Mia Segal recently revised an interview she did with Thomas Hanna in 1985, to bring it up to date with her current thinking.
This article is a revision of an interview originally published in Somatics Magazine (Autumn/Winter 1985-86); this updated version will be featured in the next 2014 issue of Somatics Magazine-Journal of the Mind/Body Arts and Sciences.
Mia Segal was Dr. Feldenkrais’s first assistant, collaborator, and associate for sixteen years, after which they trained students worldwide. Of Mia, Feldenkrais said: “With you, I have reached summits that alone, I could not reach. The best lessons I ever gave, were inspired by your encouraging gaze.”
Mia is known for her unequalled mastery of the work and as a superb teacher. The unique design of her programs is testimony to her vast experience and leadership in teaching this method. She is committed to ensure that this work continues in the essential and powerful form it was given to her by Dr. Feldenkrais during their many years of collaboration and friendship. Mia has been acclaimed worldwide as the standard bearer for the applications and philosophy of the Feldenkrais Method™. Mia has a black belt in Judo, which she received in the Kodokan, Tokyo, in 1970.
SOMATICS: When did you start being interested in “body skills”?
SEGAL: It was in London in 1952. I watched Charles Neale give a “lesson” to my husband who, at the time, had asthma. Charles’s approach, that we are in charge and responsible for what happens to our bodies, was an empowering revelation. Charles had studied with M. Alexander and by the time I met him he had his own center in London, the Isabel Cripps Center. I asked him to take me as a pupil but he didn’t have a program for students. However, he was kind enough to let me watch him at work. And I did. For three years I came daily to his center and by the end of the second year he let me, gradually, start to work. Then, before my return to Israel, he gave me a letter confirming that I had studied with him and could practice the Alexander Technique as taught by him.
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