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  bonafide motion  {practices}

[ Somatic Experiencing ]

The Somatic Experiencing® method is a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders. It is the life’s work of Dr. Peter A. Levine, resulting from his multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics, together with over 45 years of successful clinical application. The SE approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma.

Trauma may begin as acute stress from a perceived life-threat or as the end product of cumulative stress. Both types of stress can seriously impair a person’s ability to function with resilience and ease. Trauma may result from a wide variety of stressors such as accidents, invasive medical procedures, sexual or physical assault, emotional abuse, neglect, war, natural disasters, loss, birth trauma, or the corrosive stressors of ongoing fear and conflict.

Somatic Experiencing offers a framework to assess where a person is “stuck” in the fight, flight or freeze responses and provides clinical tools to resolve these fixated physiological states. It provides effective skills appropriate to a variety of healing professions including mental health, medicine, physical and occupational therapies, bodywork, addiction treatment, first response, education, and others.

Content taken from the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute website. For more information about Somatic Experience, please visit:

[ The Feldenkrais® Method ]

The goal of Feldenkrais is to recreate connections between the brain and body. This method increases awareness and provides more creative options for thought and action. This method is for anyone interested in rediscovering the power of thought and movement through a learning process that promotes coefficient mind-body function.

The Feldenkrais® Method is a movement education practice created by engineer, physicist, inventor, martial artist, and student of human development, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984). His method draws on scientific breakthroughs in biomechanics, neuroplasticity, and stress reduction. This method is quite revolutionary because it uses corporal movement to trigger the brain to make new neural connections - which is how the brain develops and evolves. It is the brain and nervous system that determines the health of onesʼ posture, the ease and comfort of movement, and the extent of one’s flexibility and coordination.


The process by which all physical learning takes place, from walking and talking to playing an instrument or driving a car, is called sensory motor learning. Sensory motor learning is the natural intuitive way we learn any task or habit and improve upon it. The human brain, designed to find the most efficient and comfortable way to organize the body for locomotion, posture, and balance, can create somatic defense mechanisms that act as efficient patterns during times of stress and are not optimal for long term. The Feldenkrais method re-teaches the brain how to appropriately recategorize the body, to quiet the body of its stress triggers - ultimately allowing the nervous system to respond differently, for optimal movement and health.


The Feldenkrais® Method engages the systems of the entire person through a process of simple positions to help the brain do its job of choosing the most efficient pattern, rather than relying solely on habituation. The more panoptic the scope of movement the better one’s brain can choose the path of most ease and the greater control one has with how they operate their body. This type of process produces change of one’s self image which impacts how a person moves, feels, and relates to the world. The lessons are designed to access the motor centers of the brain and provide the information needed for new body-mind connections to form. The person will then begin to improve as these new connections are made; be that healing or recovering, enhancing a skill, or improving within a disability.


There are two types of practices in which the Feldenkrais method is accomplished. Group lessons are performed in a class setting where the practitioner gives verbal instructions which guide the participants through slow and gentle movements. This practice is known as Awareness Through Movement® Lessons.The other approach is called Functional Integration® Lessons; here, the practitioner works with the student individually on a Feldenkrais table using their hands to provide the new information kinesthetically. The student is fully clothed and the lessons are gentle and noninvasive.


[ The Anat Baniel Method℠ ]

Just as the brain differentiates and grows when alive and working well, so do man-developed systems, approaches, and methods created to help the brain and body. The Anat Baniel Method (ABM) has evolved out of three decades of breakthrough work she has conducted with adults and children with special needs as well as her background in clinical psychology and dance. Her unique perspective as Moshé Feldenkrais’ closest student and long-time professional colleague put her in a most advantageous position to study the body-mind connection.. Following in the footsteps of her great mentor, Dr. Feldenkrais, Anat has continued to develop her exceptional system of movement and learning, based on the science of brain plasticity that has transformed thousands of lives.


When Anat was three years old, she watched Dr. Feldenkrais teach movement lessons in her parents’ living room. She began doing his movement lessons with her dance teacher when she was seven. Years later, while studying at university to become a clinical psychologist, she looked for a method that would

involve kinesthetic, body-based movement to include in her psychology work. Recalling her earlier experience with Dr. Feldenkrais’ method, she looked him up.


