Becoming a mother opened my heart
I am grateful that my journey as a mother and as a mindful mover brings me continuous learning and connection in community. I have witnessed profound benefits for myself and others with the gentle, engaged, and lively approaches of somatic therapy. I became a therapist out of my desire to make this holistic work available to mothers and little ones.
I watched my newborn daughter curl in and out, passionately replaying her birth, and sweated through our challenges of breastfeeding. I wondered at the capacities of infants and mothers to fulfill themselves in responsive, natural activity. My first teaching and curriculum was conceived along with my son. I taught my prenatal class while pregnant and began offering somatic bodywork to childbearing women – I realized how significantly somatic awareness, movement, and release had helped me in these stages of mothering.
Join in joyful exertion
When I once again jumped out of the nest to offer a developmental playgroup for mothers and babies – MamaBebe was born.
In the playgroup, I witnessed the joyous exertion of the babies in coming to understand themselves in their surroundings, and in learning with women tending and befriending together. I began to wonder about how developmental movement forms a child’s emerging mind. With these questions about how natural development unfolds came more questions about how to support children with delay, using the power of movement. Working with infants and young children as a therapist knit together the many strands of my training and experience.
My practice evolved in a spiralic manner. I cycled through many aspects of child development and childbearing for women, revisiting issues, training and deepening in practice with each visitation. The core of my practice is offering support to babies, young children, and mothers.
Each mother I meet teaches me how her steadfast devotion upholds and grounds her child. Each birth I attend informs my understanding of all the other children and mothers that come to me. Each child with learning challenges sheds light on the essential activities of development. I am grateful to offer these somatic body-mind practices that awaken awareness and connection. In these exchanges we are givers and receivers in life loving life.
Gratitude for my lineages
I am grateful to the lineages that formed me and awakened so much inner resources for birthing and mothering; both for my children and in my practice. I developed movement and mindfulness practices drawn from Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen and her teachers, from Hakomi psychotherapy principles, and the many sources of yoga, qi gong, vocal, dance, improvisation, and movement release.
My training in the vast and freshly alive traditions of Vippasana, Tibetan and Zen dharma, recall my inquisitive mind to serve the heart. The works of European psychologists, who recognize that early movement is intrinsic to shaping the mind, give me multiple perspectives on reflex integration.
I live in gratitude for my mother and father, sibs, and all our ancestors who carried forward devotion to each other, children, and kinship with the whole human family. I work in gratitude to the committed caregivers, doulas, midwives, and teachers who have created a flourishing community of support for health, healing, and birth here.
My practice incorporates all I have learned from nature, dancing, swimming, biking, walking, and mothering my beloved children, Erin and Lee, and being the wife of my ever-patient husband and virtuoso percussionist, Bruce Wintervold. I have been blessed with many generous and insightful teachers.