Yochanans Jubilee

Elisabet Bloom

"I think you are the first from your group that has already started teaching. It is exactly what I had in mind and this beginning shows that my efforts have not been in vain."

Yochanan Rywerant has a background as a teacher in Mathematics and Physics

He participated in Moshe Feldenkrais' first professional training in Tel Aviv between 1969 - 1971 and worked as his assistant until Feldenkrais died in 1984. Together they developed the practical applications of the Method.

Through their intimate working relationship, he received a comprehensive understanding of the Method, embraced the idea that the Feldenkrais Method is reproducible, and wrote the book “The Feldenkrais Method, Teaching by Handling,” published 1983; with the intent to describe the manipulative teaching Feldenkrais Method scientifically.
With his book, he has, in the most detailed way, documented the manual part of the Method, Functional Integration and names the manipulations that Feldenkrais created as manipulons. They are small units of movement meant to communicate with the CNS.

In his book Yochanan Rywerant writes:

”I have coined the word ”manipulon” in analogy with terms used in particle physics, such as proton, neutron, electron, photon, and so on. Some of these particles are said to be ”exchanged” between interacting particles.”

After 1984, Yochanan Rywerant was repeatedly engaged as a trainer by The Feldenkrais Guild.
With the experience mentioned above from the standardized guild-education, Yochanan Rywerant decided to develop a slightly different educational concept. In 1986 he was invited to direct the first training of Feldenkrais practitioners in Stockholm, Sweden, called Stockholm 1, and decided to conduct this training in line with the revisions of the standardized training he had envisioned. Since the mid-90s and until he died in 2010, he trained students at The Feldenkrais Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel, according to the same concept.

I met Yochanan Rywerant on the first day of his first training in April 1986 in Stockholm. From that day, he changed my life. It was so fascinating to watch him work that I never left his side. I decided then never to mix in the physiotherapy, but I tried to concentrate entirely on what Yochanan Rywerant taught.

Just watching and listening without judging, trying to understand, or thinking negative thoughts about yourself is also a way of learning. For me, it was easy because I have never been a note-taker, but my learning has been to listen.

Every day, watching how he demonstrated different action patterns and slowly built something into a unit was an adventure. Every time I was lying on the bench, he gave me such clear instructions that all of me woke up. Maybe I didn't understand what he wanted to show me, but my alertness and clarity became so obvious. Later, when I started teaching, I tried to recreate it. 

I understood that it is possible to communicate with the CNS only with the hands. No words are needed. Words that are always perceived differently.

Once, however, his words made such an impression that they became my guide. I told him once, "I didn't know people live with so much tension in their bodies." His response: "Didn't you know that Jesus was the first Feldenkrais teacher? Jesus said forgive them, for they know not what they do.

"Rywerant's ATM teaching, which ran parallel to his manipulon demonstrations, followed a development towards more complicated action patterns. It led to integration into what Moshe Feldenkrais calls "readiness for action.”

From 4 pm, he often held a cathedral lecture about the theory behind the Feldenkrais method and various stories that connected to the method.

These were repeated many times, and therefore the participants dozed off. Finally, when we went to Trainer's Training, someone dared to tell him that he was repeating himself. "You're still sleeping every time, so it needs to be repeated.”

Neither Yochanan Rywerant nor I am particularly talkative. However, I think we found each other there. We appreciated each other without words. I appreciated his humor which was also relatively quiet.

When I, so far the only one of his students, started my Trainings, it was essential for me not to give cathedral lectures. So I gave out written text instead.

Since there is no advanced vocabulary for the manipulations in FI, I decided to call them manipulations. The entire communication is in the manipulates. It creates an understanding of how to perform FI.

Through my experiences of Yochanan Rywerant's communicative hands, I have developed this by letting my students sense the manipulon through my hands daily. It has shown that they deepen the understanding of the method entirely differently than sporadically lying on the bench. Each student gets a customized experience of the manipulon, and they take their personal experience with them into their inner life.

The students, as spectators, have the opportunity to see and hear explanations for each manipulon and see and hear each student's experiences of the lesson. As a result, their understanding and awareness deepen. The spatial self-image is enlarged, which is central to self-development. I have many testimonials from my students about this procedure.

At the end of the day, I let the students make further observations about the day's theme through group lessons to consolidate the day's insights and end the day with themselves.
The following day, the students talk about their experiences during the previous day. The discussion that follows this enriches everyone's experience.

Yochanan Rywerant was very careful with using Weber Fechner's law to show CNS a difference. According to the latest neuroscience, our brain works logarithmically.

György Buzsáki MD, Ph.D., Professor of Neuroscience, NYU School of Medicine, explains that Weber Fechner's law is based on logarithms and that our brain distributes its information logarithmically. Buszáki highlights Weber Fechner's Law as a learning technique to demonstrate a difference. This new science shows me the importance of Weber Fechner's law even more.
Yochanan Rywerant wrote the following to me in November 12, 1997.
“I think you are the first from your group that has already started teaching. It is exactly what I had in mind and this beginning shows that my efforts have not been in vain.

I can see that you had a clear idea about what to do, but you were also free to observe what is changing and developing in those people. You have all my encouragement. You should be proud of yourself. Anyway, I am proud of you.”

Malmö 221012

Elisabet Bloom

Elisabets book

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