Mature woman with outstretched arms for Back for the Future Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement classes

Back For the Future

Enrol in 10-week Awareness Through Movement series to learn helpful habits of posture and movement for your back health

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, musculoskeletal conditions affect 1 in 3 Australians, most commonly back pain. Back problems and back pain are leading causes of loss of health in working-age adults (aged 25–74).

I count myself as one of these statistics. Not surprising, as I ticked many of the boxes for risk of developing chronic low back pain:

  • My age (I was middle aged when back pain became problematic);
  • I'm female (making me more susceptible to degenerative arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions); and
  • I have a family history of disc defects.

Additionally, I started my nursing career as a geriatric nursing assistant long before lifting devices were available in the workplace. Nursing tasks involved frequent heavy lifting, bending, and twisting that put great strain on my back and led to a disc injury. However, moving out of the clinical field didn't help, as my new research career meant long hours sitting at a computer putting more stress on my lower back!

I realised that the burden of back pain came not only from the pain itself but also from how it affected other aspects of my life, including my relationships, my ability to work, my ability to exercise, and the years I spent undergoing expensive investigations and trying different treatments.

Fortunately, after 15 years of struggling with back pain I discovered a way to change my unhelpful habits of posture and movement, which greatly relieved my back problems and improved my functioning. Since that time, flare-ups have been much less frequent and usually less painful. You can learn this movement-based mind–body practice by enrolling for Awareness Through Movement classes:

There's no reason to give in to back problems. Regular Awareness Through Movement classes are a low-cost way to help prevent or self-manage back problems and improve your day-to-day functioning and quality of life. Classes can help improve your posture and your chances of being able to move easily, stay physically active, and self-care as you age.

My small group Awareness Through Movement classes ensure individualised attention. Classes are open to adults 18 years and older who are able to safely mobilise without assistance. Please contact me (Judith) if you currently have back pain, or a condition that affects your ability to move around or transfer unassisted, or if you're unsure that floor classes are suitable for you. (See below for issues that require you to see a doctor before starting Awareness Through Movement classes.)

Term 3 classes:

Monday mornings: 22nd July to 23rd September 2019
Time: 9:30 am to 10:30 am


Tuesday evenings: 23rd July to 24th September 2019
Time: 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
(Class running time approx. 45 min with 15 min discussion/question time.)

Location:  Held at St Hilda's Church Parish Hall, 15 View Street, North Perth WA 6006
(Hall at rear of the church & garden)

Cost:  Adults $200 ($150 unwaged, retirees, & students 18 years & older)
(Book by Monday 8th July 2019 and save $10.)
(TryBooking service fee $0.50 per booking. Credit card surcharges may apply. Please read TryBooking's privacy policy before booking.)
Drop-ins not available – please contact Judith if wanting to start after term commences or if unable to attend the whole term.

To enrol:

Bookings essential at TryBooking:

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Before starting Awareness Through Movement classes...

Please make sure your back pain isn't something more serious. Though rare, several issues cause back pain and require you to see a doctor. You should see a doctor if you have:

* Numbness or tingling
* Severe pain that does not improve with rest
* Pain after a fall or injury
* Pain plus any of these problems: trouble urinating; weakness; numbness in your legs; fever; and/or weight loss when not on a diet


Where to find us:

Parking: Free street parking in the vicinity (please check street signs for time limits) | Public transport: A short walk from Fitzgerald St bus routes

About Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement classes

In Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement classes you'll experience a type of movement education that doesn't rely on stretching or using muscular effort. Instead, each lesson will stimulate your brain with a blend of gentle, unusual movement sequences, and guided attention to the connections between parts and your sense of your whole self. This movement-based mind-body practice will help you:

  • Move more easily and comfortably
  • Improve your breathing, posture, coordination, and flexibility for daily activities
  • Re-educate your body to move less painfully
  • Experience stillness and enhanced awareness

allowing you to become more active and stay fit.

Class preparation

The only prerequisites are being:

  • 18 years or older, and
  • able to safely mobilise and transfer unassisted including get down to lie on a mat on the floor, and up again (please contact Judith if you have a condition that affects your ability to move around or transfer unassisted or if unsure that floor classes are suitable for you)

Wear modest clothing that lets you move freely. You may be lying on your back with your legs in the air, so leggings or similar are recommended. Lessons can be done barefoot or wearing grip/non-slip socks - yoga socks with toes and grippers are ideal to give you the barefoot feeling while preventing slipping. This is not aerobic or strength-based exercise so dress in layers for adjusting to changes in temperature.

Bring 3 towels (to fold into firm headrest) and an exercise mat or similar. (If continuing classes, a mat wider and thicker than a standard yoga mat is recommended e.g., 80–100 cm wide & 1.5–3 cm thick mat made of NBR foam or premium high density foam.)

What to expect in group classes