Hi, I'm Špela

​​MSc sport science, BSc kinesiology, Feldenkrais practitioner, Child’Space practitioner,

animal-assisted therapist, pilates teacher.

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For the last 10 years I have been working in orthopedic rehab, injury prevention, pain reduction and animal-assisted therapy. 

In my work I’ve learned how much our bodies tell us and how much we can reduce or even completely avoid the pain if we listen to them. 

I’ve also found out how much the state of our bodies, our mind and our spirit are interconnected.

Here you can read more about my work, the philosophy of my work and about the classes you can join.

 

About Feldenkrais with Špela

I have a dream, (imagine Abba playing in the background), that everyone would feel good being in their body and being themselves. 

 

From my personal experience I know how much I change, depending on how I feel in myself. Does the same happen to you too?

I have a dream, (imagine Abba playing in the background), that everyone would feel good being in their body and being themselves. 

 

From my personal experience I know how much I change, depending on how I feel in myself. Does the same happen to you too? 

For example, when you’re having a pain, being stressed out and anxious. 

You don’t feel good in your skin, can’t give your all on your projects and can’t give the energy you want to your family and friends, right? 

 

In contrast, when you don’t have pain, feel comfortable in your body and satisfied with yourself, you are a different person, aren’t you? 

You radiate love, acceptance and patience. That’s palpable for everyone around you.

 

My dream is to help you feel more of that! To find out how good you can feel in your body and how good it can be to be you. 

The first step is to learn how to be attentive to yourself. 

 

There are many ways to learn to bring self-awareness and attention to yourself.

In my personal experience and in my professional work with clients, one of the most amazing and helpful tools is the Feldenkrais method.

 

Feldenkrais method was first my journey to healing. 

 

I had strong tension in my shoulders and neck, pain in my chest, bad back pain, anxious feelings, tiredness, headaches, knee pain while running and hiking, …

 

I’m a nature and movement nerd. I could run, hike, climb and enjoy nature all day long. That’s the way I wanted to keep it and all those pains and aches were in my way. 

Not to mention that on many days I didn’t feel good being me.

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I studied, did research-based exercises that should work, a lot of stability training, pilates, physio,…and it got better.

And then it got worse again.

It was in a continuous circle from which I really wished to get out of. 

 

I’m curious, joyful and don’t like to give up easily. I decided to find the way. I kept looking for something that would help me long-term. 

That’s how I came to the Feldenkrais method. 

 

Through the Feldenkrais method I found out that even though I did a lot of movement and sports, I just wasn’t listening to my body. Unconsciously I kept doing the same things over and over again, that caused me pain.

Not only in movement, also in other areas of my life, I wasn’t keeping much attention to my needs. I kept being overwhelmed, overworked and overstressed.

When I got aware of what is causing me tension and pain and started to change it, all my aches and pains slowly dissolved and disappeared.

 

Since then, through my work, I’ve seen the same happen with so many clients of mine. 

I strongly believe that it can help you too!

About the Feldenkrais method

 

Find out about:

  • who is the FM for?

  • what is the FM?

  • which FM approach is right for you?

Find out about:

  • who is the FM for?

  • what is the FM?

  • which FM approach is right for you?

Who is the Feldenkrais method for? It’s for you if you would like to:

  • explore your body and your sensations through movement

  • feel calmer and know how to find peacefulness in yourself also on the stressful days,

  • listen to yourself and know what you need,

  • have less pain and tension. Eventually it might be no pain or tension at all,

  • feel more grounded, lighter, more relaxed and enjoy an overall wellbeing in your life,

  • feel at home in your body.

 

Because of the safety of Feldenkrais classes, this approach is great for all ages and a wide variety of participants. In my classes the oldest participant is 90 years old. 

Important is the desire to get to know your body and yourself and to actively participate on your path towards well-being.

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Through the lessons you’ll learn:

  •  to calmly listen to yourself and your body, which will help you find comfort in yourself, 

  • reduce stress, improve sleep quality and overall well-being,

  • find movements that cause you tension, pain or feelings of heaviness. Replace them for the ones that make your movement easy, flexible, enjoyable and pain-free.

  • to get aware of old patterns or excessive effort (in your movement, emotions or thoughts), that don’t serve you anymore. Learn to let go of the old ones and change them for the ones you like more.

