My interest in mind-body medicine is personal and professional. I have long been fascinated with the body’s messages, thus I became a dancer, movement artist, choreographer and teacher. As a child, I translated my physical injuries into emotional symbols, creating a schematic of the areas of the body relative to specific affects and areas of my (emotional) life that were out of balance, similar to the method employed by Louise Hay. I was drawn to yoga in 1987 as a practice of healing from a state of depression brought on by grief after the sudden loss of my two pillars of support: my mother and husband. It was Dr. Marianne Styler, who prescribed yoga at that time and set me on the path of self-healing and making whole that which was broken. She continues to be a source of inspiration and grounding for me guiding and offering feedback on my approach to blending self-care, movement, healing, practicing and teaching.
Along the way, I have become a teacher of yoga; I have taken my practice deeper and regularly share what I find there with others. I am also a certified biodynamic craniosacral therapist and have developed a light-touch therapy– Fluid Body Balancing– combining the fluid systems of Body-Mind Centering ®, the hands-on practice of biodynamic craniosacral therapy, and the embryological development of both modalities to restore the body’s authentic state of healing.
Embryological development also informs my practice of yoga as a means of repatterning affect, behavior and movement (including posture). I am currently exploring the embryological development of the urogenital system, specifically the bladder, ureters and kidneys as they formed from intermediate mesoderm during the fourth to fifth weeks post-conception. I find and follow the organs’ development within my own body, and gently begin to soften and release the tissues that hold the chronic trauma that I experienced as a child. Through exploration of the organ system and the underlying musculoskeletal structures, I create movement, breath and poses that I share in my teaching. This inner work, wrapped into a yoga practice as it is, brings deep healing, freedom of movement and acceptance.
My interest in embryological development was inspired by the work of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, with whom I began my training in January 2007 and whom I assist at workshops and trainings in the US and abroad. Bainbridge-Cohen’s collaborative teaching style and generous presence inspire my own explorations, both academic and personal. It is through my work with Bainbridge-Cohen that I have learned to trust the voice of the body as guide; that my best learning occurs when I embody the information and it becomes understanding.
I discovered that this embodiment is my method for owning the material: when the body knows, the brain understands. With this embodied knowledge, my teaching has become the sharing of a blueprint or schema for individual exploration, where each individual’s experience is unique, and where our experiences inform our selves and each other.
Bainbridge-Cohen introduced me to the embodiment of embryological development as a means to awareness without judgment of our very early patterns formed in the womb. An example of what we do in class is to embody through movement and guided meditation the three primary germ layers of the embryo- the endoderm, ectoderm and mesoderm- and explore where we find our comfort, where our discomfort, and to take that out into our relationships. Am I more comfortable in relationships that originate in my front body, my back body or my middle body? These studies continue to enrich my personal and professional learning, and my relationships with self and others.