Yoga for All

1:14 - Introduction of Siv Havik

2:37 - Students mostly pay the donation minimum but a few do pay more as they can.  Norway's good economy and support makes it possible for some to donate more.

6:15: Siv began the studio because she could not afford to go to yoga classes as much as she wanted to and she has a strong desire to provide diversity in her town regarding yoga. She wanted to make it possible for everyone that may be interested in participating in yoga to find a place to do so. They have several 1000 members now.

9:00 Teacher come to Siv to volunteer their time and Siv has not had to recruit teachers. Siv was the original teacher and she taught two classes with a donation-based focus. She rented a space for each class and only had to cover the cost of the rent for each class. As the concept grew, Siv acquired a space for the donation-based studio and teachers began volunteering to give classes in their specialities. So their schedule is very diverse with many different yoga specialities and different times. It remains donation based and the donations are used to maintain the studio. One offering is medical yoga which is more accepted as a modality to help those recovering or for certain illnesses. 

14:30 - As the studio processes were put into place and many things became routine, Siv found she had extra capacity. She  decided to start the first Yoga Festival in her town of Stavanger, Norway. All the proceeds go to charities to stop child marriage and sex slavery. There are villages in Nepal that are just brothels and children work in these brothels. Siv and the studio work with charities that provide orphanages for these children or work with very poor villages that sell their children to pimps. The charity provides schools and help for these villages. 

18:30 - Benefits to the community of the donation-based model. It allows a lot of people that wouldn't consider yoga classes because of the cost to access yoga. It creates diversity as many different kinds of yoga are offered by different teachers teaching their specialities. Classes are offered at diverse times. The studio, according to Siv, belongs to the students as much to Siv and the other teachers. 

What are the critical aspects to have a functioning donation-based studio: a) teachers work as volunteers, b) donation-based costs, and c) diversity of offerings and class times. Siv also suggests that at the beginning start with a small number of classes and low cost for rent, etc.

33:28 Siv's dream is to have donation-based studios spread to other places and countries. If anyone would like to start a donation-based studio, Siv offers to be a resource to them to help them get started.





Burn it down for the nails

Burn it down for the nails with Kristen Krash

1:26 Introduction - Kristen Krash - Yogi for 16 years, teacher for much of that and 2 years ago moved to Ecuador to build a substainable nature retreat.

3:17  - Yoga in the three eras of her life

Student of Yoga, teacher of yoga and as an ecological entrepreneur. For the 7-8 years of teaching, it was very soul satisfying but things began to change. It became very difficult financially, Kristen turned 40 and began looking for a way to change her life. 

She and her partner developed a sustainable living vision for a place in Ecuador. They found some land, lived in a tent for 5 months while they built the first building. She is doing hard, physical labour but yoga is helping her build focus at this stage. It is also contributing to her creativity.

10:44 Burn it down for the Nails

Yoga has changed: lots of competition for students, the veneer of the corporate vision, misbehaving or worse of the "gurus", and yoga for goats, yoga with beer, and yoga and the stripper pole all dilute the essence of yoga.

Burn it down for the nails means to Kristen to find the essence of yoga that should continue and get rid of the "veneer" of competition, odd niches, and the corporate values. 

Unforgiven video by Metallica depicts someone taking their whole life to attempt one thing while they had the key to do the same thing the whole time. Finding the essence of yoga is within all of us; we have the key. Not attending so many classes, building a home practice, and finding the yoga that resonates with you can help you find your own unique key. 

35.30 Kristen now teaches yoga to the visitors to their sustainable living property in Ecuador. Yoga is still part of her life and she is optimistic about yoga. It was helped her immensely when she needed it and believes it can be of help to others if we get to the essence of yoga. 

39:15: Suena de Vida is Kristen and her partner's sustainable property. They have their own protected water source from a spring), it is situated in a tropical rain forest and it is only 3 hours from the Quito airport. They have a guest house, a communal kitchen, a bathroom and a large garden (as well as the spring). 


Yoga's role in a healthy lifestyle

1:18 Introduction

3:00 Preventing disease through yoga and other healthy lifestyles. Explore different healing themes in Andrea's yoga classes. Observation in Andrea's interactive class as the student's are taught how to practice  their yoga at home. Teach them to explore a ujique healthy lifestyle that meets their needs. Uses svasana as a way for the class's movements and breath to sink into the body to remember better what occurred. 

