I grew up in leafy North London, in the scorched summers of the early 70's. I remember a lot of sunshine and dancing to Beethoven's 5th in the living room followed by a lie-down on my back under the mirror in the hallway. Totally peaceful, I would often levitate a meter or so. I know, improbable to some, but true nonetheless. One day I wanted to float to the kitchen door and say hi to my mum but part of me knew that I might just scare the living day lights out of her! So on the day I tried to float up consciously, just for me, I discovered I could not do it at will and the Art of Levitation floated away from me ever since.
At 19 I moved to Paris, had a foray in the Bohemian life and set off to the Canary Islands with French speakers to work in holiday property sales. There was a romantic stint in an abandoned fisherman’s hut on the coastline of a banana plantation that sadly no longer exists. Living off-grid had idyllic moments but the job came calling me back as strong winds made it an unlovable domicile in the winter.
The job was so horrible, my stress so high, I was awestruck by how my manager was so calm and serene. And there it was, an introduction to Yoga at 23, when she lent me a photocopy of a book by an anonymous author, The 30 Day Hatha Yoga and Meditation Plan.
A mark of progress not mentioned in the book, were a few flashes of 'supposed' clairaudience when walking passed people in the street. I was utterly dismayed. Not many people had inspiring self speak. So critical of others or themselves.
I stopped meditating so much and consciously willed to lose the art of hearing people's thoughts. Yes I have a developed intuition but fear not, I can't hear what you are thinking. What you are thinking is none of my business. Philosophically one could moot that most those thoughts are none of your business either!
I left the Canaries to train to to be a yoga teacher in Ibiza with 10 other people. I had no idea how lucky I was. At the time most were getting certificates in packed ashrams in India.
My first craniosacral session was by Manuel Ponce, the cranio-osteopath who co-taught that first yoga teacher training. Dissociated as I was from life's knocks: the chronic pain of Crohn's, the shock of a cinematic style car accident that left me unscathed, the shadows of my ancestral trauma of the holocaust, I couldn't yet feel what was happening on the subtle level I am now trained to do, but the sessions brought me back again and again to a feeling of grace, of a lightness of being.
Eventually I could attune to my 'Felt Sense' a pivotal step to reclaiming optimal health. It meant not shutting the door to my sensitivity, but to learn to live with this gem by getting more down time than most and even celebrating it by putting it to work: becoming good a helping others heal.
The move back to London bestowed a flourishing yoga teaching career. I read Michael Kern's book, Wisdom In The Body with a view to train with him and work with adults and babies. I was then teaching pregnancy and baby yoga and thought it a fitting addition to my service. I qualified at Michael’s Craniosacral Therapy Educational Trust in 2007. I was given my ‘License to Still' (our year's affectionate nod to how biodynamic craniosacral therapy works through still points and 'dynamic stillness’).
I met my husband, Norman Bailey at a Peace Jam for 9/11. We swapped yoga classes for singing lessons, I got ill one day and threw up in his flat. He took care of me and held my belly. It's not just through a man's belly do you get to the heart.
I now combine principles of craniosacral therapy with yoga therapy in digestive health workshops, creating a system called The Belly Love Method. The workshops feature my husband's vocal warm ups because both the vagal nerve, the one that governs the digestive tract is toned by singing and partly because singing has been one of my greatest joys personally and a great tonic generally for folks in need of healing.