Birthe Kaarsholm looks at Self-Breema exercises as a way to nurture giving and receiving touch in a time where we are encouraged to keep distance from one another.

When Your Hand Touches You Are Being Touched

Aug 31, 2020

by Birthe Kaarsholm

The culture at large has agreed that movement and exercise are necessary components to stay healthy and vital. How about touch?

Preparing to instruct a Self-Breema class online the other day, I was leaning my hands into my legs as the body rocked rhythmically back and forth. I have done this movement thousands of times before. This time, interested in the question about touch, as my weight leaned into the legs, I noticed that the whole body relaxed.  As I stayed with the activity the connection with the body deepened, the mind relaxed, a feeling of being whole arose. The moment before, the mind had been scattered in ten different directions, thinking about this and that. With the movement, body, mind, and feelings gathered together into this moment. I was present. I felt supported.

The connectedness and aliveness I experience doing Self-Breema exercises has become very meaningful in this period when social distancing makes it difficult to touch other people. The effect of simultaneously giving and receiving nurtures, energizes, and harmonizes the body, the mind, and the feelings.

Practicing Self-Breema, we wish to have two qualities: firmness and gentleness. We refer to these two qualities as the “Breema touch.” Wherever your hands touch, the whole body is enlivened.

“When the mind participates, through simple registration of the body, our touch is firm. The feelings, in the absence of reactive emotions, give us gentleness. These two aspects are simultaneously expressed through the body as one unified quality. In the moment we have a taste of being present, the body naturally manifests firmness and gentleness. Every activity of the body–moving, talking, looking, listening–becomes Self-Breema, nurturing our essential self by expressing the harmony of life.”

—from Self-Breema: Exercises for Harmonious Life by Jon Schreiber

In the virtual world we cannot physically touch another person, but we can be touched and inspired by the support we experience being with a group of other people who have a similar interest—to engage with their wish to be present via the body.

Birthe Kaarsholm is a Staff Instructor at the Breema Center in Oakland, California. She teaches ongoing online Self-Breema classes found at breema.com/birthekaarsholm.  PracticingSelf-Breema is both nurturing and energizing, and supports physical flexibility and vitality, mental clarity, and emotional balance.  Visit breemaclinic.com to experience a one-on-one Self-Breema session, first session is free.

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