7:48 Andrea starts with a lesson plan based on current research into the best yoga practices for health. She participates on FB groups looking at the nexus of yoga and health to keep her knowledge fresh.  

10:20 Proper nutrition can improve chronic conditions. Although some improvements may be seen with an improved meals for Alzheimer's patients, developing meals with few carbohydrates and sugars will help the children of these patients. Current research considers Alzheimer's a form of diabetes - essentially diabetes of the brain. Without the ability to make insulin work properly (and unable to process carbs and sugars well), the brain is starved for energy. 

19:00 Yoga teacher's become a source of information for their students and must have significant knowledge in the areas they teach. No 21 year old can understand the needs or goals of a 59 year old in a yoga class. Their bodies are too different.

24:45 Heart of a yogi; every teacher should have the heart of a yogi. Yoga is a practice for life; everything that happens on the mat will translate into useful information in the rest of life.








Linked In:

Google +: by Andrea Trank

Techniques to ease anxiety

1:20 Introduction 

2:30 Mindfullness vs meditation. Is there a difference or does it matter.

6:30 Increase in anxiety - our technology is a key contributor to the increase in anxiety. The devices are intentionally addictive and our brain produces dopamine at every ding to ensure that we will continue to use the device. 

12:00 Using hypnosis in treating anxiety. All of us have reached a hypnotic state which is a focused state of awareness. Driving somewhere and then not remembering how you got there is called highway hypnosis - the subconscious took over while the conscious thought of something else. You change your focus by focusing on the positive which needs consistent practice but it can lessen anxiety. Yoga helps with this by emphasising focusing strongly on one thing.

17:25 Stephanie works with women with anxiety primarily. She has developed a variety of techniques to help so each person has something that will calm them. It is partnership between the two of Stephanie and her client. 

20:30 Short term vs long term anxiety. Although there are differences, there are more similarities. Using the techniques to calm the nervous system will work in either situation. Have to build the capacity for resilience daily with simple techniques. Two simple techniques are discussed and why they work.

26:43 Stephanie will have a book published soon: "Goodbye Anxiety - Hello Freedom: Building resilience to overcome anxiety"All of the many techniques that Stephanie uses are explained in the book so that anyone can find something that will be beneficial for them. To find out about the launch of the book: go to to download tips on helping with anxiety and when the book launches, you will receive notification of how to access the book.

29:10 The techniques require that they be practiced daily. Stephanie helps with building that habit or choosing an accountability buddy can help build that habit. Stephanie works online with women, men and children to help them build resilience to calm their anxiety




FB: Stephanie Dalfonzo


Instagram: StephanieDalfonzo

To find out about the launch of the book:

Nourishing the Nervous System with Yoga

1:28 Introduction 

2:53 Tools used in senior yoga classes: sensory processing and integration techniques. Helps clear and reset the nervous system. 

6:00 Teaching veterans: a former marine's view. Many ex-military suffer similar symptoms-PTSD, anxiety, pain, and "over-doing" Military trains nervous system not to pay attention to signals from the body and it becomes agitated and then needs training to learn how to be calm.

9:23 Yoga's benefits for veterans exercises to learn to exist in the parasympathetic state. Direct own energy and tone nervous system.

14:36 As a veteran, Sheila also experienced these symptoms and she developed and or studied tools to make her feel better which she now shares with her students. Uses body talk energy system, yin yoga, ayurveda, and sensory processing and integration with her senior and veteran students and children

Tender Populations

Marcie Leek teaches students with cancer and their caregivers, people grieving, large-bodied women and knitters. She modifies her classes for each of the populations using the tenets of viniyoga. She has classes in the Seattle, USA area, on line courses and a workshop for women grieving for their mothers. Join us as Marcie explains how she meets the needs of these diverse students.

1:20 Introduction - Marcie Leek teaches students with cancer and their caregivers, people grieving, large-bodied women and knitters. 

7:40 Teaches a diversity of student populations who are in pain physically, mentally, emotionally or spirtually. Using the tenets of viniyoga but modifying for the special needs of each population. She researches needs of each group and then modifies her poses, breathing, meditation to meet those needs within the viniyoga tradition. 

