The practice I teach is a synergy of ancient knowledge from yoga, chi gong, martial arts, tribal and shamanic dance traditions combined with contemporary somatics and recent scientific discovery.
Like our bodies the movement practice is a living, organically evolving form whereby I guide you into informed Self-inquiry from which new awareness and knowing can arise.
Fluidity is an important process, both internally in our bodies and externally in “the dance”. We are not finite beings but constantly growing and changing organisms. Always we are on a journey and in process.
The wonders of modern technology have both expanded and yet conversely diminished our ability to connect to each other. Somatics and dance give us an opportunity to find our natural rhythms and sense of connection in the world.
Body Mind Centering
Originally a dancer and occupational therapist, Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen painstakingly studied the body to discover ‘the minds’ of the skeletal and muscular systems, the ‘characteristics’ of our organs such as digestive, lymphatic, endocrine and reproductive, and the 'states of consciousness' in our cells, blood, fat, cerebrospinal fluid, nervous system and brain. Her work has effected remarkable healing of trauma and she discovered many of the principles underlying Feldenkrais, Cranial Osteopathy, Rolfing, Dance Therapy and Zero Balancing.
Life Art Therapy
Anna Halprin is a pioneer in dance as a healing art. Originally a radical dancer in the 60’s, she was diagnosed with cancer and had predicted her illness in a drawing after an emotional dance. From this she realised that she was receiving messages from an intelligence within the body. The second time her cancer returned she used imagery, dance and art to navigate her emotional world and the cancer went into spontaneous remission. Together with her daughter Daria Halprin, a psychologist and gestalt therapist, they have created a new Expressive Arts Therapy. Anna still teaches today at the tender age of 95.
'For me the message of God can be felt in the movement of water.'
In fluid movement, the cellular matrix in our body transmutes from gelatinous to watery allowing cellular plasticity needed for communication and change. Dancer and visionary Emilie Conrad devised a unique primal system of movement awareness, with undulating techniques, breath and soundwork, that has enabled seriously disabled people to create new previously unimaginable movement. For the rest of us it is a delicious invitation to slow down, drop in and connect to our aquatic, 70% watery body.
We all breathe 24/7 in order to stay alive. However by the time we reach adulthood, our breathing becomes increasingly inefficient, affecting us beyond stamina and aerobic activity. When we breathe well, in a state of relaxed alertness, we are less susceptible to viruses and have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Cell production for immune system activation is increased, it promotes bone repair and growth, as well as enhance cellular, hormonal and psychological processes.
In the East, in Taoist, Buddhist and Yogic traditions, the link between breathing and the state of our body mind has been well documented for thousands of years. Now, scientific studies in the West have proven that how we live and operate in our world, what we do, how we think and feel is fundamentally connected to our breath. When we breathe well, we create the conditions for our optimum health and well-being.
When our bodies move, our whole being moves. We can also move without our bodies moving at all. We commonly talk about ‘being moved’ if we hear of some heroic or sad story.
Mary Starks Whitehouse was the first to link dance and movement to the principles of depth psychology and called it Authentic movement. This involves ‘seeing’ and ‘being seen’, where one participates as both a ‘mover’ and a ‘witness’ and the practice can give insight and therapeutic healing.
"Helene showed an amazing ability to pick up on my needs at the beginning of each session and to tailor the class to what was needed on that day. This resulted in the sessions all being very therapeutic but in different ways, varying from energising to relaxing, healing, loosening and freeing. I now feel more in touch with my body and what it needs and will start experimenting with moving in different ways. Thanks Helene for your wisdom and insight. You've definitely opened up possibilities to me that I'd been wanting to move towards but didn't know how to!"
JOSIE, ONE-ON-ONE SESSIONS
"Helene’s presence throughout was always helpful without being intrusive or over prescriptive. She made subtle suggestions after careful observation and I always found these helpful for the process. ‘Hands on’ was used as needed and requested by myself and this felt very supportive."
SUSAN, ONE-ON-ONE SESSIONS