Ania Witkowska 2017

My Story

 

My work has evolved over 21 years of personal and professional experience. It’s a journey that started with the birth of my first child, borne out of my frustration with the lack of information about how she was developing that was available. The choice was to either ‘do what I was told’ or relax, and simply ‘learn from my baby’. I was drawn to the latter but it was hard to know how to interpret what I saw and this left me feeling at times anxious or simply a bit bored and guilty.

 

As a  dance practitioner I turned to what I knew and started to research movement development. The first few articles I read by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen blew my mind.. it all started to make sense to me, babies develop body and brain via the movements they make and every baby follows an evolutionary template, a developmental sequence that is exquisitely designed to support them to fulfil their potential  physically, intellectually and emotionally. 

 

As I tried out the movements myself I was able to gain insight into the way my baby might be feeling, how much effort was needed and what practical elements might give support. Through my research I discovered a whole field of somatic exploration that was informing much of the work being done by specialists working with children with developmental delays. It was clear to me that this information was helpful to all parents and so I studied books and babies, attended a course at the School for Body Mind Centering® in the US and completed a three year diploma at the Institute for Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy, to further my knowledge. Meanwhile I was running groups and sessions, and developing a way of working that shared this information in a playful and engaging way.

 

As I worked I discovered that by revisiting the movement patterns parents were better able to isten to and be aware of their own bodies and this was deeply resourcing them. I watched people become more comfortable, less anxious and better able to trust and follow their instincts. And the babies responded, they were calmer and better able to modulate their emotions. The connection between parent and child grew stronger. A subtle difference in the way the babies were being seen and responded to was evident. We observed the babies with respect, not judging, nor pushing them towards achievements but simply appreciating their independent learning and joining in to support them with love and pleasure. 

In recent years I have developed a Birth preparation course that similarly works from the somatic perspective, building confidence and trust in the wisdom of a woman's body to do what it was designed to do. Recent training in Hypnobirthing enables me to offer a variety of techniques to help women find the methods that will support them best to have  a joyful and empowering birth experience.

I present my work internationally to perinatal practitioners and parents and teach on the IBMT Diploma Programme. Naturally I  continue to study, research and explore. Drawing threads from the rich array of wonderful teachers like Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, Linda Hartley, Lambrini Konstantinou and Walburga Glaz, I weave them together with the lessons I learn from the babies and parents I work with to create my own design, one that I hope you will find valuable. 

Parenting is an incredible journey - demanding, creative, courageous and joyful - I look forward to our sharing. 

Teaching in Moscow 2014, photo 

Qualifications/ Professional Organisations

 

Registered Somatic Movement Educator&Therapist

International Somatic Movement and Therapy Association

 

Dip. Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy,  

Institute for Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy, UK

 

Dip HB ( KG)  

DIploma in Hypnobirthing. KG Hypnobirthing , UK

 

Cert. Post Natal Exercise Instructor, 

Guild of Pregnancy and Postnatal exercise instructors/ University of Luton, UK

 

Cert. Dance Leader in the Community,

Leeds University/ Community Dance and Mime Foundation, UK

 

Cert. Community Arts in Education 

Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

 

BA hons Drama and Theatre Studies

Royal Holloway College University of London,UK

Teaching at the Somatische Akademie, Berlin,2014,

photo Élise Scheider

Babymoves class at The Center, Berlin, 2008, photo Martina Gehrmann

In my Manchester bathtub with my own children, 2004, photo Nick Crowe.

My favourite teaching aid, teddy! photo M. Crowe 2015