21:20 Marcie and Paige Tangney are offering a workshop in Seattle Washington, USA for daughters grieving their mothers in February and May. Paige a certified therapist will be using the tools of therapy while Marcie offers yoga techniques.

25:15 Marcie has on line course for large bodied women, developing a course on grieving and will have some youtube videos for knitters in the near future. 

29:00 Contacts



FB: nourishingbreathyoga

Insta: nbymarcieleek

Yoga Moments for Stress

Small discrete practices for stress and anxiety with Stephannie Weikert

1:39 How to make yoga philosophy more understandable with metaphors and stories. Simple postures, and integrate practice into daily routines.

2:50 Stephanie develops simple, but complete practices for her clients based on practicality and do-ability.

3:33 Developed this methodology based on her personal experience of being very stressed and anxious in her early twenties. The stress led to a body focused, repetitive behaviour similar to nervous habits. Introduced to yoga but could not make a consistent time to go to class given her schedule. She would do a simple forward bend, breathe deeply and developed a personal mantra to handle the stress and anxiety. She noticed she became less reactive and more centred. A 3 -5 minute practice can be integrated into the habits of your life and shifts mindset.

9:40 Benefits to students/clients: Two programs - Shift Happens - very basic, practical, doable, and tools to turn practice into a lifelong habit. 45% of daily activities are routines that we do everyday with little thought. Tapping into the science of habit building to turn daily routines into opportunities for a daily yoga practice. 3 steps to building a new habit - trigger, routine and reward. Using these three steps starting very small and slowly building to a practice helps someone integrate a new habit into their life.

32:45 Other course offered by Stephannie is Make Peace with Stress takes more time and delves deeply into self-study, learning to surrender when appropriate to intention setting. Learning what is the real cause of stress and how we deal with it and how we want to deal with it.

42:00 On Stephannie's website ( you can take a stress test to identify your stress type and a short practice for that stress type.

Contacts: website: email: stephannie@makepeacewith FB: Instagram: stephannie weikert  

Experiential Learning (+) in Yoga

Experiential Learning with Charlotte Nuessle

2:44 Positive Neuroplasticity -shape your brain throughout your life. Brain tends toward negative -survival mechanism. Brings out negative emotions and fight, flight or freeze reactions. Tools to bring about concentrating on the positive to deepen or grow neural pathways that pay attention to positive. Leads to resiliency. Gratitude practice.

14:50 Experiential Learning definition. Becoming a witness; stand back from negative experiences. Unique to each person and set a unique intention for the class. People don't live in their bodies often; need to get them back in to fully integrate an experience. Develop compassion and kindness for themselves. Examples

24:50 Positive brain pathways plus experiential learning. Culture separates mind, body spirit. Priority to guiding people to connect with their body and feel safe.

31:45 Tuning into one's nervous system: kindness to self, aware of fight, flight response, mentor, yoga practice

Contacts and Resources: Email: Website:

Free online webinar: Tuning into your Nervous System and Healing Trauma - On Line Course: Tuning into Your Nervous System (website) Dr. Rick Hanson (more info on cultivating positive neuroplasticity)


Breathing with Sharon Harvey Alexander 2:50 Sharon "loses" her breath at 15 and begins to find it again in her late twenties when she begins yoga. The connection of breath and movement unites all of the pieces of an individual.

5:54: Breathing, autonomic nervous system, vagus nerve definitions and connections.

11:00 Yoga Nidra - centering activity in the class. Relax and integrate the movement and breath of the rest of the class.

14:00 Types of breathing, what they do,and how they connect with the vagus nerve, nervous system and the brain.

16:50 Vagus Nerve can bring about relaxation through the right kind of breath. Fight, Flight, Freeze or rest and relax determined by either sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous system.

22:30 Learning to Breathe, Learning to Live by Sharon Harvey Alexander. Simple tools to relieve stress and invigorate your life. 6 Breathing techniques to stimulate the relaxation response. Includes guided meditation. A 5 week plan to implement stress reduction activities.

25:55 Koshas - ancient model to consider all of the aspects of who we are.

