Feedback from  the  Dartmoor Retreat 2016

The whole experience was phenomenal……  A weekend of space.

‘Wonderful place to hold the weekend’ ‘Really safe  environment.’ ‘Really inclusive  and welcoming.’   ‘Superb homecooked food.’    ‘Very comfortable  accommodation.’

‘Thank you Andy and Gabrielle, the food has been superb and it is a beautiful location.  You  have been delightful amenable hosts and your warmth extends to you friendly and helpful co-workers.  The size of group was fantastic, we got to know each other and worked well together as a team helping each other out.    Everyone chose to mix up in the meal times  so we could get to know each other. ‘

‘Pace was gentle, there was space and time to consider things, enabling me to be more aware of my movement, because it is  all too easy to rush on to the next thing too quickly. Friendly group and good variety of activity. Lovely teaching, gentle, communicative and easy to understand.’

‘Thank you  to everyone, I have had the opportunity to allow myself to trust my body and listen to it rather than give myself the negative messages, that I always give myself  ‘can’t do that’. I have discovered that I can, in fact’ do more than I thought I could do,  and  have gained more of a sense of freedom.  In fact, this morning my body has already incorporated these ideas.  There was something on the floor and I picked it up, which I was unable to do yesterday and just now, I walked outside without the poles,  I didn’t even think about having to use them.  I now know that I can do something to help myself but it is going to take discipline to STOP the old habits moving back into residence.   I need to start to believe in myself.’

‘A weekend of revelations… I came really not knowing anything at all and it is the business about choice  that excites me. What fixes in my head is what you were doing with the ball!  I don’t  have to ‘catch the ball!’ and that then extrapolates across life, ‘I don’t have to catch the remark’ ‘ I don’t have to catch the  work.’  That ball image will help, that was brilliant.’

‘Kay was able to pick up on minutia, or adjustment  that I was  completely unaware of. You can’t see yourself, so it’s difficult to know where you are in space… the feedback is constructive and helps you to develop more awareness.’

‘The idea of thinking about ‘bending’  rather than ‘sitting’,  which results in a habitual response, has been helpful.   I have some ideas now on how to overcome the anxiety of things like going up and down stairs and know I need to practice.’

‘Walking was quite a challenge and I feel I did improve, yesterday, but today was even more challenging and it was more difficult to stay with it.  I recognise to change I will need  a disciplined approach’

‘The weekend has been very useful from a point of view of  considering my reaction to the stimulus of playing my guitar, trying to get it right, and causing unnecessary tension.’

I liked what you said about building it into our everyday lives, even when we are doing something routine like making a cup of tea. I need to be mindful of where I am on my feet when I am standing and learn to release.

‘Lengthening of the back  in active rest  to realign  the spine, has been very helpful and I will practice this, it will help my posture.’

‘I recognise now that active rest will give more relief,  rather than slouching/relaxing which will exacerbate any aches and pains I have ‘

‘The weekend has proved very valuable  to me as  I was able to apply my new learning whilst I was out walking ,and  I will continue to do so. ‘

‘The weekend has been really good for me and I am determined now  to find a teacher in Brighton.    I recognise my need to  return my stability, after the operations , it’s just my toe.  Bending, and how to do it without twisting, has helped a lot.  I recognise that the fear causes the tension, and the tension and holding cause the pain.  Now I can move  and it’s not hurting.’

‘This time last week I was really worried about coming because I thought, I’m older than most and had concerns about the pace and whether I would struggle, but I haven’t felt in any way that I have slowed people up.  I have got a lot out of it from that angle alone.  The steps have been the biggest help.  I am getting more confident now.’

‘I came with no preconception, yet have observed my wife whilst she has had 1-1 lessons.  She had been recommended to take it up by the National Osteoporoses Society.   It is only this weekend that I realise what it is about .  I had no idea that there are cervical vertebrae, c1- c7.  That was a revelation !  I have had some difficulty with my balance so it seemed opportune to come. The bending… it seems so obvious that we have joints for moving and no one seems to mention that if we abuse them we are not going to manage well. ‘

The timing of the weekend was perfect, a lifesaver, physically and mentally.  I know that I was bowed down when I arrived and I am not bowed down now, and I have seen my sister, be less bowed down that I have ever seen her before, which is fabulous.   I have been before and have previously carried out some of the same movement activities.  However, every time I have come to a workshop I have progressively got more out of them because my understanding had increased.  The sustained input over a whole weekend has been really helpful and I feel I have take quite a major step forward, and feel I have gained insight into why.   I have recognised how the emotional ‘stuff’ that I am carrying at the moment is responsible for the ‘ stuckness ‘ in my neck , this has resulted in my finding  active rest difficult . I am going to have 1-1  tuition with Kay to explore this.

‘We are not designed to stand? The whole weekend was full of simple basic information that will help me hugely; the learning to bend; the lengthening of the spine.  It’s been absolutely brilliant to have been in a classroom and then be able to go out and apply what we have been learning  whilst walking.  It’s been really easy to understand and thank you hugely!  Can we all come back again?’