MY APPROACH: THE FUSION OF YOGA, SHIATSU, MEDITATION, AND MBSR
In my own healing journey, I have travelled various paths: I am a trained and certified yoga and Shiatsu practitioner. In addition to yoga and Shiatsu I have also applied other techniques to address my autoimmune issues and their underlying traumata. These included courses in MBSR, Feldenkrais, breath therapy, dance, sounding, and shamanic journeying, as well as Zen and Vipassana meditation retreats.
All of the above-mentioned techniques have proven tremendously useful in working with the body, the mind and the spirit to heal emotional, trauma related, and other psychological issues (e.g. addiction, stress, anxiety).
In my current work with clients I mainly focus on the following:
- SHIATSU – My practice is based on Zen Shiatsu by Masunaga. This is a touch-centred, energetic re-alignment and self-healing tool. See What is Shiatsu?
- MEDITATION – Yoga and Zen/Vipassana meditation practice
- YOGA – Hatha yoga as well as gentle yoga inspired by Vanda Scaravelli; Yoga Nidra and breathing exercises
- FELDENKRAIS – See Barbara McCrea at https://www.feldenkrais.co.za
- MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) – Bodyscan, mindful yoga, meditation – by John Kabat Zinn, David Potter et al. See https://www.palousemindfulness.com
Biology, later Medical Technology and Microbiology (BSc) were my favourite subjects at school and university. Then life happened and my family and I moved continents a couple of times. Originally from Germany, we have now lived in South Africa for the past 36 years.
After raising two wonderful children I finally looked into my own needs and began with yoga. I finished my teachers training in Hatha yoga with the Yoga Vidiya Institute in Germany in 2005.
Because of my strong interest in therapeutic work I then decided to explore Shiatsu. This soon turned out to be my true passion, and so I took up an intensive training program at the Shiatsu Schule Hamburg, Germany. The curriculum was multi-facetted and spanned numerous courses, tutorials and practicals, from 2012 – 2018. I successfully graduated from the basic and advanced courses in 2018.
At the same time I was drawn to Zen Buddhism as a spiritual practice. I have been a Sangha member in the Knysna Zazen group for over a decade, and I enjoy the ongoing teachings by our Zen Dharma Teacher Kevin Treffry-Goatley, by visiting Buddhists, and by Heila Downey, Master Teacher at the Dharma Centre in Robertson. In addition, I have visited the Vipassana Centre in Worcester for a number of retreats, including ten day silent sittings.
Today, my particular interest lies in the fusion of the various techniques that bodymind work offers. From a strict Zen Buddhist sitting meditation to a guided bodyscan or a yoga Nidra session – all of these offer great insight into our own life, and into our connection to the human beings around us.
For me, Zen Shiatsu is exemplary of this approach. It is a meditative body treatment that helps us to gain a deep understanding of the connection of body, mind and soul.