Although an old man when she took his training program, the two quickly became close friends and Feldenkrais became her mentor. Anat traveled the world with him, continuing her studies, teaching with him, and working jointly with clients. From the beginning she experimented daily, exploring alternate techniques and approaches while trying to help both his clients and her own.


In 1982, shortly before Feldenkrais’ death, she began teaching Feldenkrais professional training programs across the US, in Europe, Israel, and Japan. At the same time she ran a thriving private practice.

Anat grasped early on that it is the brain that needs to change. Her ongoing work with many professional high-level performers—top athletes, musicians, and dancers—gave her enormous insight into what it takes to move to the next higher level of performance, to repeatedly advance one’s personal best. But it was her work with special needs children that compelled her to question the “hows and whys” of the brain’s ability to bring about the miraculous transformations in movement, thinking, emotions, and social skills she had witnessed over and over again within the span of decades.


“Dr. Feldenkrais didn’t talk much about how or why anything worked,” says Anat.

“It was the kids that got me searching for ways to understand the actual mechanisms and triggers behind the amazing results I was seeing.”


Puzzling out the dynamics of brain plasticity, many years before science caught up and actually began validating her mentor’s and her own evolving work, her lifelong inquiry lead to the development of the “Nine Essentials” that formed the basis of the Anat Baniel Method.

Trusting in the evolutionary quality of the process, Anat constantly develops new techniques and encourages her trainees to do the same, helping clients overcome limitations and discover delightful, life-giving possibilities. Her method continues to promote not only the development of better movement and awareness, but also incorporates evolution and improvement in the areas of thinking, feeling, emotion, and human interaction.



Dr. Merzenich wrote in his forward on Anat’s book,

"Kids Beyond Limits:"

“. . . I have spent much of my own scientific career trying to understand how we can harness our capacity for brain remodeling for the benefit of children and adults in need of neurological help. From several decades of research, summarized in many thousands of published reports, we scientists have defined the ‘rules’ governing brain plasticity in neurological terms. We now know how to drive brains to change for the better."

It has been a great wonder to me, then, that my friend Anat Baniel, working in parallel along a completely different path, has defined almost exactly the same rules. Moreover, Anat interprets them here in practical and understandable human terms, in ways that should contribute richly to your own more enlightened parenting, grand-parenting, or clinical intervention.”


[ Bonafide Motion Practice ]

Functional: A special activity, purpose, or task; relating to theway in which something works or operates.


Yoga: A system and practice dedicated to harmonizing the body, mind and spirit.The continued practice of yoga will lead one to experience a sense of peace and well-being. Students learn how to observe their thoughts, emotional influences, and the manner in which they organize their bodies. For instance, when the spine is functioning properly nerves related to the bodily systems function better.


Therefore, Functional Yoga incorporates the teachings and methods yoga utilizes within the context of a modern lifestyle affected by the human condition. The emphasis is on how a body operates in the real world. This method also stresses the importance of biomechanics and the law of gravity's role in a functioning skeletal structure.


Any student can find a learning curve in Functional Yoga. However, this style is definitely for those who may be hesitant to practice yoga due to an injury or some other physical limitation.



In addition, the more seasoned student will develop a greater understanding through the intricacies of this practice.As a result students will evolve and discover new insights they previously hadn't been exposed to in their traditional framework.

Alignment is often misunderstood as the way to create perfect posture. Functional Yoga focuses on how one organizes themselves in action, especially in relation to the laws of gravity, biomechanics and human function. For example, bending, reaching, turning, getting up and down, etc. This practice is devoted to helping individuals better manage theirbodies, thinking functions, and behaviors.


This process draws from the underpinnings of Ashtanga, Iyengar, Anusara, and the Vinyasa styles. It's an approach that uses breathing lessons, meditation, mind training practices, yoga philosophy, and teachings from the asana/postures practice. A unique aspect of Functional Yoga is the incorporation of the Feldenkrais® Method. It allows students to develop a greater sense of awareness in relation to movement, thought, and emotion. Functional Yoga is a somatic transformational practice for students to compassionately identify habituation and develop clearer intentional action.

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