Wellness Through Movement® began in January of 2005 when an innovative elementary school, Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA), became interested in the neuromuscular components of physical education. Ms. Catherine Rosasco Mitchell, *kinesthesia educator, and Feldenkrais® practitioner, met with HPA’s physical education teacher, Susie Jones. For the next thirteen years, with parents, principals, teachers, community leaders, and colleagues, the Wellness Through Movement program was born.
*Kinesthesia: the proprioceptive sensation to perception through movement.
Team for the Book
Jo Piltz, Catherine Rosasco-Mitchell, Danny Garcia, and John Holland
Jo Piltz, executive editor; John Holland, writer; and Danny Garcia, Principal of Kohala Elementary; and Catherine Rosasco-Mitchell, Feldenkrais® Practitioner, were the core members of our team. In 2021 veteran teachers, Cherry Sanford and Joyce O’Connor joined the mission.
Our “fun” advisor, physical education instructor Ms. Susie Jones and WTM Board of Advisors, helped implement games with the Department of Education’s physical education and health standards. Sequence and types of movements designed with the Feldenkrais® Method to address a healthy body and school and classroom culture. The program was tested with hundreds of children. Finally, Donna Rohr, a drama and movement teacher at Parker Elementary School, tried out and edited.
The two-part Wellness Through Movement series uses the Feldenkrais’s method, Awareness Through Movement®, to re-educate behavioral patterns. Part I, A New SENSORY Self Awareness, has foundational lessons easy to understand and implement. The experience of the movement lessons is the inner teachers.
The curriculum creates learning from the fields of physics, development, and neuroscience. Lessons organically grow to improve: 1. Physical: strength, coordination, and align posture 2. Integrity: courage, respect, and trust 3. Conscious Awareness of proprioceptive sensation. Because the method follows the natural learning process, enthusiasm, self-direction, creativity, and responsibility also builds.
A New SENSORY Self Awareness Book Link
About the Director
After being an emergency care foster parent, Ms. Mitchell learned the vast challenges children were facing. Using the work of Moshe Feldenkrais in cutting-edge research in movement, cognition, child development, and sensorimotor functioning, she put together a physical education program for children.
She trained with Moshe Feldenkrais and went on to study multiple other movement programs for children, including Yoga Ed, Brain Gym, and SPARK. Next, she returned to school to approach researchers and present at national and international conferences for neuroscience and cognition (Movement and Cognition, Movementis, the Society for Research in Child Development and American Association of Health). Part I and Part II of the WTM program are offered to the general public and professionals.
Today, she brings more awareness and methods to bridge cutting-edge research concepts into both schools and healthcare.