Learn Breema, the Art of Being Present

Felipe De Oliveira gives a Breema bodywork session

Thirty-one years ago, Jon Schreiber was a practicing chiropractor who recognized that his clients and everyone else needed something that did not exist—a practice that would nurture one’s authentic inner essence. Using this concept as a base, he teamed up with seven like-minded people to develop Breema, a system that uses touch and movement to help individuals become present, bring harmony into their lives, and attain physical, mental, and emotional health with a deep sense of fulfillment, meaning and purpose.

Breema, the art of being present, involves exercises done on one’s own body (Self-Breema), and two-person, practitioner-recipient sequences (Breema bodywork).

Underlying the physical approach is a philosophy of universal truths designed to synergistically unify and harmonize, embodied by the Nine Principles of Harmony. The principles are Body Comfortable, No Extra, Firmness and Gentleness, Full Participation, Mutual Support, No Judgment, Single Moment/Single Activity, No Hurry/No Pause and No Force. By applying these principles, individuals can have first-hand experience of them and enter into the meaning inherent in them, to discover new ways of looking at things.

“Our conditioned patterns of moving, thinking, and feeling make us go through life in a way that continually drains us,” Schreiber explains. “Breema aims to restore a sense of wholeness to all interactions by supporting us to fully participate in each activity, at every moment. When body, mind and feelings are actually working together, we may have a moment of true full participation, the beginning of consciousness. Only in a moment of consciousness can we begin to understand the essential meaning and interconnectedness of life.”

There are over 300 exact Breema sequences, which are taught at the Breema Centerin Oakland, California, as well as by Certified Instructors worldwide. Seattle area residents will have the chance to enjoy a complimentary Introductory Breema Evening with Roxanne Caswell and Birthe Kaarsholm at 7 p.m., September 28, at the East West Bookshop, followed by a weekend workshop, October 1 and 2, at Studio M’illumino.

Classes are suitable for people with or without prior bodywork experience, as long as they can comfortably sit and work on a carpeted floor. Instructors lead everyone in Self-Breema, then demonstrate sequences that students pair up to practice, guided by instructors. “There’s a very relaxed, comfortable atmosphere because people immediately recognize the Mutual Support (one of the Nine Principles),” Schreiber says. “The movements are really natural, so most people feel, after a little practice, that they’re rediscovering something they’ve somehow always known.” 

Ultimately, people seek to study Breema because they experience that the effects extend far beyond a more relaxed body and ripple through all aspects of their lives. “Breema is right for anyone interested in increasing their own physical, emotional and mental balance and harmony, and through that, having a positive effect on those around them,” Schreiber said. “It's a dynamic and nurturing approach to life.”

*Learn Breema, the Art of Being Present was written by Ann Dorn and originally published in Natural Awakenings.