These are the forms that I have also studied in some depth and represent a significant resource in my teaching. By that I mean that I often teach exercises that I learned from them or that they influence and inspire my teaching in an important way. Here I give general descriptions together with information about who taught me and links to further information on the web. For specific class and workshop descriptions see the classes pages.
Body Mind Centering
Developed by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, it is an experiential study based on the embodiment and application of anatomical, physiological, psychophysical and developmental principles, using movement, touch, voice and mind. This study leads to an understanding of how the mind is expressed through the body and the body through the mind …
BMC is a creative process in which we learn to meet and recognize ourselves and others through the exploration of embodiment. Each person is both the student and the subject matter. Principles and techniques are taught in the context of self-discovery and openness. We learn to engage ourselves and others non-judgementally starting at the place where we are and the place where others are. In this way we seek to find the ease that underlies transformation.
Teachers: Cathie Caraker, Erika Berland, Wendel Beavers, David Beadle, Linda Hartley, Patricia Bardi, Trude Cone, Naomi Duveen, Jacques van Eijden, Margot Rijven, Clover Catskill, Mette Anne Bruhn, Catherine Hossenlopp
The Work Of Elsa Gindler
The work of Elsa Gindler is not so well known but has had an enormous impact on the emerging field of somatics. She was a pioneer who worked in Berlin during in the first half of the 20th century. Her work emphasised sensory awareness, play, and human development …
It was never named as such, partly because of the difficulty of working through the Nazi period, and partly because of her simple reluctance to name what she did – the closest she got was to refer to it sometimes as “human work”. All the documentation of her work was burned in the closing days WWII which is another reason she is little known. Through her students however, the work continued and had a profound influence of many other somatic forms.
Teachers: I was lucky enough to study with Eva Schmale who received her training through a line connected through Elfriede Hengstenberg, one of Gindler’s students and also with Amos Hetz
Is present in many forms. In some it is more explicit than others. For example in BMC it is studied as a form in itself while in Feldenkrais many of the movement patterns are developmental in nature although the word itself is rarely if ever mentioned …
As we learn to move as babies and children, we go through many distinct phases of movement co-ordination – the both wonderful and sad thing is that we don’t actually need to experience all these phases in order to function in the adult world – by recognizing in ourselves (and in others) which of the phases we favour and which are weaker or absent altogether, we can go back and fill in the gaps and expand our movement possibilities.
Teachers: While any movement can be analysed in terms of developmental patterns, I have studied them most explicitly in my work with BMC, with Andrea Olsen and Caryn McHose, and most especially with Wendell Beavers.
Shiatsu works with the idea that vital energy flows through the body in pathways known as meridians. Application of pressure and stretching along these pathways our body’s innate healing ability is stimulated. Bill Palmer is one of a small group of practitioners who introduced shiatsu into the UK in the ’70s. Movement shiatsu is his synthesis of traditional chinese medicine (TCM), developmental movement therapy and body-based Psychotherapy …
Unbalanced posture can lead to structural weakness, bad circulation and physical disease but also our posture mirrors how we feel emotionally and how we cope with life issues. Movement Shiatsu links how posture develops in early life and to the development of personality. Counseling is an integral part of the therapy because this process of postural change challenges our feelings about ourselves. Movement Shiatsu does not aim to be psychotherapy but helps people to incorporate the emotional side of postural change.
In contrast to more common forms of shiatsu, it is more theoretically based on traditional chinese medicine (TCM) rather than the five elements since the relationship of the meridians to developmental movement is clearer. I studied with Bill for two years of his three year practitioner programme. I left mainly because I was not ready to make the step to working one-to-one with people. However, his teaching of anatomy and his insights into developmental movement have had a huge impact on my study and teaching on movement.
Teacher: Bill Palmer
What I love about qi gong, as I was taught by Zhixing Wang, is the emphasis on whole humans (body, mind and spirit) as being truly high-technology, and our responsibility, if we chose to accept it, is to develop our ability to use ourselves for good. I found much in his teaching that I recognized from my own movement studies and experienced much that was beyond my understanding …
The subject is vast and I only scratched the surface with this remarkable teacher, visiting weekend course for about a year. I was forced to drop the studies when I moved to Finland but the spirit of this work lives on in my own.
Teacher: Zhixing Wang
From the world of Post-Modern Dance, release technique classes as I understand them are dance technique classes where you learn to move according to the laws of physics rather than the laws of aesthetics, in a relaxed and easy way which works with your anatomy rather than against it …
The term release technique means many different things to many different people. Although what I do follows this spirit, I don’t use term explicitly because I don’t teach dance classes with set sequences.
Teachers: I’ve taken too many “release technique” classes to name all the teachers I’ve studied with, and like I said some were more “release” than others. I have to mention Mary Fulkerson who through some workshops in 1992 introduced me to the world of Post-Modern Dance and who is also credited with naming “release technique”