Francine Bonjour-Carter

:: Certified Feldenkrais Method® Practitioner ::
:: Awareness Through Movement® Teacher ::
:: Earth Medicine Practitioner ::
:: Listener ::

It is with great respect for all life experiences that I bring my understanding of being connected to our bodies and to the world into my teachings.
As I guide people through movement with my voice or with my hands, I am always reminded of how we can shift and expand the space we sense within, and build a clearer and healthier relationship with ourselves.

Exploring this relationship requires the willingness to softly dance with our body, our mind, our emotions and our experiences.

There is a very concrete and tangible effect of my work that has to do with releasing tension and alleviating pain and physical limitations.
There is a more subtle and deeper part of my work that has to do with expanding our awareness and bringing our spirit and our heart in a beautiful, gentle place.

In working together, I will use everything I know that I feel would be useful to you.

“To pay attention, that is our endless and proper work”  –  Mary Oliver

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( A part of ) My Story

I was diagnosed with scoliosis as a child, and went through a period of intense physical therapy, plaster cast and full upper body brace between the age of 11 and 15.
I was fortunate to avoid the recommended spine surgery that consisted of having rods screwed all along my spine. However, the experience of being in a body cast during the important developmental stage of young adulthood left me with no awareness of my own body, an incomplete and distorted self-image, as well as chronic sciatica and back pain.

In 2003 I discovered the Indonesian martial art of White Crane Silat, and embraced its holistic techniques: breathing exercises, meditation, gentle and flowing movements developed for women. The physical aspect of this practice was very challenging, both emotionally and physically, and very often I could even not picture myself performing the exercises with the strength, flexibility and grace they seemed to require.

Fortunately one of my martial art instructors was also a Feldenkrais practitioner and he introduced me to the method.
I discovered a whole new dimension of myself that I have not known before. Through the gentle, exploratory lessons, I developed a profound sense of my physical body that began to allow me to express my natural power and grace.

I moved to the US in 2006, and began working with a Feldenkrais practitioner in San Francisco and continued my journey of reconnecting to myself. I credit the work with providing me the strength and awareness to have two healthy pregnancies and wonderful home-births.

After moving with my family to the Philadelphia area,  I felt called to use my decade of personal experience with this method to join a practitioner training program. In 2012 I began a four-year training program in the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education under the direction of David Zemach-Bersin, a direct student of Dr. Feldenkrais, and a leading practitioner and instructor.

Over the years, I gained flexibility in both body and mind; episodes of physical pain became more and more infrequent until they disappeared.
More importantly, I developed a healthier relationship with myself and others, learning to listen and know my body in a way that brings me power and freedom.

My interest in holistic practices to address health, human behavior and (im)balance led me to an ongoing study of indigenous ways of healing.
Beginning in 2011, I have studied the teachings of Pixie Lighthorse, educator, women leader and creator of Soulodge Earth Medicine School.
I enjoy expressing my creativity and my womanhood through painting, art journaling, dancing, and gardening. All of which I do as sustainable and intuitive practices.

I believe that in order to build conscious and healthy communities we need to begin by building a conscious and healthy relationship to all aspects of our self.

There are many ways to apply and work with what we learn.
The way I use my years of studying the Feldenkrais Method and other practices, is to help people
get away from pain and  create a deep, authentic connection to themselves.

“I cannot begin to tell you how transformative our work together was for me. I feel 1,000 pounds lighter because I have been able to let go of so much stuff I didn’t need, and I am sleeping through the night without medication! 
Thank you for helping me to open that door, to allow myself to listen to what was going on. I feel very fortunate to have had that opportunity to sit with you and begin this healing journey. Thank you for hearing me, guiding me, and going on that journey with me.”
Kate RVN

* Images: Catherine Beerda-Basso: Wild Woman Photo Sessions *

Francine Bonjour-Carter (484) 416-1091