Conscious Dancer June 15, 2010
Laura Rawson practicing a Breema bodywork sequence

Breema is a form of partner bodywork known as "the art of being present."

LYING ON A THICKLY PADDED CARPET, receiving stretches and holds and leans from my Breema practitioner, I experience a deep sense of trust and contentment. She starts by holding my feet, the firm yet gentle weight of her hands encouraging me to “let go,” and she continues with a series of supported and flowing movements up the rest of my body. No effort is required of me, yet the movements have a mutual give-andtake of body weight, a naturally rhythmic flow, and an unexpected variety.

AS THE SESSION CONTINUES, it's as if a part of me that I've been struggling with quiets down, and I'm completely at home in myself. I have a receptivity that seems to bypass my usual thinking mind. I experience my body not as something separate from my mind, but as an integral aspect of my whole self that offers grounding, openness, and clarity. These moments of receiving and being nurtured, experiences of insight and presence, are teaching me a new way of being in my body. Breema is revealing itself slowly to me—it’s like peeling back layers to find something richer both in the practice of Breema and in myself.

I FIRST ENCOUNTERED BREEMA ten years ago when I was in a professional dance troupe and in need of something to center myself. My body was beginning to manifest wear and tear, and I was physically and mentally burning out. I felt a constant gnawing that something important was missing, and Breema resonated with me. By receiving Breema sessions and attending classes, I realized that I have lived most of my life in a “disembodied” state. It was a shocking paradox to recognize that as a dancer I could be so disconnected from my body. DURING BREEMA SESSIONS, my body truly relaxes and I can let go of things that I didn’t even know I was holding on to. This is most obvious in the area of physical stress, but it also happens with my thoughts, feelings, and self-images.

BREEMA AFFECTS ME at a level that seems deeper than my mind. It’s as though the inner wisdom of my body responds and I experience myself in a new way. I experience a receptive knowing that gives me insight into what it means to be in the present moment.

I TAKE SMALL STEPS in practicing the Breema principles and Self- Breema exercises. They help me take something that feels big and abstract—being fully present—and give me a practical way to integrate that into my daily life with kindness and without judgment. I am excited to return to the joy of dance classes with a new way of being in and experiencing my body. I can best sum up my experience with these words from Breema’s founders: "Practicing Breema invites physical flexibility, emotional balance, and mental clarity, and helps us to move in harmony with the natural laws that govern life and health. As body, mind, and feelings unite in a common aim, we become present. We experience a natural vitality and a deep connection to all life."

*Breema was written by Victoria Rozycki and originally published in Conscious Dancer.