“The body, in its infinite wisdom, knows its own way back to wholeness.” Eugene Gendlin
Hi. I’m Gwen. I’m a Yoga and Movement Therapist, a Focusing Practitioner and a Women’s Health Coach.
What do you do?
I like to find ways that we can feel alive and at home with ourselves by working with our bodies. That means learning about how the body works and understanding its natural cycles, strengthening the body through practice and getting better at listening to what it’s trying to tell us.
Why do you do that?
Because we need to listen to our bodies. In a session we might work with hands and shoulders, finding more movement, more flexibility. But the hands and shoulders aren’t the point of the session. By finding new ways of working with our bodies we are opening up a whole world of possibilities — unravelling ways in which our bodies might have otherwise shut things down.
How do people work with you?
Often people come with a specific question or an issue they’re trying to work through. We meet (online or in person) and see what we might do with it. The most common way I find myself working with people is an ongoing, one-to-one supportive relationship — teaching techniques, supporting and developing a personal practice and exploring whatever challenges show up along the way. I call on three main disciplines in the work I do with people — focusing, yoga therapy and women’s health coaching. Sometimes we’ll just use one of these, sometimes a mixture of all three.
What is yoga therapy?
Yoga therapy is a way of addressing specific emotional or physical issues, working with the body, applying the principles and practices of yoga. It isn’t about achieving or striving for ‘a perfect pose’, but much more about connecting more deeply with the body and with ourselves.
Through developing a yoga and movement practice, we can tune in to what the body wants and knows and what it’s capable of. We can unlock the power that we sometimes lose touch with and soothe the nervous system and unravel habitual sources of stress and tension.
What is women’s health coaching?
The most valuable thing I’ve found in exploring women’s health is seeing how our monthly cycles don’t have to be a challenge, but can be a source of power.
My coaching approach consists of teaching how our cycles work and what effect they have and why, tailoring an approach to your unique cycle (and the parts you might love or struggle with) and exploring yoga, movement and diet through the month and seeing how they might help you harness its potential.
What is focusing?
Focusing is a practice that helps us find our way through difficult issues by listening to the whole body— the whole self — not just our heads.
In a Focusing session we tune into what’s going on for us in each moment, acknowledging thoughts and stories that are at play whilst also listening at a deeper, more subtle level to how our body feels. We journey and explore what is present and this allows us to access a deep inner knowing that our bodies hold, what we might call our intuition or gut instinct.
How did you end up doing this work?
I’ve arrived at this combination of practices not out of curiosity, but because I needed them. In my early twenties, I suffered from chronic fatigue and had to find ways of looking after myself that actually worked. These three practices are the ones that helped me recover from that period — and that I still rely on today.
I am accredited as a Yoga Therapist (International Association of Yoga Therapy), a Focusing Practitioner (British Focusing Association) and a Women’s Health Practitioner (International Practitioners of Holistic Medicine).