Centering is a Dynamic Activity

Keep your center?  Stay centered?

We don’t just “find center” and then never leave it. We maintain center. We hover in the neighborhood of center. It’s a dynamic activity.

Through demonstration, discussion, and your own practice of guided movements, we will explore how you maintain balance, recover when your balance is compromised and “find center;” continually orienting to your environment from a centered posture. The sensory experiences and related discussion reveal the relevance and application of centering to everyday life.

The principles of Aikido and the Feldenkrais Method® apply to the dynamic activity of centering. Suzane Van Amburgh is a certified teacher of each discipline. Pulling from both bodies of knowledge, Van Amburgh presents a program of enjoyable movement explorations providing practical tools you can apply to daily life.

Aikido is a non-competitive Japanese martial art developed in the early 20th century by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969).  In Japanese, Aikido means “the way of harmony with the force and principle of nature.” The Aikidoist adopts a relaxed upright posture and utilizes whole body movements to create dynamic spherical motion around a stable central core.

The nature of Aikido practice is movement, physical contact with others, mutual respect, sensory learning, sustained attention, and personal transformation. The Aikido student learns principles of movement including leverage, balance, gravity, and rotational axes. Practitioners of the art develop awareness of self, their instinctual responses and habitual actions. Through rigorous ongoing training, Aikidoists practice respectful engagement, emotional resilience, maturity of response and compassion for self and others.

The Feldenkrais Method® is an approach to understanding human functioning and a method for improving use of self.  The Feldenkrais practitioner guides a person to identify habitual ways of moving and then explore new options to improve movement. Heightened awareness of position, skeletal alignment and movement habits leads to exploration of new possibilities for moving with improved balance, coordination and fluidity. As movement sculpts the brain, the whole sense of self illuminates.

Practice in the skills of centering, balance, attention, proprioception, and sensory motor coordination are present and palpable in both Aikido training and the practice of the Feldenkrais Method. The principles of traditional martial arts and the methodology of “how we learn” are applied dynamically to the sacred ongoing work of sculpting ones sense of self.

This program will involve movement with minimal to moderate physical exertion, and light physical contact with others.  No prior experience in movement arts is expected.  To prepare, you should wear clothing that allows free movement.  If you prefer, you can bring clothes to change into before the session.  Athletic clothes are fine, though not required.  We will be working in bare feet.

Your instructor will be Suzane Van Amburgh:

Suzane Van Amburgh, GCFP,  5th dan, shidoin, has studied human balance and coordination of movement for over 25 years. Her approach in teaching is to create a learning environment where people can discover themselves through movement.  Van Amburgh is a shidoin certified teacher of the martial art of Aikido and brings 15 years experience in Iaido, the art of Japanese sword drawing. She is also a Guild Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner (GCFP).  Van Amburgh is the founder of Space To Move® and currently serves as Chief Aikido Instructor at Multnomah Aikikai in Portland Oregon, where she teaches group classes and private lessons.

Bring this program to your group.  Contact:

Suzane Van Amburgh, Space To Move:,  503-805-1910 (direct),  503-246-8120 (office).

Find your Space To Move at Multnomah Aikikai

Multnomah Aikikai is located at 6415 SW Macadam Ave, Portland OR 97239

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