Yoga, Amerta Movement, Yoga Therapy.
About Amerta Movement
“For what is the body? The body is merely the visibility of the soul, the psyche; and the soul is the psychological experience of the body. So it is really one and the same thing...Soul and body are not two things, they are one.” C.G.Jung, Zarathustra Seminars.
About the Movement work that I teach:
My main mentor from 1997 up to his passing away in 2019, was the insightful, dedicated and extraordinary Suprapto Suryadarmo from Indonesia. He gifted me a place on his list of teachers in 2003 and I was a participant on his only ever teacher's training course in Autumn of 2019 shortly before he passed away.
Suprapto combined Buddhist and Javanese philosophy, connection with nature, a vibrant curiosity about body and mind, an interest in human movement ( from watching children playing, and study of Javanese martial arts and dance) and an intense devotion to awareness and spirit, to develop the free-from movement practice that he calls Amerta Movement. Amerta means ‘The Nectar of life’.
I have also studied experiential anatomy, danced hundreds of hours of 5 Rhythms, and been inspired by some great teachers (Sandra Reeves, Caryn McHose, Andrea Olsen, Bonnie Bainbridge-Cohen) and have a certificate in Community dance.
I have found movement to be inspiring, healing. Within it i discover again and again, who i am, what i need, what i am playing out. My mask drops, i come home. It is one of the most profound, and deeply moving practices i know.
Here i will try to describe i some way what it is - although in some way it is really beyond words. (How can words describe something so simple, yet complex?)
We move in the womb - we stretch, turn, spiral, reach. We push and turn as we are born then in our first few years our mind, emotions, nervous system continue to develop as we roll, reach, crawl, stand walk and then run! Through play, a curiosity and fascination with the capabilities of our own bodies we continue to learn and develop our understanding of who we are, of the world we live in and our relationships.
When we are older our movements become more specific (we go running, walking, do yoga) and restrained. We move in more confined ways that conform to social and cultural 'norms". Europeans sit on chairs, in India people squat everywhere - on the street, at train stations. We probably loose our inquisitive physicality and expression, taking for granted the everyday sensory experiences and movements that continue to inform and develop our nervous system and connect us with the world and each other: the turning of a key, the texture of grass under our feet, brushing our teeth, eating, the touch of a hand, a caress.
During embodied movement work, suddenly our senses are awakened again. We experience ourselves anew. Our bodies become a curiosity, a library, a playground again, instead of something merely functional. We recover the wide-awake adventure of child hood, drop social masks, becoming more immediate, present, playful, creative. We see ourselves with open eyes, engaged mind and unguarded heart.
Sometimes this is a challenge. It is very revealing. Our behaviour patterns, social conditioning, relationship tendancies, ego, all become very obvious. But somehow, because of it's childlike nature, movement brings out the compassion and empathy for who we are. We can see, respect, value, cry and laugh at our humanness. It is a daily life meditation practice.
And then there is the magic moment that comes with this recognition - as the reality becomes revealed then arises the gift: the opportunity for choice, to break a habit, to choose instead compassion, acceptance, transformation. These moments become precious opportunities for deeper recognition and connection, for healing, prayer, creativity, blessing. Quite simply, we come home: to ourselves, to relationships, to this wonderful word we are blessed to inhabit.