 

People that practice the method often find out that they (unconsciously) start to implement the principles also in other areas of their life. They notice more and more when they need:

  • a rest to prevent a headache, 

  • some alone time to feel calmer,

  • a chat with a friend to feel more resourced, etc.

 

All that makes your life a better place to be in.

What is the Feldenkrais method?

It is a method that promotes self-awareness in your movement. It uses biomechanically structured movement and focused attention to release pain and discomforts in your body. 

 

It was invented by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, a doctor of Physics and an amazing judoka, who was looking for ways to help himself solve his knee pain and avoid the operation.

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© International Feldenkrais® Federation Archive

There are two approaches in the method, individual sessions, called Functional integration (FI) and group sessions called Awareness Through Movement (ATM).

About two Feldenkrais approaches and which one is right for you?

 
1. Group classes – Awareness Through Movement (ATM)​

Feldenkrais group class is a space, where you can (re)connect with yourself. 

In a class you’ll be encouraged to bring awareness to yourself and follow the teacher's verbal instructions. 

1. Group classes – Awareness Through Movement (ATM)​

Feldenkrais group class is a space, where you can (re)connect with yourself. 

In a class you’ll be encouraged to bring awareness to yourself and follow the teacher's verbal instructions. 

You’ll be invited to do movements in a way that you like how they feel. 

Classes are mostly done lying on a mat on the floor, sometimes also sitting on a chair or on the floor or standing.

 

The lessons are often described by my participants as something between meditation and yoga. 

It's similar to meditation, because you're bringing awareness to yourself, and you stay attentive to your body, breath, emotions, sensations and thoughts. 

Often, you'll come in a deep state of calmness in the lesson and afterwards. 

 

Many of my participants say that there's no meditation that would allow them to become so calm and mindfully focused for such a long time as the Feldenkrais method. 

They call it a »Meditation in movement«. 

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The difference between the Feldenkrais method and meditation is that in the Feldnekrais lesson you'll follow biomechanically structured and useful movements that allow you to relax excessive effort and release the pain. 

At the end of the lesson, you can expect to move easier, feel more lightness and freedom in your body and have less tension or pain. 

You might also feel energized, relaxed, happy and motivated.

 

It's also similar to yoga, because of some similar movements and positions that you will encounter in the lessons. 

The difference to yoga is that the focus of attention in the Feldenkrais method is on how the movement feels to you. 

If it's not comfortable to you, you'll be encouraged to do the movement smaller, slower and most importantly find your way – comfortable, enjoyable and pain-free. 

 

Because of its safety, an easy way to follow and little equipment you'll need, the ATM classes are also very easy to follow from the comfort of your home via zoom. To participate via zoom you'll need a computer, a tablet of a phone with a camera and a mat or blanket. If lying on the floor is uncomfortable for you, you can do the lesson also on the sofa or on the bed.

 

For more information about group classes please click here (pdf).

To find out more about participants' experiences, please click here (testimonials).


 

2. Individual class - Functional integration lesson (FI)

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Feldenkrais individual classes are hands-on sessions that will help you develop awareness for your body and comfortable sensations in your body.

In the FI you'll be resting on the table and the teacher will be moving you with a soft touch and in a comfortable way. 

That's why FI could remind you of a massage.

 

The difference to a massage is that the Feldenkrais teacher works with your nervous system. (You'll find a short explanation of that in the section about the Feldenkrais method here.) 

You can imagine it's like the work of a conductor that organizes the orchestra. The Feldenkrais teacher similarly shows your brain how to conduct and organize your muscles and your movement better.

You'll experience that as muscle relaxation, as an overall feeling of lightness in your body and easiness in your movement right after the lesson and in the days after the lesson. 

You might also feel happy, calm, energized and relaxed.

 

The difference between a Feldenkrais lesson and many massage styles is also that Feldenkrais' teacher will never work through the pain. She/he will be working very softly and will be very conscious of your comfort. If you experience any unusual discomfort, or muscle pain, the teacher will stop the movement and take care of your comfort first.

 

If you have chronic pain, you might already experience relief after the first lesson. You might find a total relief after a few sessions working on the biomechanically supportive and comfortable movement.

 

The difference between FI and massage is also, that in the FI lessons we don't use oil and you stay fully clothed during the lesson.

Why work with me?

 

I know it’s important that you find a practitioner that is a good match for you. I know also that it’s not an easy job, so I did my best and wrote 9 (fun) facts about me. I hope it helps you ;)

I know it’s important that you find a practitioner that is a good match for you. I know also that it’s not an easy job, so I did my best and wrote 9 (fun) facts about me. I hope it helps you ;)

1.

