When you go to exercise/fitness classes, you would expect your instructor to show you how to do each exercise/movement correctly step by step, right? What if your instructor wouldn't show you how to do exercises correctly? In Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement classes, teachers guide students only verbally through a sequence of movements in a way that they are encouraged to explore and experiment many options of movements instead of being instructed to move only specific ways. We also don't tell our students that they SHOULD move this way or that way, or this is the CORRECT way of moving. Instead, we invite our students to pay attention to sensations in their bodies to notice the way they use their bodies habitually and non-habitually. In other words, we help our students to focus on their own kinesthetic experiences, which is subjective.
So, what are the benefits of avoiding specific instructions and encouraging exploration/experimentation?
One size won't fit all. If we observe 10 different people's body and movements (e.g., walking), we will have 10 different body structures and 10 different movements. A movement that feels good for one person may not feel good for another person. If we assume there's only one correct movement that fits everyone, then we try to force ourselves to fit the idea, which may not work for you. But, if you start to pay attention to your own kinesthetic sensation while exploring movements, you can probably find what works and what doesn't.
Your kinesthetic experience from one exercise/movement is different from others. If I as an instructor/teacher showed an exercise to my students step by step and told them exactly how they should move, I'm imposing my idea on my students. What would happen is that they would only focus on trying to make their movement look exactly like my movement. At that moment, they disengage themselves from their kinesthetic experience. In my experience, this is when people get hurt in many exercise/fitness classes because they are busy forcing their body to move like someone else's, which may not be right and not paying attention to their own sensation.
After one class (Feldenkrais pelvic clock lesson) I taught to a group of people, I asked them to share what they experienced from the lesson. One student said that he noticed how he was using his hips and why he felt off balance when he squatted. Another person said that she noticed how she liked using back instead of hips. I really don't know what people will experience from each lesson. I can't expect everyone will have the same experience as I did from the same lesson. But, if I showed people how to do each movement specifically and asked them to repeat what I did, I could potentially take away all kinds of different experiences and learning they would otherwise get.
It may be difficult and uncomfortable at first not to have someone show you exercises/movements step by step, but if you let go of that idea and start to "play" with movements and pay attention to how you feel, I can guarantee that exercise/movement will become a lot more enjoyable and fun. And, you can find more comfortable movements.
To learn about Awareness Through Movement class: