What if you could feel more ease and pleasure in your life?

What if you could feel more ease and pleasure in your life?

Feeling more wase and pleasure all starts with becoming aware of how you feel in your body!

How do you feel? And is that how you want to feel?

Most people’s sensation compass is tuned to pain. To feel pain, you need more pain. It’s a vicious cycle that puts you in a downward spiral. By realigning yourself with the smallest sensations of pleasure and ease, you can begin to realign your sensation compass. It all starts with a more curious, intimate, and caring relationship with your body.

By feeling into your body without immediately judging what you feel, you can reconnect with that inner wisdom and tap into the healing capacity of your system and its intelligence. Pleasure attracts more pleasure. In this video, I tell you more.


Do you love yourself enough to truly listen to your Body Wise?

Do you love yourself enough to truly listen to your Body Wise?

I am in the midst of preparing the sessions for the ‘Embrace your Body Wise’ retreat in May. The retreat will be a journey of somatic dance play that takes you into your own depths to feel, move and be moved, to discover, connect, heal and grow in your natural time, guided by your natural rhythm. We will move, heal and create at the pace and rhythm of our nervous system.

This somatic journey connects us to all the inner resources that help us experience ourselves from a non-judgmental, innate wise, and curious place. Being playful brings us to a place where we can be open, inquisitive, and joyful. The main state for both organic, experiential, neuroplastic learning, and holding space for self-regulation of our sensitive nervous systems.

But what is somatic you might ask me. One of these mysterious coaching words? Today I want to shine my light on somatic awareness and help you understand more about somatically oriented learning.

A Study of Experiencing your body from within

Soma means the living body. Somatic refers to the study of experiencing ourselves from within the body; the whole living system that we are. In other words, having a felt sense of ourselves. Somatic approaches are body-centered instead of mind-centered or spiritually centered. That doesn’t mean that there is no place for spirituality. On the contrary, the living body is where the mind, biology, soul, and spirit meet to create and celebrate life.

Somatic modalities are offered successfully in many fields of personal development and trauma. Research shows that the body holds all of our memories -both conscious and unconscious- in our brain, cells, tissues, and bones. The body keeps the score, as the title of well-known psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk’s groundbreaking book on stress and trauma processing reads.

And at the same moment, awareness in the body is what gives us a sense of being present in the here and now and of being alive. Movement and stillness are both ways to enter the body’s memories. Most somatic practices use a combination of awareness, and involuntary or voluntary movement to release pain, trauma, and stress.

Back to somatic dance play creativity…

My somatic movement practices add attentive movement, and stillness to ‘experiencing from within’, to bring awareness to both internal and external relationship patterns and habits of perception that perpetuate fragile self-esteem, and a sense of hyper-vigilance and not belonging. I believe that changing the way we move can change our self-image and the perception we have of the world, in a gradual, sustainable, nervous system-friendly way. It is a graceful and empowering way of changing that respects our system’s need to keep balance.

“When you witness without judgement, how you move, behave and imagine yourself to be in the world, you can initiate change.  Change can happen by learning to become aware through enjoyable movements that may bring to light personal details about yourself you never knew.” Moshe Feldenkrais

Moving with awareness teaches us about our body’s interaction with the environment, thoughts, feelings, and emotions. We get to know and familiarize ourselves with the somatic antennae by which we inform our nervous system (sensation, senses, image, meaning, emotion, and our energy perceivers). This allows us to clean out those antennae that have become clouded by our unconscious attachment to old painful experiences and limiting beliefs. In this way, we can be purely present with what is now and here and adjust our perception of our inner and external reality and environment like-wise. This creates the embodied experience of wholeness and aliveness that is fundamental to feeling a deep vitality at the heart of our being.

In a physical way, attentive movement informs us, and our nervous system, about the relationship patterns between our muscles, organs, the connective tissue on one hand, and emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings on the other. When these patterns are far from optimal we experience pain, tension, and tightness. All motor movement begins with these relationship patterns and can be improved by improving these relationships from within. Our own Body Wise guides us in getting to know our habits in relationship dynamics. Having this understanding helps us re-pattern habits that create struggles in relationships. What would it be like to feel genuinely present, safe, and intimate in relationships that are important to you?

When we alter the stimuli our nervous system receives, we change our entire perception. Awareness and the intention to focus on what feels comfortable, pleasurable and easy are the keys.

“Aren’t we all in varying degrees, captives in our own personal prisons, bound by our limiting habits?” Ruthy Alon

How would it change your life if you can consciously choose movement that feels free and pleasurable and makes you feel relaxed, centered, present, and at home in your body? Ways of moving that contribute to feeling effortless in navigating life’s challenges?

Do you love yourself enough to join the dance of your Wise sensuous body and receive her gifts wholeheartedly?

‘Embracing Your Body Wise’ is an invitation to reconnect with your inner sensuous wisdom, rediscover playful, spontaneous movement, reattune to the wonder and magic of your sensational you, and consciously choose the path of enjoyment and ease to navigate life and build a caring, joyous relationship with yourself. Well isn’t that a spark for our vitality and inner sparkle?

Again I believe it all begins with reconnecting to your own nature, coming home to your body, re-attune to the sensuous world in and outside, and experiencing a felt sense of yourself.

Check my Embrace your Body Wise retreat’ on Bookretreats.com

What people say:

“Thank you, so much. It was such a blessing to be able to transform through dance and be held in a safe, sacred, beautiful outdoor space.  I’m amazed at the tenacity of your body wisdom and that rare gift you have of guiding while supporting freedom and intuitive movement. There was such a depth and complexity to your work and yet it was so simple and easy to engage, to flow, to dance, to move, to transform, and to just be. Thank you. I had profound realizations and moments of such clarity on deep core issues. It’s wonderful knowing I embodied those transformations. I feel completely different now when I walk and move”. Lucy Hunter

Rolling about and around

Rolling about and around

The benefits of somatic floor play…

I love to roll on the ground. I love floor play whether it is Feldenkrais oriented or whether it has an NIA Joy in Motion taste. Rolling around and about, creeping, crawling, and playing animal… my daily dose of spontaneous play. Whenever I feel tired, overwhelmed, or just in a playful, silly mood, I lay on the ground and start sensing, feeling, and moving. It helps me to empty my overflowing, busy mind. Overtime is has proven to be one of my best working crumpy-mood changers and energizers.

The ground friend or enemy?

So often we hold ourselves with loads of effort. As if we have no backup that supports us when life plays tough on us. As if the ground beneath us is our worst enemy. Have we forgotten where our roots go? When I look around me I do get the impression that many people don’t remember their roots. So many of us are living high up in our minds and seldom come down to scent the moist fragrance of the rich earthy soil or sense the feet as they faithfully guide us through life, exploring the ground beneath us with their sensitive antennae. There are 7,000 nerve endings in each foot….

For a half year now, I live in the midst of nature in my beautiful paradise ‘Jardin de Luz’ in the heart of the Alpujarra mountains in Spain. I am surrounded by singing birds, and abundant tapestry of flowers in myriad colors, and lots of creepy little crawlers that fertilize the humid soil of my land.  I love to lie down in the green and watch the bright blue sky while a soft tepid breeze tickles my skin. And when the green is not too pointy, I love to roll around and about like a little kitten. It keeps my nervous system healthy.

The Human Nervous system, like any other nervous system, needs the ground to orient, organize and move the body. Yielding to gravity is the medicine for excessive muscle tone, anxiousness, and stress. And that is precisely why a little floor play a day keeps the doctor away.

When we are born we first learn to move on the ground. Our nervous system learns to navigate and negotiate gravity. This play with gravity also helps strengthen the muscles that later will support the skeleton, carrying us through life. There are 7 core patterns that we move through before we stand up and walk. And together with this physical process of creating these patterns, we develop our minds. We first learn about the world and about meaning through these early movements on the ground. We develop emotional intelligence while playing our way up into standing and walking. The physical body guides the emotional and mental body to wise up and get ready to play in life’s luxuriant garden.

The ground beneath us was a safe haven when the world was too overwhelming for our young minds. The support we could lean into when there was nothing else to lean on. A place to rest and digest. Yet on our path to adulthood, many of us mostly forgot that gravity supports us. Where did we start battling gravity and backing away from the ground? So many people deal with tension and back pain as a result of not grounding and co-operating with gravitational forces. Many nervous systems forgot how to lean into the earth and inhale its life force.

As a result, stressful tension cannot discharge and becomes trapped in the physical body, causing physical pain, fatigue and tension, emotional anxiety and stress, and an overloaded, busy mind that hardly is able to relax.

This brings me to a few of the most impressive benefits of floor play:

Relaxation, discharge stress, tap into life force, feel vital, vibrant, and energized. And most important, it will improve the way you move and help you thrive in life by giving your nervous system back its starting coördinates.

Every time I play on the floor, it helps me revisit the early core patterns that my nervous system once created to help me thrive in life. Every time this rolling about and around helps me tweak and refine those early core patterns and fill in the blind spots created by painful experiences, ignorance, and well-intentioned advice I once took for true without listening to my body.

Do you want a first taste of play on the floor? Let’s roll about and, around…

The pitfall of making assumptions

The pitfall of making assumptions

The pitfall of making assumptions.

The body tells…

After a Feldenkrais lesson people often share that a movement is more difficult on one side than the other. And often they immediately explain to me why this is so. I then hear about an injury or experience from the past. And I see their now-body trapped in an old story. I call that traveling with your backpack loaded.

This reminds me of my parent’s friends who loaded the caravan with potatoes and peanut butter on their holiday to France. We are all creatures of habit and it is the habits of thinking, focusing, and feeling that direct our movement. Bringing your assumptions into your movement is like packing your backpack with kilos of potatoes and jars of peanut butter on the way to France.

Our mind listens less openly when it is occupied with thoughts and beliefs. It also gets in the way of our nervous system’s ability to create efficient movement patterns and process emotions. The movement journey then reinforces the limiting patterns formed by the experience of the past. We have, as it were, traveled back in time instead of in the present.

The path of least resistance is about playing in the present.

How will and can your body move now? By moving small and slowly, you can hear its suggestions clearly and provide the nervous system with new information. In this way, the less efficient patterns in our feeling, thinking, and doing can cease to exist. We invite our mind to listen with childlike curiosity and attention so that it can become silent for a moment and learn from the body. And where that will take us is a surprise and a yet unknown point on the map.

Are you ready to meet your body where it is now and create something beautiful with it?

Get your free Compass for holistic well-being.

Aging with grace, elegance and confidence

Aging with grace, elegance and confidence


“How Exercise Enhances Aging Brains. Sedentary, older adults who took aerobic dance classes twice a week showed improvements in brain areas critical for memory and thinking.” (Gretchen Reynolds in Phys Ed)

Isn’t it interesting how your brain’s health, and vitality are interwoven with your body’s well-being and fitness?

But how to help our bodies and brains really feel fit and well in this fast-paced, stressful, mind-over-body age?

I read the above article out of my professional interest as an NIA holistic fitness teacher, neuro-physical specialist, and somatic energetic coach guiding women of all ages and walks of life to build loving relationships with their bodies and attune better to their innate body wisdom. Discovering how a person moves and what moves this person is an important part of my work to help women reconnect with their physiological, psychological nature. So this question came to mind:

Is it about exercising our being or our body?

I believe that movement has to add to the body not hurt it. In striving, disregard less of the body’s design or the unique preferences of one’s own body. there is no gain, just pain. Our Nervous systems respond to pain with stress and survival programming. 

Unfortunately, many movement practices are intended for working out on the body only. There is hardly any space to slow down, feel, and listen to the sensations in the body. It is as if our minds are training our bodies, guided by their conditioning and social expectations.

Many women have lost alignment with the needs of their bodies. And attunement to feeling and emotion is crucial for women to navigate effortlessly through important biological transitions in life-such as menopause-and age with grace, elegance, and confidence. This Mind-over-Body climate, deprives the female brain of crucial information to stay healthy.

I believe that female bodies in particular need joyful movement, spontaneity, playfulness, care, strength, flexibility, agility, balance, healthy emotional housekeeping, and positive, realistic thinking. And funnily enough, that is exactly what our nervous systems also need.

Probably many dance fitness forms that focus on exercise can really help strengthen our brains and probably improve the quality of aging. But I’m convinced that it takes more than just physical training

In guiding many women toward a loving relationship with their bodies and a deep sense of holistic well-being and vitality, I discovered that it all depends on the nature of the exercises and how they connect to who we are, what we need physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally, and how these exercises contribute to restore the connection between soul, body, and mind. In this way, our nervous system receives the vital information to stay attuned to the body and environment and the brain can continue to function optimally.

Therefore a good fitness-oriented dance form for women should include play, expression, spontaneity, and joy in motion.

In playful, expressive movements, our whole being naturally gains more strength, mobility, agility, flexibility, and stability.

To age with grace and elegance, it is imperative that movement is aimed at breaking mental conditioning. No body becomes more flexible if the mind is not flexible. A flexible mind is open, curious, and willing to listen and attune to sensations and feelings. As a result, our sensory- and bodily awareness improves and we become attuned to what we need to stay healthy and resilient.

This is why I want to advocate for *NIA’s holistic approach, which benefits me and my clients – women of all ages and walks of life – so much. An approach grounded in sensory, somatic, and cognitive awareness.

*NIA stands for neuromuscular integrated action and purpose.

A typical NIA class has a balanced mix of freedom and form in dancing and moving. Form comes from many different movement forms that are captured in simple movement phrases or free dance explorations.

A crucial difference with many aerobic and fitness programs is that each NIA class is intended to workout the being instead of only the body.

Meaning that our emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being is equally important in staying healthy and vibrant. Hence, the mix of spontaneous dance and varied simple movement forms helps restore the nervous system and allow the brain to grow and make new connections while giving the body a gentle cardio workout.

NIA helps the nervous system stay healthy and resilient while enhancing the brain areas for memory and thinking.

Consciously creating joy in exercising is a powerful way to nourish the brain. Our brains learn when we are in a relaxed and playful state. Freedance is a powerful tool for joy, play, and spontaneity. It helps to release emotions, open one’s mind to the wonders of the body, and connect with others in a heart-opening way. And when freedance guides us into a somatic and sensory experience, it can help us discover more of ourselves in a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual way.

Form, on the other hand, helps us to discover more of ourselves as we move beyond habitual patterns of preference when we dance. Through the form, the brain trains to memorize, finetune and become accurate in how it organizes itself. It has to ‘rethink’ the ways it wired itself when we dance movements combinations that feel unfamiliar or that are forgotten or unknown to the brain. Brains need variety, quality, intelligent repetition, and quantity to thrive and keep growing.

As we age or move through challenging transitions, our limited thinking patterns have a greater impact on our freedom of movement. Our physical bodies may not feel as strong anymore as we are used to experiencing them. It might cause women to experience fear of falling/failing or have the belief that one is too old to still move freely and spontaneously. Our brain gets slower and starts losing data when we don’t feed it with organic learning, moving, and tasting “new experiences’. This impacts our whole being.

The different movement forms and qualities that are brought to consciousness through form challenge our habitual muscular organization and help us to find strength, stamina, flexibility, fluid mobility, agility, and stability. It can give someone new self-confidence again to feel the ability to move with more of oneself again. To feel more whole and connected with oneself

Exercising that is playful, joyful, and non-striving helps to build awareness about your body’s way and needs through the different stadia of your life. It helps to regain a sense of curious, spontaneous, and playful being in your body. This energizes your nervous system and brain. And it helps restore many movement qualities that we lose over time due to our habits in moving and our preferences in movement.

Aging can be met with emotions of fear, sadness, or frustration. All muscles respond to emotions and vice versa. Movement phrases that are fused with different movement forms and movement qualities change our emotional state by addressing different muscle activities. Becoming aware of how you can change your own emotional states simply by making a different move is really empowering a life of vitality and joy no matter your age.

So now that you know this, what will be your next move, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually?