUp Feldenkrais, is about Waking Up into the moment.

This is where we learn, this is where we are happy, this is where we love, this is where we love life.

To live in a state of Presence is to live a full and wonderfull life.

To be aware of this very moment, is a beautiful place to live.


For a List of Many
Fantastic Benefits,
The Glories of Feldenkrais
in Sidebar to the left

And since Feldenkrais is about having options,
let's go thru this again,
if you are in the mood:

What is WakeUp Feldenkrais?

WakeUp Feldenkrais is my term for what I emphasize in the Feldenkrais Method. The Feldenkrais Method, in and of itself, is based on the premise that core to being a human being is our ability to learn, that unlike a baby cow or goat or deer that has wired in the ability to walk and run, we humans need to learn vast ranges of behavior, from rolling over to crawling to walking to running and talking.

This leaves us open to huge variations in how we cope with the challenges of gravity and motion and living in a family and a social order and some of these variations we have learned have become habits that get in the way of our having a good life.

The Feldenkrais Method is about learning, through variation and awareness and slowing down of tempo and effort and getting out of our verbal minds, how to move in more pleasant and efficient ways. It is also about how to re-discover how to go about learning ANYTHING new.

For now, let this suffice: we are human, we need to learn, some of our learning isn't serving us well, we can undo and transform our old habits and rise to a new level of organization and living.

My take, the WakeUp Feldenkrais take, which is not exclusive to me at all, is that this method is about learning how to unlearn habits in all areas of our life, not just movement. So WakeUp Feldenkrais, to me, is about getting free of social habits, such as addiction to automobiles, and emotional habits, such as addiction to blaming others when we feel bad, to health habits, of wanting and using "experts" to "fix" us when we are unhealthy.

And, that's not the core of WakeUp Feldenkrais. The core, is a focusing on Presence and awareness of this moment as the core of what the work is all about, the core of what the method is all about.. Indeed, along with love and connection to our Earth, awareness is at the core of what life is about, in my take.

So in WakeUp Feldenkrais I am trying to set up an idea of coming to class or lesson in a state of awareness, and having that awareness deepened during class or lesson, and then after class or lesson, instead of falling into the usual sleep and yammer of most post-yoga, post-meditation, and even (sadly, alas) post-Feldenkrais class. The goal is to wake up, before, during and after class, or lesson, or any encounter we have with any human being, or part of our world, be it tree or cup of tea or door handle.

The goal is to wake up in our lives.

Cool, eh?

And doubly cool that right now, we can practice and experience and enjoy this awareness of our life as it is going on right now and we are aware right now of our life going on right now.

Sweet, eh?

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Would you enjoy being healthier?


Would you enjoy being happier?

We can gain weight, or we can gain health. We can go along the old
and habitual pathways,
or we can wake up
and live each day
and each bite
as an affirmation of the glory of life.

We can eat in such a way
that we eat all we want
and still lose excess weight
and gain immensely in health.

This requires change,
and a rising up above the myth
that we have to be the way we always have been,
and an end to beating ourselves up
for ..........
(whatever it is we beat ourselves up about).

Internal violence is not the answer.
Happiness, awareness, fun change,
and the delight of feeling better and better
are what this work is all about.

I will be offering a three hour intro to
this approach the Saturday after Thanksgivng,
called : Gain Health, not Weight.
You can find more about this at
Fitness, Health, and Weight Reduction


For those who would like to take responsibility for their health and their happiness, I offer a ten week course in radical improvement. This is one on one, and includes 12 lessons over the ten weeks.

This will include:

  • Weight loss if you so desire.

  • Radical improvement in your diet, if you so desire.

  • A clearer path of moving.

  • A deeper and more pleasant connection to yourself.

  • Improved breathing and happiness.

  • Happier and more clear thinking, if you so desire.

  • A deeper understanding of yoga and tai chi as possible everyday health friends.

  • A deeper and clearer commitment to being outside and in touch with nature.