Contacts: email: website: Twitter: @SharonHA FB: Sharon.H.Alexander

Sharon's Book: Learning to Live, Learning to Breathe, and type Sharon's name or the name of the book to find it on the publisher's website.

Restorative Yoga

2:40 Definition of Restorative yoga especially as opposed to gentle yoga. Blanket term that is different for lineages, teachers. Long holds but not necessarily passive poses. Yin Yoga has long holds and relaxing into gravity. Leslie's definition for her classes: restorative classes invoke the relaxation response. Going into the parasympathetic system. To get to the relaxation response: rhythmic device (e.g., breathing) and non-attachment to intrusive thoughts. Different kinds of poses, not all supine. Use lots of props. Support body and relax 

12:53 End goal of restorative 

How Yoga has Changed

How Yoga Has Changed with Beth Spindler

3:45: Questioning among yoga teachers and students about how yoga has evolved and what it should be. It's not just doing poses - it is acknowledging that people have different bodies, nervous systems. etc. Advertising presents a very different face of yoga. Beth is seeing a shift to addressing yoga for different ages and abilities.

8:20 Senior Yoga: a few years ago, Beth saw mature students wanting to take her training for the first time. A yoga teacher must understand therapeutics in regard to aging to teach this group. Beth's approach is to alleviate pain. Yoga is general is moving forward to include everyone. However there is a misconception that yoga is generally therapeutic but its not. For the aging population, a teacher has to be knowledgeable about modifications for poses, etc. Look to the intelligence of applying poses to individual humans. Takes applying this concept to ask students to; "notice", "pay attention", "is this too much or too little". Having people notice "Can I breathe in this posture. If not, then I am out of my range of appropriate practice."

33:40 I am moving away from poses and more toward appropriate movement. Approximating the shapes of poses is wrong.

Contacts: email: website: FB:

Mentoring as part of Teacher Training

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1:16 Introduction to our guest Kristine Koverii Weber

3:45 Mentoring – choosing a student to mentor. Student has a specific goal often about teaching a special population (given the therapeutic nature of Kristine’s work). It is  one or two hours/month. Usually on Skype.

6:40 Benefits of Mentoring – basic yoga teacher training is very basic and tends to deprofessionalise the industry. It has been watered down over the years and devalues what yoga teachers have to offer. Neuroscience research shows that 10,000 hours of training are needed to achieve mastery in an area.

9:22 Mentoring is valuable but teacher training needs to change to professionise the industry. Perhaps 200 hour training could be a lifestyle training for one’s own use and not for teaching. Making the 500 hour training the basic training would be a good first step. The 200 hour training is giving people the false assumption of expertise.

12:35 Benefits of mentoring for the mentor. Opportunity to engage with new, enthusiastic teachers. I find the gaps in my own teacher training in theory and practice. It is a useful reflection process for the mentor and reminds Kristine to access the knowledge of her mentors.

14:30 Students’ benefits from mentoring. Having a relationship with an experienced teacher and help you problem solve. How does a new teacher skillfully evaluate new ideas, research or practice in yoga with little experience and basic training. The mentor can help the new teacher navigate these issues. Have a personal relationship with a teacher. Isolation can be a problem with yoga teachers and mentoring can help to build a community.

19:45 History of teacher training and what it should be. All acquisition of knowledge is based on three ways to obtaining that knowledge: inference (scientific), perception (own experience), and authority (teachers). Need a balance between these three ways of knowing. Yoga teacher training in the future has:

  • 500 hours minimum
  • Schools  being more transparent about what they teach(e.g., fitness vs. philosophy)
  • Acknowledged that social credentialing is suspect (testimonials from newly minted teachers)
  • Audits to ensure that teacher training schools are teaching as they proposed when approved.
  • community standards

29:37 Downloads: Kristine is offering E-Books on how to choose a teacher training course. Go to her website (, sign up for her newsletter and download the E book for thoughts on choosing a teacher training course.

31:00 Contact:

Resource : NOTE: Kristine meant to say Dr. Richard Davidson ( instead of Dan Siegal for information on his study of meditation.

