Hello !! Last week, I learned of some new research about motor learning that relates to the Feldenkrais Method® and our emphasis on variations -- in


Photo by Rosalie O'Connor

Hello !!

Last week, I learned of some new research about motor learning that relates to the Feldenkrais Method® and our emphasis on variations -- in movements and in patterns of movements. Maybe we reach in slightly different directions, while noticing the ways we use our back, ribs or shoulders each time. Maybe our head turns toward the reaching arm, and then away from the reaching arm. Maybe we vary how we stand on a foot, or where we are looking. Somehow the "original" movement improves. The research sheds light on what's happening...

Read about it below and come to a class to see for yourself!


Want to Learn Faster? Increase the Variability

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Photo by Rosalie O'Connor

A new Johns Hopkins University study found that introducing variety into a practice session increased the learning of motor skills in contrast to repetition alone (with the idea of instilling muscle memory).

Volunteers were asked to learn to move a cursor in a particular pattern using an object requiring squeezing rather than the usual movement on a mouse pad. Group 1 did an identical practice session six-hours later; group 2 practiced six hours later but moving the cursor required different level of squeezing pressure in each trial; and group 3, the controls, didn’t have a second session. The groups were tested 24 hours later.

The results: the control group (#3) did the worst in terms of speed and accuracy. Group 1, the “identical practicers” did much better. But the folks who had to manage the continual variation did the best, scoring nearly twice as high as the other practice group in both speed and accuracy. Read more

“What we found is if you practice a slightly modified version of a task you want to master, you actually learn more and faster than if you just keep practicing the exact same thing multiple times in a row,” says study author Pablo A. Celnik, MD. It’s about reconsolidation, the recall and modification of existing memories with new knowledge. In the area of motor learning, the new input from slight variations provides the essential ingredient.

This research excites me because it's what we do in class each week! The novelty and the need to change our movement in subtle ways demands attention which, I believe, further adds to the benefit. It's all about using our brain's ability to change in response to what we do and how we do it. And for everyday movements, like reaching, bending or walking, the additional variations improve our ability to respond to life's many, slightly different situations.

Current and Coming Classes

Current Class: Finding Balance & Stability

Tuesdays March 1, 8, and 15 - $8 drop-in -- Chintimini Senior Center - 2601 NW Tyler Ave
Emphasis: strategies to regain stability when we lose it!


Depositphoto by curaphotography

COMING SOON -- Moving Younger: Happy Feet

When our feet aren't happy, neither are we!

Sit, stand and lie on the floor to:
• Increase flexibility in your feet and ankles
• Learn self-care techniques to reduce discomfort
• Coordinate feet, knees and hip joints to walk with confidence and security
Tuesdays March 29 - April 26 10:30 - 11:30 am -- Chintimini Senior Center - 2601 NW Tyler Ave $28 resident; $35 out-of-city; $8 drop-in

Woman Walkfast

Awareness Through Movement®

Current focus: whole-body Flexibility and Fall Prevention
* Improve balance, coordination and flexibility
* Learn strategies to prevent falls
$24 in March (1, 8, and 15) $10/class Drop-in

New series begins March 29—Topic to be determined

When: Tuesdays March 29 - June 7 (no class May 3)
Noon - 1 pm $80 for series. $10 drop-in
Register at first class for the ten-week series
Where: Friends Meeting House, 3311 NW Polk Ave, Corvallis
Parking available in front, and next to school yard playground across the street. Please bring a blanket or mat for use on the carpeted floor.

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Mindful Movement with Parkinson's - PWR!Moves

Ongoing Class - Wednesdays 11:30 am-12:30 pm
March 3, 10, 17, 23 and 30 $50 for series; Drop-in $12
A specialty class for People with Parkinson’s and their caregivers
Come and learn PWR!Moves -- Parkinson's Wellness Recovery exercise program that has slowed Parkinson's progression and made daily activities easier and more enjoyable. We've added some of the music and moves from Dance For Parkinson's, which has enhanced the coordination and enjoyment of many people with Parkinson's all over the world.

New students--first class session free! Read More
Where: Fitness Over Fifty -- 6735 SW Country Club Drive Corvallis

For More Information

Bartosek-239F - Version 6

Contact me: margbartosek@gmail.com or 541-286-4678

or check out: My Website

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