  • The Work of Byron Katie: clear up the past, clean up relationships, get clear. (See

  • The Work of Byron Katie: stop being mean to yourself sessions,

  • Body Talk™ sessions.

  • Feldenkrais lessons.

  • WakeUp Feldenkrais lessons.

  • Ericksonian hypnosis, if you so desire.

  • Raw Foods, if you want to leave almost all, if not all, sickenesses behind.

The program will be a ten week commitment, as said above: 12 sessions over the ten weeks, each session about ah hour and a quarter in time length, though the strenth isn't in the length, it's in what you do between lessns.

This will cost $1500.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


About Marlie

Marlie Wesner loves yoga and it comes through, in her teaching and in her practice.

Marlie has been studying yoga since 1981. Her initial training took place in the first thirteen years of her practice within the Siddha yoga ashrams. There she spent 13 summers studying yoga and yoga philosophy with Carlos Pomeda, Douglas Brooks, Sally Kempton and eventually met John Friend the founder of Anusara Yoga in 1989 and has been studying with him ever since. She has also trained with Sarah Powers and Maritza.

John Friend’s emphasis on the heart in yoga shines through in Marlie’s teaching. Moving with Grace is what her classes are about, a combination of heart, mind and body. She brings a love of the philosophy to the mind, a love of life to the heart, and a love of moving and achieving joy in the body through the asanas.

Marlie in down dog

She has a strong dedication to awareness in yoga and the use of Anusara universal principles of alignment as a safe way to learn and expand our abilities

She completed a Feldenkrais training with Chris, and
though not offering Feldenkrais lessons,
combines this understanding with her private classes.

(For a more in depth private lesson
to radically accelerate your yoga
try a Functional Integration® Lesson from Chris,
in combination
with private classes from Marlie.)

Marlie loves life and it comes through in her life.

Marlie is as well a master gardener and experienced herbalist and appreciates body use in the real world, not just in the studio. People of all sizes and shapes are welcome in her classes, which are of many levels, from level 1 to level 4.

Marlie in GardenPhoto: Richard Dale

She has two daughters, ages 22 and 25, and raised them without television and deeply in connection with nature. She loves to eat naturally, to be outside, to garden, to knit, to read, and to chant and be in love with life.

Marlie in a twist

She teaches Sunday mornings at 9:45, and Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9:30 AM. All these classes are at the Yoga Community, in Sonoma, California.

All her classes start and end with beautiful chanting, a treat to all with ears and a tribute to her love and thankfulness to life and yoga.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Undo Deficits
Enhance Excellence
Wake Up to the Moment

The goal of this work is to use our wishes
to improve our posture or our yoga or recover from a stroke or
transform a "frozen shoulder" or "sore back" or ouchie neck or
improve our already great skiing or golf, in fact, the whole Glories of Feldenkrais list:
the goal is to use that wish as the lure,
to bring us into a work that wakes us up
to the miracle of life
in the present moment,
to having a richer and more meaningful and
satisfying life,
as in LIFE.

Hands on Elbows
An Awareness Through Movement® lesson. Photo by Rosalie O'Conner.

Once in the moment, we begin
the path of discovery,
not only out of pain,
not only toward improving what we are already good at,
not only to greater flexibility of mind and body and spirit,
not only to increased and higher levels of organization in moving and thinking,
but to a deeper and more pure and healthy and happy
connection to ourselves.

To be aware will enable miracles to happen.
To be aware is a miracle unto itself.
This is WakeUp Feldenkrais.

The healing is in the learning,
and as we learn,
we not only heal the so-called "problem,"
or improve the already good golf or skiing,
but we increase our level of organization
and our ability to learn
and our ability to be aware.

We increase our possibilities
to have a rich, full and wonderful life.

So we are creating flexibility of our brains
and our bodies
and our potentialities.