Yoga Teacher Training Part 4

Download the podcast here Yoga Teacher Training Part 4 - Reflection 1:54 Introduction of series guests: Maria Kirsten of Yoga for Grownups, Flo Fenton of In Touch Yoga Byron Bay, and Kristine Koverii Weber of Subtle Yoga. 2:40 All guests thought that the basic yoga training was inadequate as a stand alone system for producing yoga teachers. Maria Kirsten believes that to fully understand a subject one needs  to acquire the knowledge, apply that knowledge and then reflect on the application to know what additional knowledge is needed. This is a lifelong requirement as knowledge changes often and new ways of thinking and doing are always available. Flo is concerned by the business model used by many teacher training courses, the lack of time to practice teaching the public, and the little face-to-face time with experienced teachers. Kristine talked about her experience of being a mentor and mentee and the benefits of both. 6:55 Flo discussed Yoga Australia's proposed policy on auditing certified teacher training courses. Most will have a desk audit (responding to a set of questions developed by Yoga Australia) and one will have a site audit by Yoga Australia personnel. Although a good start on policy, it needs to have more thought into the implementation of policy. 11:00 Kristine suggests that the 200 level become a lifestyle course while the 500 level become the basic teacher training course. 16:53 How to choose a 200 level course: Flo Fenton suggests that potential students of a yoga teacher training course (after finding some courses that meet their personal goals) ask these questions:

  1. Does the course require that trainees have experience taking yoga classes and if so for how long?
  2. Is the content up-to-date?
  3. Do students have the opportunity for ongoing support after graduation?
  4. Are graduates confident in their ability to teach – have they had the opportunity to practice teaching the public several times during the course?
  5. What is the teacher/student ratio?

She also suggests that the perfect teacher training course have the following elements or results which is another way that a potential teacher could choose a training:

  1. More time
  2. Requires commitment and discipline
  3. Minimum of one year of contact
  4. Lots of time for students to practice and practice teaching.
  5. Know how to differentiate themselves from other teachers
  6. Must have attended yoga classes for at least a year.
  7. How to maintain student clientele and conduct a business

Kristine has provided a PDF  on how to choose a basic training course which includes first deciding what is the person's goals for training and then researching and asking questions of potential training courses. 21:00 Perception of the professionalism of yoga teachers. Yoga research shows more and more benefits of yoga for people's wellness levels. Yoga teachers and therapists could become part of a team of wellness professionals to assist those with certain issues. To be considered for that kind of collaboration, yoga teachers and yoga therapists have to be considered professionals. Does the basic 200 hour training provide that professionalism? Resourses: Maria Kirsten: Flo Fenton: Kristine Koverii Weber: PDF on how to choose a basic yoga teacher training: Go to, sign up for Kristine's newsletter and they will send you the PDF.

Flo Fenton – Teacher Training Series 2

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How to find a good Teacher Training Course

2:38 Two types of teacher training:

  1. Maximising profit
  2. Maximising teacher contact

Flo discusses her teacher training experience where she had over 3500 hours of training in 9 months. Most well-known teachers have had similar types of training.

Is the credibility of yoga teachers and teacher training decreased because of the short term nature of teacher training now?

What are some areas to explore when deciding on a teacher training course?

  1. Does the course require that trainees have experience taking yoga classes?
  2. Is the content up-to-date?
  3. Do students have the opportunity for ongoing support after graduation?
  4. Are graduates confident in their ability to teach – have they had the opportunity to practice teaching the public several times during the course?
  5. What is the teacher/student ratio?

19:00 How do you extend the time (andthe cost) of teacher training when most yoga teachers now cannot support themselves with yoga alone?  Yoga needs to become more professional, with specific qualifications, and programs must be accredited sufficiently to assure the public that yoga teachers are qualified.

20:36 Mentoring: Yoga Australia requires that any studentfrom a yoga teacher training course that is under a year must have mentoring to have a full year of training. Provides insight into teaching and the business of yoga.

25:00 Yoga Australia is changing their oversight of yoga teacher training courses. A training working group has developed a process to evaluate yoga teacher training courses. Every course will have a desktop audit annually, one course will have a face-to-face audit, and a grievance process has been developed for both trainees and graduates of teacher training courses as well as the public. There are currently approximately 100 teacher training organisations under the aegis of Yoga Australia.

