Ryan Hoffman, PhD

Feld Guide Founder & Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practioner

Ryan Hoffman (PhD, Biochemistry) is a scientist and educator that likes to study the Feldenkrais Method. Starting with an interest in managing his own chronic pain, Ryan eventually learned enough Feldenkrais to undertake a practitioner training. He currently teaches in Calgary, Alberta.

Ryan has a long-standing interest in understanding how protein molecules mediate biological processes. Some of the research questions that he researched on the nanoscale (involving objects that are around a billionth of a meter wide) are also relevant to the familiar world of day-to-day objects. For example, how do a person's various parts cooperate to accomplish a functional movement like walking? How is this cooperation learned?

Contact Dr. Hoffman
Ryan MB Hoffman

What is Feldenkrais?

Moshé Feldenkrais, DSc (1904-1984) was born in the present-day territory of Ukraine, under the Russian Empire. His life was extrodinary in number of ways; here's a timeline of his life with some milestones identified. After an early interest in physics and martial arts, Dr. Feldenkrais discovered a distinctly unique approach to self-development that was later called somatic education. Consciously-directed movement is used to improve self-awareness and one’s ability to accommodate a challenge, or to harmonize with a given scenario. Feldenkrais lessons allow one to change their unconscious neuromuscular patterns, providing a long-term approach towards changing ones postural habits or other behavioral patterns.

The Feldenkrais Method is taught in two ways, both which honor and develop the student's sense of autonomy. One way, called Awareness Through Movement, uses verbally guided movements to help the student to discover additional (and potentially more comfortable) movement patterns. This format is amenable to group or individual classes. You can find a calendar of Awareness Through Movement classes here.

The second way Feldenkrais is taught is called Functional Integration. In this approach, a Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner manually guides the student through the non habitual movements. This non-verbal approach is often the fastest way to address specific concerns or learning goals. It is taught in individual classes. (Click here to schedule a Functional Integration with Ryan.)

The experiential, first-hand nature of Feldenkrais makes it difficult to correlate the actual practice to the large body of theory that supports or challenges the practice. One goal of Feld Guide is to provide a clear source of objective support for the many experiential insights that result from the practice.

To learn more about the history of Feldenkrais Method®, or how it can benefit you contact Dr. Hoffman today.

Feld Guide FAQ

What is Feldenkrais?
The Feldenkrais Method is an educational approach to develop self-awareness, adaptibility, and spontaneity. Feldenkrais lessons consist of the exploration of movement patterns. The patterns are chosen to be novel to adults to provide learning opportunities.
Is Feldenkrais exercise?
No. Feldenkrais classes use movements to provide learning opportunities. Mindless repetition of the movements is discouraged. The movements are usually slow, light, and require little strength, flexibility, or aerobic conditioning. People with limited mobility or neurological challenges are encouraged to try a class (or better yet, to book a private lesson.)
What do I wear and bring to class?
You can wear street or office clothes to class (socks are recommended). You don't need yoga mats or towels although you're welcome to bring a towel.
Who is Feld Guide for?
Feld Guide is a single resource for the general public, as well as an attempt to compile/synthesize a comprehensive Feldenkrais Method reference for practitioners of Somatic Education modalities.