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My Personal Journey

I have been fascinated for most of my life by the body’s capacity to express feelings, to tell stories, to shape the world around us and also to shape our experience of that world and of our relationships. For me the body is interesting not for its outward strength or athletic prowess but for the subtlety of its interior world–the capacity to perceive and respond, to touch and be touched by the world around.

 

I came out of my childhood in a state of physical disconnectedness and emotional confusion, which I have come to understand were probably the result of social conditioning and unresolved trauma. Luckily, I also had some kind of instinct for what was going to help me find a more authentic and integrated sense of myself. As a young adult I was fortunate enough to find practices that brought me back into my body and helped me connect it with the world of feeling. Initially this was through a training in Movement, Mime and Theatre at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris and then with Monika Pagneux, a wonderful movement teacher who first introduced me to Feldenkrais work.

In my 20’s I worked with student actors at LAMDA teaching movement, mask and improvisation… helping them explore ways to find greater presence and fuller and more varied physical expression. I took classes in The Feldenkrais Method for many years beginning in the 80’s and found them helpful both on a personal and professional level. I eventually signed up to train as a practitioner and qualified in 1999. As a Feldenkrais practitioner I have worked with a wide range of individuals and groups both therapeutically and in training contexts.

In 1999 I also began practicing sitting meditation with a Soto Zen Buddhist group. Over the years I have found this practice to be a real source of comfort and support. The Buddhist understanding of the world and how we relate to it, it feels like a kind of home place and has become central to much of my work and life.

In 2002 I moved with my partner and young family to a smallholding in West Wales called Penpynfarch. We established a retreat centre which specialised in running workshops in Somatic Movement and dance and in practices that make connection between body, land, and environment. We also looked after our 40 acres of woodland and rough pasture, managing it for wildlife and biodiversity.

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In 2013 I came across Hakomi. I immediately loved the warmth and compassion of Hakomi and the way in which it looks at memory and at emotional and psychological difficulty through a somatic lens. Ron Kurtz, who developed the method, was influenced by Feldenkrais’s work and the two approaches have many principles in common. He was also immersed in Buddhist and Taoist ways of understanding self and the world, so it immediately felt like a good fit with my meditation practice.

 

I came to Hakomi at a time in my life which was challenging, and I benefitted from the support it offered. Hakomi has been (and continues to be) an important way of finding more insight into myself, bringing more spaciousness into my life and continuing my own journey of emotional healing. I qualified as a practitioner in 2021.

I am now practicing from my studio in Bristol, UK. This is on the ground floor of our home which is part of Water Lilies a zero-carbon co-housing project.

Certifications & Associations

Certified Practitioner of Feldenkrais Method®

Feldenkrais Professional Training Programme, Lewes 2, 1999

Certified Practitioner of The Hakomi Method

Hakomi Education Network, 2021

 

 

Andy is a member of the Feldenkrais Guild UK and The Hakomi Education Network and is committed to abide by their codes of ethics and professional conduct.

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