Donna Brooks is a somatic movement educator and therapist, Yogi, and embodied meditator who has 35 years of experience teaching, counseling and coaching in movement and the healing arts.

Blog

The Pelvic Floor and Emotional Resilience

Tightening and relaxing the pelvic floor is great exercise. BUT if that is all you are doing you are missing a lot. Perhaps the most important part of being alive is having resilience. Just like our pelvic floor, humans have to be both flexible and strong. Yet, we are often overloaded, juggling responsibilities and trying …

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Grief, Regret, Pain and the Velveteen Rabbit.

Today I had a great conversation with my friend and colleague Clare Maxwell. She is doing movement coaching on a fantastic BAM experiential theater exploring beliefs and emotions of Black life in America.  Our conversation was an inquiry into  how a white person could grieve black people being killed by police. It was a good conversation and it brought me to a real …

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Dealing with the Difficult Emotions of Loss and Grief – A Somatic Embodiment Approach

Some experiences in life are just awful and we are left with feelings of sadness, dismay, anger or complete overwhelm. No one wants to feel these feelings yet they are part of life. So, how do we experience them without becoming totally engulfed by them? You have to realize feelings are passing states: Biologically, chemistry …

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Dealing with the Difficult Emotions of Loss and Grief – A Somatic Embodiment Approach

Blog / By Donna Brooks / May 17, 2021 Some experiences in life are just awful and we are left with feelings of sadness, dismay, anger or complete overwhelm. No one wants to feel these feelings yet they are part of life. So, how do we experience them without becoming totally engulfed by them?   You have to realize …

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Like the Cold And Sparse Beauty Of Winter, There is Also A Beauty In Grief And Loss.

So much has changed this year. I know many of you grieve the loss of physical closeness with friends, the simple luxury of sitting in a coffee shop or browsing through the supermarket. Like me, some of you have lost people incredibly dear to you.  Others have lost livelihood.  Collectively, we suddenly have come face to …

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Finding Space in the Midst of Grief

Approaching grief is anchoring me in the here and now with all its paradoxes. Currently, grief is like a rock in the pit of my stomach. It is dense, hard, and immovable as it sits heavily. My tears wear away at this rock. My tears, the flow of my own water -especially the salt water -will …

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What Embodiment Offers People with HSP

If you are often  overwhelmed with thoughts, sensations or emotions, or feel like life is rushing at you,  you might be a highly sensitive person (HSP). If that is the case,  developing your embodiment (also called interoception) can help you stay calm and relaxed no matter how high your sensitivity level. What is interoception? Interoception is …

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COVID-19: Feeling Regulated and Finding Action in Despair

I have been thinking a lot about how our country and many of our lives feel so discordant or just strangely different. The covid lock down was so sudden and unexpected. We lost the steadiness of predictability and access to many of the usual ways we stay relaxed. That is certainly what some of this …

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Embodied Inner Ecology

Just as we live in an ecological community made up of the unity and diversity of trees, plants, stones, bodies of water, animals etc..our bodies are a kind of unified ecological community. There is a “me” but there are also the parts of the whole that have their own consciousnesses.  But how often do we really get to …

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Why I use Somatic Movement as a Yoga Therapist

Most Yoga therapists I know face all types of challenges from clients. Chronic pain, incomplete recovery from surgery, problems due to disease and high levels of stress keep raising. Many clients can’t even do the most basic yoga without exacerbating symptoms. As a yoga therapist and someone who has been helping with bodily structure and …

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Image and Change- How conscious anatomy changes you.

As a teacher and coach, I use metaphor and imagery to stimulate where I think a therapeutic experience could be had. But, I ask it it to arise from the natural wisdom of my clients body. This healing movement is very typically underneath their conscious knowledge and often it takes time for their understanding to …

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Fascia Based Yoga and Movement for Parkinson’s Disease

Yesterday I had the honor of teaching a movement and yoga class for people with PD at a conference sponsored by Dartmouth- Hitchcock Medical Center. I had a room of about 150 PD patients and caregivers. I won’t ever see most of these people again so I felt a lot of urgency about giving them …

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Build Strength and relieve Pain with Natural Rhythm and Ease

We all have rhythms that build on our bodies desire for varying amounts of effort and rest. Think of spending a day in the woods hiking. You might start out slowly and then pick up speed. You might rest frequently or run up hills with bursts of energy. You might be slow and fairly steady throughout. But, your …

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The Ihunch sHuffle

Did you know that slouching can cause emotional distress and physical pain and limitation? A health psychology randomized trial study has shown that slumped participants used more negative emotion words, sad words, expressed being more at the affect of events and used fewer positive words. You know when you feel badly it’s hard ot have pep and to …

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Strong, Flexible and Pain Free = Happy Body

I have no doubt you know that your core (abdominal and spinal) strength and flexibility have a powerful effect on all parts of your body.Maybe people sense this instinctively by tightening their gut to stand taller. But did you know that your limbs and especially your extremities have a profound effect on your core? Yes, How …

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The evolutionary roots of precise and powerful walking

Fall is in the air and it’s a really great time to get out and walk. That is easier said than done if walking is tiring, painful or boring. Maybe it doesn’t feel as natural as it used to? Our bodies are built for walking. There is a lot of “genetic lineage” that led up to and …

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“What’s Keeping You From Gliding Through Life: The Yoga Of Happy, Healthy Hips”

Yoga is about understanding the art and science of life. That includes the bringing together of opposites: activity and rest, strength and flexibility, intention and receiving. What makes it possible to bring together these opposites into a cohesive whole? Integration. Integration allows our bodies and minds to flow easily and freely.     Integration helps us …

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Your Original Body Wisdom and Qigong

A lot of people have asked me if I have studied the Chinese movement and energy system — Qigong.  I was always drawn to its elegant and rich moves and underlying imagery but I had never formally studied the practice. Thankfully, over this past fourth of July weekend I attended Roger Jahnke’s Qigong workshop “Feel the Qi” at the Omega …

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The Yoga of Natural Breathing

Did you know that just being curious while relaxing creates a “sweet spot” for learning something new? Neither did I, but thanks to Lisa Wimberger, I understand how the work we do in Body Wisdom  gets us into that state. Biochemically what is happening when we experience this relaxed curiosity is that we are increasing the flow of dopamine, neuroephrine and acetolyne. …

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Change your mind, change your muscle tone

Many people ask me why stretching often gives them only temporary relief from tightness and pain. It’s because stretching does not change the brain. And to change the body we need to change the mind. Our muscles spindles have nerves that relay information between our spinal cord, brain and muscle. Technically, this function is called the …

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