The clocks have been turned back, the nights are getting longer, and I’m here to make the case for darkness. It’s futile to resist. It’s always there – the necessary counterpart to light — woven …Read more →
Most people come to me because they have something in their lives that they want to change. It may involve the desire to stop an unwanted behaviour pattern, reach a particular goal, increase energy, reduce stress or simply learn to relax; or to manage pain due to physical trauma or chronic conditions. Whatever your focus may be, the basic aim of this work is to bring your attention from your mind to your body, which, given the chance, will handle what life throws at it with intelligence and efficiency. My job is to teach you to get out of your own way. This happens in a series of one-on-one, 60-minute sessions involving touch, breath work, movement and description, in which you are an active participant rather than passively receiving a treatment. Together we will work to create the best conditions for you to be free, aware and powerful.
Events and Workshops.
Breath Lab is a place to explore many different ways of breathing, so that conscious breathing can become a pleasurable, interesting, and more natural part of your everyday life.
Breathe deeply, write honestly.
One Sunday a month, you can cut a swath through the jungle of your life and make a clearing in the chaos, using two powerful practices that I love: conscious breathing and writing.
Conscious breathing has been shown to affect heart rate, blood pressure, muscular tension, stamina, the production of “stress hormones” such as cortisol and adrenaline, and the ability to manage pain, concentrate, and relax. Breath Lab is dedicated to trying new ways of breathing, supported by simple but potent physical exercises to increase body awareness. You’ll learn practical tools you can use in everyday situations (a sleepless night, a stubborn headache, a stressful situation, a low-energy day), as well as techniques to practice and experiment with in a deeper way.
Writing about important emotional subjects has been shown to improve mental and physical well-being, affecting everything from stress levels to immune function. Narra Lab focuses on using expressive writing as a tool to dig deep, examine your life, recall the important stories of your existence, identify patterns, and see what alternative narratives are possible if you let yourself imagine and write them. You’ll use various narrative techniques to increase your ability to
– put your thoughts on the page without censoring yourself
– learn from your experience
– name your struggles, face your fears, and rediscover your strengths
– make decisions and plan action
– take responsibility for yourself
– find meaning in your life
– see the wonder in life and celebrate your existence
Narra Lab is open to everyone. Whether you’re a long-time writer or have zero writing experience, you will train your focus, persistence, and confidence.
The sessions were most helpful in preparing me for surgery. We also did an in-hospital session immediately following the surgery, which was fantastic.Christine, Paris
I learned, among other things, that going through fear and pain is necessary and is inevitably part of life.Mano, Paris
There were many discoveries: confidence in myself, my body, my friends, my ideas…feeling that I’m strong enough to accomplish my desires.Carolin, Paris/New York/Berlin
She went right into the core of the pain.... One session with Elaine was enough to experience great relief in my hip and lower back.Francis, Los Angeles
I breathe more fully, gained a lot of self-confidence and have much more energy than before.Maël, Paris
In each session I learned something new about myself.Margaux, Montreuil
Within a few sessions, the pain was entirely relieved (and never came back)... Very, very highly recommended!!Nadine, Los Angeles
Like the proverbial cat, I have had several lives. My first love was dance – classical, then contemporary – and I spent many years as a dancer, movement teacher and choreographer. I also studied and taught literature and worked as a journalist. For over a decade I dedicated myself to the practice of Zen Buddhism. There was much joy in these experiences, but something was missing. I realized I could be fully immersed in a physical discipline and still not be well in my body; that a life lived wholly in the mind is a life half-lived in reality; and that silence and stillness are sometimes necessary, but stifling as a steady diet.
I decided to become a Grinberg Method practitioner because I am a pragmatist at heart; life is short, and when it comes to learning to live well, this method works. Since my first session as a client in 2007, I have muzzled my migraines, unknotted my ulcers and enormously increased my level of energy. I was also able to recognize and stop certain behaviors that were damaging to me and those around me. Most importantly, I learned – and continue to learn – to handle what life throws at me with more honesty, grace and guts.
Being able to teach this to other people, and to see concrete results in their lives, is a very satisfying way to live. I have been happily working with clients for five years now, and continue to learn and improve my skills through the post-graduate courses offered by the Method. In 2011, I opened a new center on the rue Oberkampf in Paris, where I give sessions in learning processes as well as recovery processes for people dealing with surgery, accidents and other physical trauma.
A long-time urbanite, I’ve loved the cities where I’ve lived and worked: New York, Boston, Santa Fe, Montreal, Paris. Teaching clients to better deal with the challenges that come with city life is one of the things I particularly enjoy about my work. Another is working with dancers, writers, actors and other artists on issues such as self-expression, confidence and clarity. But in the end, each client’s fight to survive and flourish is interesting to me, and anyone who truly wants to get back a piece of himself is welcome on my table.
~~ Elaine Konopka
Incentive for the attentive
I’m sitting down to write about “holding space” – the act of being present for others in a non-judgemental way – and lo and behold, who shows up but my father. He’s at the kitchen …Read more →
It all started with a bit of serendipity.
Several months ago I published a blog about expressive writing and received a comment from a total stranger. The kind gentleman suggested that I might …Read more →
I curse. What can I tell you. I try not to do it in truly inappropriate situations.
I speak two languages. This gives me multiple ways to be profane. I don’t consciously choose, but if I …Read more →
My mother worked in a bra factory. For much of her adult life, she was a pattern marker for Maidenform, the women’s underwear manufacturer, which was (and I believe still is) headquartered in our hometown in …Read more →
When I was a senior in college, my professors nominated me for a Rhodes Scholarship. I was skeptical, to say the least. I was nothing like the Harvard or Yale students who typically win the …Read more →
I was bullied when I was a kid. It wasn’t a “thing” back then – there was no special counseling, no National Bullying Prevention Center, no stopbullying.gov. It wasn’t even really called bullying – at …Read more →
I’m a notebook freak. I buy them whenever I come across them. Spiral-bound or stapled; hardcover or soft; all sizes, shapes, and colors; extra points if the cover makes me laugh. I prefer them with …Read more →
An Attentive Body quizRead more →
I’m lucky. I can walk to work. I go up the street past two cafés and a bakery, then down a long flight of stairs that cuts through a park built into a hillside; down …Read more →
This is a good time to talk about chaos and order. Chaos because we’re up to our eyeballs in it. Order because it’s never that far off.
By chaos, I don’t mean an imminent apocalypse due …Read more →
Back in high school, my classmates and I were given (more than once, if I’m not mistaken) an “ethical dilemma” to think about and discuss. It went something like this:
A ship is sinking. There are …Read more →
"Everything visible springs from causes intimate to you.Eihei Dogen
While walking, sitting, lying down, the body itself is complete truth."