Beatriz Fernandez on Women’s Wellbeing
Beatriz Fernandez, practitioner, trainer and teacher of the Grinberg Method, will come to Paris from sunny Barcelona on October 4th to lead Strengthening the Feminine: A Workshop for Women.
Beatriz has nearly 25 years experience working with the Grinberg Method, a somatic learning technique that aims to increase body attention and the body’s natural ability to be well. Her background in various movement techniques and holistic therapies serves her well on her current path, which involves working with individuals in one-on-one processes, leading groups in more general theme-based learning, and teaching the Method to people who want to make it their profession.
According to Beatriz, besides the obvious intensity of the group dynamic, women learn well in a group because they get to hear that others share similar concerns and difficulties.
“A woman who has a certain belief about herself is very likely to think she’s the only one in the world who feels that way. Working in a group is a way to see that she’s not alone, that many women have the same issue.” De-dramatizing their difficulties can be an important step in order for women to learn something about themselves.
Do women learn differently than men?
“Yes, they’re more flexible, in the sense that they don’t need to know in the same way that men do. Most men are raised to think that they have to know everything. They’re men! Of course they should know! And this is a real block to learning – because if you already know everything, what’s left to learn? Also, maybe because of our ability to have children, women are usually closer to their bodies, more aware of them – which makes learning through the body that much easier.”
One of the most common issues Beatriz has seen in her work with women over the years is negative body image. Too short, too tall, too fat, too thin – women are easily dissatisfied with themselves, prone to comparing themselves to others and judging themselves according to the criteria of their culture or education. But how can you distinguish between negative body image and the real need or desire to change something?
“I try to get women to see whether their unhappiness is coming from the mind or the body. Does it come from what you feel, or from what you see or think? If a woman feels physically heavy and tired all the time, then maybe she needs to do something about it; she may feel better if she loses some weight, for example, and when she gets to the weight that’s right for her body, she will feel it. But if a woman looks in the mirror and, based on what she sees, says, ‘I’m fat, I need to lose weight,’ she’s not considering what her body really feels, but what her mind is telling her.”
Beatriz observes that there have been two main trends in women’s body image over the years: one is the “I-hate-myself-because-I’m-not-as-thin-as-a-supermodel” viewpoint; the other, more recent one is, “I love love love my body – no matter how it feels, whatever shape it’s in, it’s ok, it’s great.”
“This workshop is not about women learning to love their bodies, and obviously not to hate them either, because both options mean you’re really preoccupied with your body. Don’t love your body, don’t hate your body, just be well in your body. That’s what I try to teach women: to be strong, healthy and completely themselves.”
Strengthening the Feminine: A Workshop for Women with Beatriz Fernandez, licensed teacher of the Grinberg Method. Sunday, October 4th, 2015 from 10am to 1pm in Paris 75011. In English and French. 40€. Details and registration: The Attentive Body/Elaine Konopka, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0681272245.