28:50 Perfect teacher training

  1. Much more lengthy
  2. Requires commitment and discipline
  3. Minimum of one year of contact
  4. Lots of time for students to practice and practice teaching.
  5. Know how to differentiate themselves from other teachers
  6. Must have attended yoga classes for at least a year.
  7. How to maintain students and conduct a business.



Anatomy in Teacher Training

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5:35 Maria Kirsten’s method of teaching anatomy: knowing the family around a movement. Donna Farhi notices that in teacher training, students are taught to mimic a shape.

15:30 Spiral of training, teaching, questions, back to training, etc. Especially for short-term teacher training, make a commitment to life-long learning. Driver’s Licence analogy: P, L and full licence. Integration is critical and takes time.

21:09 Maria’s story of her training cycles. Moved towards functional movement (e.g., forward folds, hinge or roll up).

29:00 References: Anatomy courses to explore after finishing teacher training –

Digital courses:

Simon Borg-Olivier, Leslie Kaminoff, Tiffany Kruikshank, Amy Mathews

Workshops: Judith Lassiter, Donna Farhi, Judy Krupp, Libbie Nelson

Yoga Journal articles

Lifelong learning is critical to a yoga teacher. They will need anatomy training at the beginning and will come back for refreshers in anatomy. Going outside your own field can be helpful (Qi Cong, Tai Chi).   But after a while, other aspects of yoga may become more important.

38:21 Yoga and Public Health

Integration of yoga and yoga therapy into the public health system. Maria’s next project is developing a series of trainings for yoga teachers to become health promotion officers. These trainings will empower people to manage their own health and how to collaborate with other yoga and health professionals.


Instagram: @yogaforgrownups

Facebook: MariaKirstenYogaTherapy



DVD: Applying anatomy learning as Maria videos a class she teaches. Can get the DVD by contacting Maria through the website.

Trauma Care with Katie Overcash

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Trauma Care with Katie Overcash

2:20 What causes stress -natural disasters, medical interventions, abuse, neglect, military related, grief and loss.

3:00 What can traumatic stress look like in a yoga class – Trauma comes in through the senses, can become stuck in the body. People with trauma stress can be hyper-aroused or hypo-aroused with little time in between. Non-traumatised people can go between these states and self regulate themselves. People with trauma cannot and can become stuck.

9:20 – What can yoga teachers/therapists do in a class with someone show trauma stress – Support them, bring them to the present, making sure they have support outside of class.

17:30 – What do yoga teachers need to know – people with trauma stress don’t feel safe or in control. Yoga class can provide predictable, safe, environment where they have choices.

21:15 – Have a referral who deals with trauma

24:30 Where do yoga instructors and yoga therapists fit in the healing cycle for traumatic stress: bottom up model where yoga bookends the talk therapy.

29:50 Contacts and references

Katie Overcash on Facebook and Instagram: overcashtherapy

Bessel Van Der Kolk – The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, Body in the Healing of Trauma

Refugee Yoga Project

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2:12 Danielle’s story and the beginnings of the Refugee Yoga Project

9.16 Teacher preparation for teaching for the Refugee Yoga Project

Weekend intensive, Mentoring and Class design

20:30 Free 8 week sessions around Sydney with instructional videos in Tamil, Arabic, and Nepali for students’ personal practice.

23:15 Students’ descriptions of the benefits of yoga classes. Decrease in anger and chronic pain.

Contact details:



Partner contact details:

Vasudhara Foundation:

NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Trauma and Torture Survivors:

Power Living:

Ahimsa - Creating Safety

Download the podcast here
Ahimsa – a safe class with Christine Wushke

2:40 – Ahimsa – creating a safe environment in class to be a healing space.

Need presence and attunement to your students to receive feedback about how they are doing. Slowing everything down, looking for resistance and blockages.

8:00 – Students not connecting with their bodies and forcing their bodies to do poses

10:30 – Trauma informed yoga. Hakomi trauma theapy. Frontline yoga, teacher is tracking the room for trauma activation.

17:00 – Adjustments in a safe environment

26:00 – Mindfulness (being present in yourself) and bringing your student to mindfulness at the beginning of class

34:15 – Christine talks to yoga teachers: a) use a movement attuned to resistance to allow students to release and b) using organic movement

Contact details:



Book: Freedom is your Nature. See it on Amazon or Christine’s website