Funny enough, I didn’t like Feldenkrais at all when I did my first class. How could that be?? ☺

I signed up for a two-day workshop because of my very bad back-pain. On the first day, I did the lessons and I though “How on earth should THAT help me??”. I need to admit I was nervous while doing all those small movements and I really didn’t get it. Maybe it was just too much out of a box for a 19 y.o. goal-oriented athlete (me back then). In the evening I called a friend and complained about wasting money for that workshop.

On the next day, something switched for me and I was really listening to my body while again doing all those small movements. My bad back got so much better that I felt like I could fly. I called the same friend and told her; “I will do the 4year long Feldenkrais training.”.  I can’t blame her if she thought I was nuts.

I know now that there are people like me while starting with Feldenkrais, and others, who fall in love with it on the first sight.
Whichever you are, self-awareness is a totally learnable skill, I swear! ;)

2.

I love food, especially veggies and chocolate. I’ll be excited about a delicious vegan restaurant or an amazing Italian ice cream store.

 

3.

Since I’m doing Feldenkrais method, I’ve changed quite a lot.

I learned how to get out of anxious feelings, calm the fights with my inner self-critic, uncomfortable feelings about my body, reduce every-day stress, pain and muscle-tension.

I’m so much more grounded, calmer and  enjoy myself more.

4.

I love to get and share knowledge. You might find me reading books, attending education & workshops or sharing knowledge in study groups.

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5.

I’ve always loved movement. Before Feldenkrais I loved it for fun, competition, sweating, deep breathing, feeling good afterwards and feeling my strong body.

Now I love movement even more. However, also for other reasons. I feel the most comfortable, pleasurable and efficient ways of moving, and simply enjoy myself.

It feels sooo good being in my body.

6.

I love people (and animals <3). It might be a good ol’ chat and belly laughs with a friend or a talk with a client, I’ll enjoy it. I think every person is an amazing human being. If you didn’t know it, you are amazing! ;)

7.

Maybe you’ve already found out, I love Abba, Mamma Mia, and other romantic love movies, where I can sing and dance. I know it’s sugary, but hey, why not enjoy the love and glitter? ☺

8.

Apart from usual Feldenkrais classes, my absolute favorite projects are the classes for pelvic floor health and the classes for little ones, called Child’Space. Check them out here! ;)

9.

I love mountains; hiking, running, resting, sleeping and eating in the mountains. Or just enjoying the sun and the view. Also swimming in mountain lakes and rivers. Basically, I love everything that has something to do with mountains.

And I also love the seaside; swimming, ice-cream at the beach, reading, running and resting while listening to the waves. Again, basically everything at the seaside.

In short; I’m not really a city person. Even though it's easier to find a good veggie lunch or an ice-cream in the city ;)

How does the Feldenkrais method work?

 

I wrote this part for everyone, who likes to know a little more theory behind it. If you don’t feel like going into details, don’t worry. The method will work both ways :)

I wrote this part for everyone, who likes to know a little more theory behind it. If you don’t feel like going into details, don’t worry. The method will work both ways :)

 

In the Feldenkrais method, you work with your nervous system (your brain and all the connections between your brain and your body) and learn how to organize it better for your everyday movement.

If you wonder how that is possible, take a minute. Let me explain.

You might think that your muscles move you (of course they do). But they do not decide, what they want to do. They don't actually think. Your brain thinks!

And your brain is connected to your muscles through a complex nervous system that it uses to send instructions to them.

In your brain all those instructions are saved. We will call those instructions the movement patterns. 

 

There are many, many great movement patterns that work amazingly. 

For example, in the morning, you don't think; »How do I walk again??« Of course, walking is a good old pattern in your brain, that helps you make your life easy!

 

And then you might have some movement patterns, that don't work that great. You might have them:

  • since you were a baby.

    For example, babies sometimes get so excited about rolling in the one direction that they discovered first, that they don't realize there's also the other side!
    If you rolled only in one way, you probably looove turning in that one way. And the other might not be that easy and comfortable for you.

    You can try it right away: look over your left shoulder and then over your right shoulder. Do you look easier in one direction? Do you like one more? 
    That difference does not necessarily go back to your childhood, it might also have a cause later in your life.

