Classes: Tuesdays and Thursdays in Totnes/Dartington, Wednesdays in Exeter, Fridays/weekend in SW London
Workshops: fridays, saturdays, sundays
Individual lessons: Dartington and Totnes and Exeter
I work with many different people from many different situations and walks of life, mostly adults. I see most clients at my studio at home in Dartington or in Exeter. I can travel and see clients in their own homes. I also give talks to groups – the favoured topic is "How to reduce stress, move with ease and exercise enjoyably".
About me I'm a registered practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method, trained in Switzerland with Elizabeth Beringer, graduated 2005. Since, I have studied extensively with senior practitioner Dr Ralph Strauch PhD, California, U.S.A, in the use of somatic methods, the Feldenkrais Method, and internal martial arts, for working with emotional trauma. This work is the best medium I've found for sharing what I've learned about healing the body, the body/mind, the human organism – of which I've had to do plenty myself. Feldenkrais found me, I hadn't known of it's existence – I had been very strongly on the path of Yoga and Meditation. I had gone to India, and was training in Yoga and Ayurvedic massage. I was in search of a different way of living I had been a cook, and I hurt, all the time. I kept having visions of myself in a wheelchair. I needed to do something. I will tell something of my story. My yoga practice of 15 years had served me brilliantly, my body had grown healthier and stronger, I'd discovered what meditation can do for the mind. I was beginning to explore what Eastern idealogies had to offer those of us born and grown up in Western civilization and cultures – I was discovering that we here in 'the West' had, in our focus on academic achievement and material wealth, had lost something vital to our wellbeing, something intrinsic to our nature, that was making life less than it could be. But my journey with Yoga seemed to hit a plateau, I found myself in tears and in pain, almost every day. Someone offered to show me a simple technique to help my neck pain – later, I learned that it was from Feldenkrais. This simple, 5 minute, technique changed my life. Immediately, I had a say over the amount of physical pain I was willing to endure. I could do it by myself, anywhere, anytime. I began to see that a future without pain as the ruler of my life, was possible. And so began my journey with Feldenkrais. At the same time, as I continued my yoga practice, over the ensuing years it gradually got replaced by a new fascination with Tai Chi and Chi Kung, which continue today, and, together with the teachings of the man who managed to become my spiritual master, Osho. (since I was never looking for one, that was a pretty amazing achievement!) Osho (1931-1990) is an Indian Mystic at whose Ashram, the Osho International Meditation Resort, in Pune, I made my first studies in the Feldenkrais Method. During the courses there, one is encouraged to do the daily meditations. I learned through this combination, just how much we can help ourselves simply by paying attention – or becoming aware. I also studied Tantra, and several other Eastern Awareness practices – including Latihan (akin to Authentic Movement, and Subud), and Dance as a meditation practice. I am a trained meditation facilitator, I taught yoga, and tantra, for about three years each respectively. I am a Reiki Second Degree. Before all this, I was a British Horse Society Assistant Instructor – having spent my entire childhood (or as much of it as allowed) on the back of a horse and had the great fortune to have had Captain Dick Micklem, master of horse, as my teacher from the age of 12, where I grew up in Cornwall, UK. I graduated from school with A levels in English and Art, and from College with a Diploma in Business Studies for Agricultural Secretaries. Then I left the UK and spent almost 10 years working on sailing yacts around the world, as cook, and sailor, accumulating about 30,000 sea miles. I learned to cook from my mother, Ann Ludlow – and my first job was as cook for a New Zealand sheep shearing gang, the next, for a ski chalet in Switzerland. When I returned to the UK I ran 'Flavours' my own catering company in London – a venture that only lasted a couple of years as I made the transition first to yoga and meditation which brought me to where I am now. Nine years ago when I moved to Totnes, in Devon, I had to carefully monitor my physical activities if I wanted to be without pain. Today, I am a few years less young, yet more free – to go dancing five nights a week if I want, (I do!) I make long swims regularly through the summer, I walk daily, I practice my Tai Chi. I don't have pain as my master any more. It is not that I am without it. It is like a good guide now – letting me know that I should listen up, and that then, I can get myself out of it whenever I get into it – so liberating! That was how Moshe Feldenkrais defined a healthy person – (paraphrased) "a healthy person has the ability to recover quickly and easily from the knocks and shocks that life brings, and dares to aspire to his dreams". I enjoy sharing what I have learned, it has all helped me so much, and I hope that it may offer others ways of thinking and new perspectives to wend their own way through the mysteries and challenges and joys of life – whether that comes focused through a need to heal injury, illness and pain, or simply a desire to do some enjoyable, or professional, activity, Better. Even if it is just to grow older more gracefully.