Good stuff, amazing stuff, miraculous stuff:


Group Lessons

Slow and aware movements, often lying on the ground/ floor on a mat or blanket. With attention, we can connect to ourselves and move in ways of ease and understanding that we haven’t approached since we were very young.

What's New from this Point of View?
What's New From this Point of View?
Photo by Rosalie O'Conner.

Even so, the awareness is the goal, while all this sweet improvement and learning is happening.


March 17, Saturday ( St. Pat's)
10 AM- 11:30 AM

Lecture and demonstration of learning
stress reduction
flexibility enhancement
creativity support
self connection
pain transformation,


the the Feldenkrais Method,

Wake Up Feldenkrais

and more.

At Pharmaca.
(303 West Napa, Sonoma, Ca.)
Tele: 707-938-1147.


Transformational Movement Series
2 Classes
Sundays Noon- 2 PM
March 18 and April 1
$30 single class, prepaid.
$50 for both, prepaid.
$35 for one, $55 for both paid at the door..

Learn to move
and think
in easier
Undo pains,
increase skills,
feel younger
and happier
and healthier.

Transform via
WakeUp Feldenkrais
• Shoulders, Neck, Arms
April 28-29, 10:30 AM- 4:30 PM

• Backs and Brains
May 19-20, 10:30 AM- 4:30 PM

• Hips and Legs
June 16-17, 10:30 AM- 4:30 PM
• All workshops: $235

• Increase moving ease

• Get smarter, stronger

• Increase pleasure

• Transform Pain

• Learn to move as you
did when you were a child

• Re-learn to learn again
as you did when you were a child

• Have fun

• Learn ways of being
that bring pleasure
in many aspects of your life

• Learn ways of moving
and learning
that improve not just
"the issue"
but golf, tennis, walking, skiing,
playing with kids, gardening,
i.e. ordinary, wonderful life

• Feel & move 20 yrs younger


Back, Neck, Shoulder Pain

Children with learning difficulties

Enhance Excellence: Sports, Music, Dance, Performance, Yoga, Gifted Children

Touch Guided Lessons, or Functional Integration®

These lessons are one on one and last 45 minutes. The client lies fully clothed on a comfortable and firm low table and is guided in gentle and directed touch in ways that wake up new possibilities of connection, improvement and that wondrous core of ourselves: AWARENESS.

The goal is to come to the sessions in the present, become illuminated and more connected to the present and to leave and go back into ones life with heightened ease, self connection, abilities and awareness.

Although we aren't "fixing" you, because of learning, you will improve in rapid and gentle and amazing ways, that not only improve your life and your moving, but your faith in your ability to change other areas of your life by presence and discovery.

Chris Elms, M.A.(Psychology), GCFP
( Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner)
To certify, the training requires 160 days over 4 years.
I have taken an additional 127 days of training, with 27 days in
Anat Baniel's Advanced Mastery with Children.
See Children with special needs
for the Anat Baniel understanding.

Contact via email at Email Chris Elms, M.A>
Or call 707-996-1437.

Monday, October 16, 2006


The goal of this coaching is to use the miraculously powerful tools of

  • The Work of Byron Katie

  • Being Present

  • Connecting to Nature

  • Wake Up Feldenkrais

  • Recommitment and undersanding of Happiness

  • Creative Visualization and Writing and Speaking

  • to

    Redefine and

  • Relationships ( including old stuff with family, ex-partners, children, parents)

  • Business and Group Dynamics

  • Happiness Issues

  • Depression, Worry, Anxiety

  • Past Traumas

  • Life Clarity Issues.

Bring a journal.
Bring all your complaints about the "problem people" in your life.
Bring all your inner and outer aches and pains.
Bring a sense of wanting to END SUFFERING.

This is healthy.
You want to be happy, in an honest and clean way,
and this is what Life wants for you
and this is what I want for you.
If you have your sense of humor available, bring that. Otherwise, it will surface as we work together.

Love of Truth and Love of Life Will
Set You Free

This will do what therapy does, and faster, and what good Buddhism does, and faster. It's so simple it drives some people crazy, but what is the story that it takes forever and ever to undo all this inner pain? Just a story.

Cost is sliding scale. $90-180 per hour. Call for an appointment. 707-996-1437.
Or Email me

Phone sessions available.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Grew up young and loving the outside and water in Southern California, Newport Beach of all places.

Went to college Caltech, full of smart suckers all very competitive and that didn’t seem like real living, so I transferred to Stanford, which was a bit stodgy, even then during the Vietnam, raise hell years.

Leaving college and intent on avoiding the draft (no higher office in sight for me, saying that), and interested in the “real world,” I volunteered for VISTA, Volunteers in Service to America, and worked with black people in the rough areas of Brooklyn, New York. This was the wild years, of Black Panthers and Martin Luther King being shot, but people are people, and getting to know a block worth (2000 people) of black and Puerto Rican people was a lot more education in life than four years of college had been.

I met the mother of my children, Peggy Cunningham, in New York City in 1968, when I was a VISTA ( internal Peace Corps) volunteer in Brooklyn and the Bronx. We had two children, Wenonah Elms and Brendan Elms. Soon, there’ll be pictures of them on this blog.

We did some interesting things together, Peggy and I, as I taught school in Gilroy, California for 3 years and learned that real vegetables were the ones you raised organically and they tasted 50 times better. We also got into goats and goat milk and cheese.

We tried the commune thing and we learned a lot and left and came to Berkeley, where Brendan was born (Wenonah was born in San Jose, when we lived south of Gilroy in San Juan Bautista, but had to go to San Jose to find a hospital where the father could attend the birth). Peggy and I split long ago, but both kids went through all their school in the Berkeley system, which, if you are smart or talented, or both, is a fantastic system.

In Berkeley, I made a living as a counselor and a group leader and Fischer-Hoffman Therapist and a design/builder and a landscape designer and learned most of the list in the About Me section. I’ll make the list even fuller here: organic gardening, meditation, Tibetan meditation, Gestalt therapy, the eneagram, the Oscar Ichazo/ Arica stuff, Fischer Hoffman Process (was a teacher in that for awhile), Tai Chi, massage, Erickson Hypnosis, NLP, Raw Foods Health, Body Electronics, Permaculture Design, Feldenkrais. Only Body Talk came along as completely “new” after moving to Sonoma, though I had no idea until I moved that I’d end up a Feldenkrais practitioner, I just knew I was constantly recommending it to people with body “issues.” I also didn’t know it was a learning system until after four years of studying it.

I also did a lot of writing in Berkeley, essays, plays, screenplays.

It was when Brendan got out of high school that I felt free to leave Berkeley and come to the country.

In the prologue you can find how I met Marlie.

The nice part of that story, is that I just said “Yes,” to someone asking me to something I never had any desire to do: come to yoga. And then we ended up in Feldenkrais by saying, “Yes,” to a little postcard that someone passed on to Marlie about a weekend workshop in Feldenkrais hosted by the man who became our trainer, Denis Leri, whose site is

Sonoma is nice, beautiful and all that, and polluted with too much money and too many cars and too many drinkers, be it “responsible” or alcoholic. It’s country and most people don’t realize that, so locked away in their cars and indoors they are. It’s progressive, sort of, except most people believe sickness and health problems spring from some mysterious force, rather than bad eating and living decisions. It’s small town and near a big urban area and over expensive and still wonderful.

And then, as we all learn and keep relearning: it's the inner weather that makes our life. Sonoma can be awful and if I'm wonderful inside it doesn't matter. Sonoma can be wonderful and if I'm worried and out of the present inside, it doesn't matter. Sonoma is just a place, with some good chances to get outdoors. Many, many place offer a good chance to get outdoors.

Are we taking that chance?

Have you taken that chance today?

Life is one moment after another, isn't it? How's this moment for you.

Ciao for

Email me