Here I learned qualities such as self defence, balance, respect, discipline and about how to fall safely. By the age of 14 I was teaching the younger students.
With a keen interest for sport and human biology, even at school it seemed I was destined for the health and fitness industry.
After 4 years of college I set up my own business as a personal fitness trainer, sports masseur and martial arts instructor. Forward a few years and in 1999 while working as a fitness manager I went on a course called ‘Pilates’.
At the time I didn’t know much about Pilates but I was immediately drawn to the creativity and flow. A few weeks after that course I took a one day training with Sarah Irwin in something called Aston Patterning.
That day was truly eye-opening and re-wrote my beliefs about how to move. Sarah talked about how efficient movement was 3 dimensional, asymmetrical and in spirals. These were totally new and challenging concepts from the linear gym training and martial arts I was used to. However, despite the differences, and mental challenges, it felt right. You simply can’t ague something if your body says YES.
This is where I met my friend and colleague and future ‘Aston’ travel buddy, Paul Brennan.
6 months later, in the spring on 2000 Judith visited London to teach her 4 day AT I introductory course into Aston Patterning. AT II followed later that year.
Meeting Judith changed everything and began my lifetime fascination with natural human movement. Her teachings began to unravel tension from my body and my physical potential was set free. I became stronger, more flexible and more inspired.
Luckily this was early on in my career and now, nearly 16 years on, the movement concepts and techniques I learned from Judith in those early courses are still the backbone of every class/session I teach.
After the initial courses there was the opportunity to take my Pilates training to the next level. In 2003 I took a 3 week trip to the US for Aston Pilates. I twisted Paul’s arm to join me and off we went on magical journey to the beautiful Lake Tahoe. An amazing and inspirational place to unwind tension, meet friends and absorb more of the riches that Judith and Brian have to offer.
During this course, i realised that to take this training further it would require a huge commitment of travel and time. But I knew I had to make it work.
In preparation for the full certification I was heading back to the US…this time Hawaii for Bodyworks I and II. Here is where I first met Kimba. To my surprise, she too had joined the certification programme. It took 3 years but by the end of the course, we were together. 5000 miles apart but I had got used to travelling to the US by this time! Kimba soon made it to England and we now have 2 beautiful girls.
Every time I returned form the US my clients were prepared for new and amazing movement ideas. Even my own body transformed and a long standing scoliosis began to unravel.
During the cert course, I was proud to host Judith in the UK and introduce Aston Patterning to many more practitioners and even my local clients.
To this date, I have taught approximately 20,000 Pilates classes and I don’t think I have ever repeated the same class. With every client expressing there’re own unique way of moving and even each class having its own personality, I feel I will always teach flowing and creative exercise classes.
I have a few goals for my clients:
- To raise body awareness
- To become stronger
- To become more flexible
- To become more relaxed in body and mind
- To move with grace in and out of the exercise environment
Training with Judith and Brian has taught me that these qualities need to be integrated throughout the body. The movement concepts from Aston Patterning allow for this like no other system.
Currently I teach mostly group Pilates classes, some men’s only fitness, kundalini yoga and personal training uses dynamic HIIT methods.
On a personal level, the last few years I have been dedicated to a mix of healthy eating, HIIT exercise and a mindful lifestyle. To share my knowledge and passion I regularly produce free online health and fitness video blogs. To see these and keep in touch, please visit www.dannybridgeman.com
And stay tuned for my new website where I will be sharing my latest endeavour...healthy raw chocolate recipes!
My introduction to Aston Patterning was in AT 1 and 2 with Joani Gelinas in Seattle. I read an ad that she had put in a massage continuing education listing and it said something about movement patterns and bodywork and seeing the body in a whole new way. It sounded great! I was a professional dancer and already an experienced Pilates and bodywork practitioner, but these AT classes were a powerful shifting point in my life that started so many things to unfold and develop to where I am today. Up to that point, the way I worked with people was through shaping and forming bodies, what I know now to be holding patterns.
From that first AT 1 class with Joani in Seattle, I was on board. It was as if both my body and my heart were looking for Aston Patterning. When she asked what would be a marker of good posture, I said, “Being able to rest and relax into it.” Yet, this was not my physical reality. Pieces of movement and bodywork information that I had been feeling and questioning were clarified and illuminated and I felt that finally someone (Judith!) had brilliantly put together movement, dance and expression, exercise, alignment and bodywork all together with a sensitivity to listening and breaking old rules of holding.
Soon after AT 1 and 2, I started doing private sessions with Joani. She is an amazing practitioner and not only did my body start to release and find new ways of moving, its as if she knew how to ask the right questions: the ones that allowed my inner wisdom to come forth.
Joani encouraged me to go further with the work. Judith came to Seattle and I got right into Vertical Loosening along side other advanced practitioners. I felt like a real newbie and a bit nervous but it was exciting to meet Judith and feel my body opening up even more.
By training with Judith and Brian and studying with practitioners Joani Gelinas, Laura Servid, and Linda Krier, I feel truly blessed to have been a student of whom I consider bodywork and movement masters. Their mastery especially lies in their listening and honoring and that they know our bodies express something much more profound about out inner self or even our true Self.
Its lovely to share with this community that Danny and I met in our Aston training! Woven into my appreciation of Aston Patterning are my friends, beautiful Lake Tahoe, Seattle, Hawaii and my beloved husband! Our lives together started there. Now we are in the UK and have two beautiful daughters, Opal and Una.
I am also grateful to have worked closely with Kim Ross to help Judith with her book, Moving Beyond Posture. I have been able to share this book with clients and friends and everyone is so appreciative. This book also makes a great theme for a 3 or 4 part workshop series to do with clients.
Since Aston Patterning certification, I have continued to study other forms of movement and healing, but thankfully the Aston work can never leave me. These movement and bodywork principles create a foundation that hold through many different approaches.
Today, my practice is very different. I am a shamanic practitioner working closely with the healing support of our natural world. I continue to work with the anatomy and movement, but as an expression of our nature and our connection with Nature. The bodywork I do is through touch that also integrates sound vibrations and heated stones. I am currently working on a system of water rituals and movements and I teach a spiritual form of yoga called Kundalini Yoga. Even though what I do is not the Aston sessions that I studied during certification, if an Aston Practitioner worked with me, I know they would see and feel the work flowing though!
My very new website is www.sacred-paths.com