About Essential Motion

Using movement and dance, music and words, reflection and sharing,
Essential Motion returns us to the natural wisdom of our bodies.

Essential Motion – A Transformational Practice of Embodied Awareness

We come into the world with the ease and spontaneity of play, but life experiences can shape us away from our authentic selves.

Essential Motion reconnects us with the body as our source of aliveness, creativity, and wisdom. With the support of a perceptive and compassionate Essential Motion coach, we sense where our bodies are stuck and where they are free.

By re-learning to trust the body as a reference and guide, we are able to be more present, powerful, and open-hearted in our daily lives.

In this interview with Finnish Essential Motion practitioner Ilona Rauhala, Karen answers fundamental questions about what differentiates Essential Motion as an approach to presence, healing, and aliveness.

Founder Karen Roeper explains:

“When we are in our heads, we’re often in the past or future. The body, on the contrary, tells us where we are right now.

During a session, I witness you moving and listen to you. With verbal suggestions and by reflecting physically on what you are doing, I guide you to experience your body’s unconscious holdings and places of possible expansion. You discover greater aliveness and a new way of inhabiting your body as you follow your own unique movement. Through this work, you learn how to listen to your body’s immediate experience and use it as a guide to where you are right now.

In this deep dialogue between the body and its expressive movement, you move past what constrains you to find the courage to express who you truly are.

When I am engaged with others in the work of Essential Motion, I am guided by a deep faith in the wisdom inherent in each of us to transform ourselves. I always feel very honored and extremely touched to be able to meet people at this intimate level when a moment of truth rings out through their bodies in an expression of aliveness, connection, and heart.”

Karen mentors individuals and teaches Essential Motion to groups and organizations. Training is also available for those who would like to teach Essential Motion or incorporate the work into their own movement, coaching, or bodywork practices.

We asked participants of Essential Motion programs — what have you embodied through Essential Motion that you regularly return to? Here are some Essential Motion embodied awareness approaches/tools that they shared as being useful and memorable:

“Grounding from the feet, grounding to the earth, relaxing the jaw.”

“Feeling the difference between coming from the heart versus the head. It’s important to me to know when I am responding from this place inside when I am with people.”

“Allowing something to be there and grow. Allowing has been one of the most productive words for me.”

“Maintaining a sense of curiosity.”

“Realizing there is usually only one part of us that is hurting at a time. Honoring that part for its history and protecting it but knowing there is more to me than that one part is so important.”

“Calling out that invisible thread between ourselves and others. Extending my qualities outward as when Karen says: when you are ready extend your awareness outward. Right now that is what is bringing me into connection with others.”

Having an openness about the connection between my body and my breath, my heart and my mind. Exploring all those connections and being open and curious about them.

“The power of pause brings us back to what is happening in our bodies right now.”