Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash
July 9, 2021
From the Editors
Our feet are a foundation of our skeleton and connect us to the ground. The organization of our feet affects how we stand and move in the world and how balanced or off-balance we feel in life. 

This issue of SenseAbility is chock-full of advice and wisdom from a diverse group of Feldenkrais® teachers. Interviews with Jeff Haller and Ellen Soloway investigate the connections between our feet and the rest of us and how the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education can help. Mara Fusero’s insights cover our relationships to the surfaces we walk on and how our shoes affect us. Articles from Al Wadleigh and Vida Dolin share some personal stories of their feet journeys and transformations, including reviewing the representation of our feet in the brain. Finally, Nancy Haller shares practical and useful tips on how to work with the feet to maintain their vitality. 

Happy Feet to all of you!
Lavinia and Yulia 
Guitarist Shreds Guns n’ Roses ‘Sweet Child o’ Mine’ — With His Feet

By Al Wadleigh
That headline caught my attention when it came through my LoudWire feed the other day. Move over, Slash! Meet Johnatha Bastos, a Brazilian guitarist who plays solely with his feet. Johnatha was born without arms and hands, and he can play the guitar with the speed, grace, and ease of anyone who does have arms and hands.

How is this possible? Because Johnatha was born without hands, all the cortical real estate that would typically be allocated to the use of the arms and hands reallocated to his feet instead. 

This cortical real estate resides in the motor cortex of your brain. It is the part of your brain from which movement originates. There is a representation, or map, of yourself — your body parts — in the motor cortex. (...)
About Al

Al Wadleigh is a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner based in Longmont, Colorado, for over 20 years. Al is deeply passionate about the Feldenkrais Method. He owns The Feldenkrais® Store, one of the largest collections of Feldenkrais audio, books and videos. He co-hosts the Feldenkrais for Life Podcast with Donna Ray. He is the publisher of the books by Dr. Feldenkrais: Hadaka-Jime (Practical Unarmed Combat) and Thinking and Doing. Al has taught thousands of classes and individual Functional Integration® lessons. His background includes immersion in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Ericksonian Hypnosis. His website is
Your Feet and the Upright Organization: An Interview with Jeff Haller

What do our feet have to do with our relation to gravity and the upright organization? Enjoy Jeff’s delight and passion for everything about the foot in this video. Interviewed by Yulia Kriskovets.
About Jeff

Jeff Haller, PhD, Feldenkrais Trainer, regards the Feldenkrais Method as a pathway to the inner composure necessary for living a creative life in a challenging world. He studied directly with Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, graduating from the Amherst professional training in 1983. Jeff trains Feldenkrais practitioners and maintains a private practice. His website:
Intelligent Feet

Interview with Mara Fusero, Feldenkrais® Trainer
Conducted by Yulia Kriskovets
Photo by Jan Romero on Unsplash

How would you define healthy feet?

I think healthy feet are feet that are able to answer any question that comes from the ground. It could be a pavement, rocky road, or sandy beach. In order to support a person in the best way in his or her relationship with the ground, the soles of the feet have to adapt rapidly to the shape of the surface they meet. I used to say that our hands are like water, they adapt to the object they touch. It is the same thing with the feet. Unfortunately, in the last hundred years, we have walked on flat surfaces, so our feet forgot what it means to adapt to a variety of different surfaces. Our balance does not get challenged much, because we mostly walk on flat surfaces. And when we occasionally get to walk on the beach and encounter uneven terrain, we are thrown off, because the feet are stiff and there’s not much differentiation between different parts of the feet. It is as if we always have horse hooves on our feet.  (...)
About Mara

Dr. Mara Fusero graduated from FPTP “Paris 1” in 1988 and, since then, she has never stopped practicing the Feldenkrais Method. In 2010, she was certified as Feldenkrais® Trainer; she is now Educational Director of several Feldenkrais Trainings both in Italy and in Spain and teaches in other Trainings all over the world. Mara is a certified physiotherapist and psychologist and her teaching method and general approach are characterised by her deep respect for the original essence of the Method and her vast knowledge of functional anatomy. She runs her private practice in Milan. Mara is also a certified JKA® Practitioner and Therapist, Teacher of Perineè, Integration y Movimiento® (PYM) and a Bones for Life® Trainer. Her website is
Healthy Feet and the Feldenkrais Method: An Interview with Ellen Soloway

Practical tips and advice from Assistant Feldenkrais Trainer Ellen Soloway. Interviewed by Yulia Kriskovets.
About Ellen

Ellen Soloway trained under Dr. Feldenkrais at Amherst and has a private practice in New Orleans. She is an Assistant Trainer and the editor of the Alexander Yanai Volumes. She offers Functional Integration® lessons and mentoring in Atlanta, New Orleans, and San Antonio. Guided 1:1 Awareness Through Movement® classes, Feldenkrais Method® workshops, and Practitioner Mentoring sessions are available online via the Zoom platform. Ellen specializes in “pop-up” Mentoring sessions designed to answer practitioner questions on a specific subject. Her website:
Feet Don't Fail Me Now 

By Paulette Dolin, GCFP
Photo by Christopher Sardegna on Unsplash

There’s a reason I start many of my Feldenkrais classes with people finding their footprint on the floor. In standing upright, our feet bear the weight and balance us. It’s easy to forget about them once we put shoes on unless our feet hurt. When we’re sitting, particularly if our feet are below a chair, desk or table, it seems we don’t need them until we’re ready to get up. 

How aware are you of your feet, as you read this? How are they oriented? Are your toes wiggling easily? Are they supporting you? How about your ankles? Where does your foot end and your ankle start, and how do they connect and communicate with your knee? These are the questions I didn’t ask myself before I started my Feldenkrais journey. Now I ask my students these questions frequently, knowing the importance of improving their relationship with the feet. (...)
About Paulette

Paulette Dolin is GCFP, Neuroplasticity and Comfort Coach. Paulette has been practicing the Feldenkrais Method personally for over 30 years and professionally since 1996. She currently has a private practice in Northern Colorado and teaches Fun Functional Fitness and Strong Bones, Powerful Women zoom classes as well as ATM® lessons. You can find her on FB at Paulette's Feldenkrais Practice
Healthy Feet Tips from Nancy Haller

Practical tips from the president of FGNA!
About Nancy

Nancy Haller graduated with a MA from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA in 2010. She has been a practicing Guild Certified Feldenkrais®  Practitioner, since completing her four year training in 1997. She finished her National Certification for Massage, with honors, in 1995 and recently accomplished National Board Certification for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork in 2014. Her website:

  • For a little dose of humor as you explore the expressiveness of your feet, enjoy this playful jaunt with Lavinia Plonka. Watch here.

  • "Feet and tongue" lesson by Ellen Soloway. In this introductory seated lesson you will find interesting connections between your feet and tongue that can be very effective in changing posture and your carriage of the head. Click here to listen.

  • Feet and Ankles Resource guide and "Orienting the Feet" lesson from Zoe Birch. Click here to access. Zoe Birch has been teaching Feldenkrais for over 20 years, first in New York City, then in London, England, and for the last fourteen years in Boulder, Colorado. Zoe created the FeldenkraisTREASURY, an online streaming site with over 600 easy-to-use, studio-quality Feldenkrais lessons.

  • “Foot and Toes” lesson by Al Wadleigh. This is a fun, playful, and fascinating audio Feldenkrais lesson about getting to know your feet. It creates ease and comfort not only in the feet but throughout your entire self. Click here and use coupon FOOT-N-TOES at checkout to download the lesson free of charge.

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