  • since you had an injury or pain,

    For example, if you ever had your foot injured, you probably didn't walk on that injured part? You have protected that part and walked around it, didn't you?
    And your brain loved the way you protected yourself. That's why it learned to use that way of walking very fast. 
    That's also the reason why you might still walk that way, if you didn't bring attention to learning to walk your usual way after the injury was gone.

    As much as that protective way helped you while you had pain, it's usually less efficient long term and might bring you tension, pain or overuse syndrome, when you use it for a long period of time.
    After the injury is gone, it's important to bring the awareness to your movement and learn how to move efficiently again.

    You can try it right away: stand on both feet and observe how you stand. Is there more weight on one foot? More weight on heels or more weight on front feet? On the inside or outside? Do you feel all the toes on the floor? Maybe you notice, that you have better balance on one leg also in your everyday life?
    Again, those differences might also have a cause in any other experience in your life.

  • sometimes you might love one movement pattern and you get really good at it. You use it all the time, but only that one way of movement. 

    For example: writing with one hand or brushing teeth with one hand.
    It's of course great, because you are superb in it, but it can cause your muscles and bones stress, overuse, tension and pain. That's why it's great, that your brain knows many different ways to move.

    You can try it right away: put a glass in the cupboard, put your jacket on, eat soup with the spoon, take a step on the stairs: did you always use one arm or hand, or did you always start with one arm or hand? Can you easily do it with the other side or not?

 

  • maybe you have a lot of stress in your everyday life, feel a lot of tension in your body and sit a lot?

    The stress, muscle tension and sitting slowly but surely make our movement rigid and inflexible. With the many tensions in the body, the easy and flexible movement in the body is unfortunately not even possible.

    If that's the case for you, then there's a very good chance that a Feldenkrais session can make a miracle for you ;)

 

 

So what can you do about all those?

In the Feldenkrais class you will first learn to bring attention to yourself and maybe recognize some of the above examples in yourself. Then you’ll learn how to work on them to improve them.

 

This is where all the great scientific knowledge of Dr. Feldenkrais and his incredible self-awareness as a judoka comes in. He watched the movements of the babies and toddlers. They namely don't have enough muscle strength and they have to find ways to move skillfully. Those ways of movement are also biomechanically the best ways to do a movement! Who would have thought that babies are such great physicists? Not consciously, of course, but they feel all the most skillful possibilities for movement, because otherwise they wouldn't even be able to do those movement.

 

Dr Feldenkrais then assembled these precisely studied and planned movements into the individual lessons. In this way, also adults can easily recall these light movements from their own childhood, refine their everyday movements and also introduce new movement patterns. In that way your brain learns again about wide variety of healthy movement. The more ways your brain knows, the easier it will be for you to choose the optimal way in a specific situation.

 

You will recognize that as you will be able to move more skillfully, with more ease, elegance and more gracefully.

 

Many participants say that the new movements feel somehow familiar, but with a new freshness and lightness. They also feel content and calm, as is rarely the case in their everyday life.

This not only brings lightness and well-being in your body, but also makes your brain and body younger, more flexible and livelier. A great reason to try Feldenkrais, right? ;)

 

Furthermore will that also minimize the chance for overuse syndrome, pain or injury. 

 

Are there in the brain only the patterns we use for movement?

Interestingly, patterns in your brain are not referring only to your movement. Also, your emotions, thoughts and even sensations are a pattern in your brain.

 

Similarly, as you (many times unconsciously) learned how to move, you've also learned how to act, and feel in certain situations. 

 

When you were young, you observed your care-takers, your teachers, your siblings, neighbors and even people on tv. When did they get angry, sad, or happy? When were they compassionate, busy, caring, overwhelmed or stressed out? Were they overthinking or deciding spontaneously? What did they wear and how did they take care of themselves?

Many times, you've learned about the world without even noticing it. And all those patterns got imprinted in your brain too!

 

Again, it's great on many occasions. And sometimes it's a little less great. 

Especially, when you unconsciously inherited a pattern that you aren't a big fan of.

Through paying attention to yourself and your body, you can first start to get aware of those patterns, and once you know them, you can tailor them the way you like.

 

Many times that happens also unconsciously. Participants in my classes oftentimes observe, that in the situations where they would usually get very angry, they don’t get so angry anymore. Or they don’t worry so much anymore and get a way better sleep at night. They even avoid stress much more, since they feel more centered in their body. They feel calmer in their work and are therefore more successful, more confident and happier.