Friday, May 5, 2006

Get out of your head and into your body

'The brain learns through pleasure'

Express Staff Writer

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Here is the quintessence of touchy-feeling. Sun Valley Mountain Wellness Festival participant Sabine Grandke-Taft is a practitioner and student of more than 20 body-centered healing arts. She is a licensed physical therapist, who specializes in creating sacred relationship by utilizing a kind of spiritual sexual healing. Her popular workshops are rendered through her business Radiant Embodiment.

As well, through combining disciplines such as Feldenkrais and Watsu, which she has studied for more than 25 years, her workshops employ a unique physical approach called Symphonic Touch.

For five years, she was apprentice to David Deida, a well-known teacher and author on spiritual growth and sacred intimacy.

"David's work helped me to see that the masculine is very different than the feminine," she said. "It's really about what is masculine, how to be present, what it is to stand your ground as a man, and what it is to trust as a woman, in a natural way. That can only happen in the polarity that is missing quite a bit between the sexes."

Her workshops are "organized so that men and women both get a lot of it," Grandke-Taft said. "Through awareness, fun and pleasure we can come to what's true and how to enjoy where we are."

The festival's theme of letting go really suits her work, she added. She began developing Symphonic Touch 15 years ago after spending three years at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, Calif.

"That's where all these pieces came together. It was all in the head and the head is pretty heavy, forward. I'm German, so I know. There's a lot to do to reconnect to below the neck and then below the waist when we get to feel the chassis of our existence.

"In Germany we have a great saying, 'an idea has no hand or foot.' It can do nothing on its own. That's really part of the work I'm teaching. How do we get into the physical body? How do I stand my ground? How do I walk my talk, really? Ultimately every human experience is a physical experience. In our hyper-masculine world we usually pull out of feelings."

Most men are wary of the feminine, she said. But in the modern world women now do it all, including embracing their masculine by being in the work force.

"Our force is like the energy of the ocean or a river," she said. "But the river needs the riverbed, which is the masculine. We are all scared of that energy, but men are starting to listen to what's going on. We come here to this moment, this presence and we are conscious of what's happening."

Her work doesn't go through the head but through the body.

"I worked for seven years with babies and that's where I learned that the way we learn is through pleasure. They don't force and push and get into the wrong relationship. They stay within the limits of pleasure. That's normal. The brain learns through pleasure. This is totally my passion and my joy. Mostly I teach women, but these workshops are for men, women, couples, singles, anyone."

Besides her international speaking engagements, Grandke-Taft has lived and worked in India and teaches workshops at such places as the Omega Institute, in New York, The Crossings in Austin, and the Kripalu Center in Massachusetts. As well she is a student of the Somatic Experiencing/Trauma Healing Therapy Training of Peter Levine and the author of three books.


Class and Workshop

Experiential Presentation

11 a.m.-Noon, Sunday, May 28

Let go of the Illusion of Spirituality - Make Spirit REAL in your Body:

· "Let's bring Heaven down here!"

· Recover and Reconnect to your Blissful Base with

· Awareness through Movement, Symphonic Touch, Breath and Sound.

· Explore your Consciousness as Body Sensation and your Sensuality Sacred.

A Festival badge is needed for this class. They are available at Chapter One books in Ketchum.

Body Communion Workshop

9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 29,

· Go beyond Fear and Numbness that blocks your true Capacity for Intimacy.

· Explore and relax your mind and body out of tension and disconnection.

· Learn the nurturing Symphonic Touch Sequence.

To register for the all-day workshop go to The workshop costs $125.

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