Bothmer News

December 2020

Dear Bothmer Gymnast,

We wish you a peaceful and happy Christmas!

The trustees
 Review 2020

A year, which offered us more obstacles than usual, is coming to a close. This year more than ever, we needed to exercise our ability to change in order to adapt to new situations, to re-act differently.  A lot of imagination was required. Courage and trust were often put to test.
I give Bothmer courses for interested people. From one day to the other I was no longer allowed to use the classrooms where we usually practice, but other doors opened unexpectedly. Sometimes I could not use balls, sticks, etc. in the courses, because of the hygienic requirements and thus we had only our own body to work with. The appropriate distance between the participants had be maintained, which made the popular exercise of “walking through the room” difficult, sometimes even impossible. Many things were limited to the essentials; we immersed ourselves in a wide variety of exercises…. In spite of all of this, unbelievably, my courses run almost without interruptions.
Therapeutic work with the children was no longer allowed at the beginning of the year, but I was able to use the time and have Bothmer sessions with my colleagues, which was a very nice and strengthening experience for all of us….
And despite everything, or maybe because of it, I found the Bothmer courses and modules that took place this year to be particularly deep and enriching.
I look to the coming year with great confidence, and with the feeling, just like after a Bothmer session: one feels invigorated and well, and takes strength and confidence home.
I wish you a very bright Christmas season!
Sonja Pechtl

I am often asked, what my favourite exercise is.  I don't really have an answer to this question.  Simply, because it is always changing.  There is an exercise, which fascinates me for a while and then another exercise becomes more relevant. It certainly depends on the phase of life as well as the current life situation.
We all know that this year was different. We all experienced loads of unusual situations and challenges. A positive experience for me was that I learned anew to practice Bothmer alone. Because there was no chance to practice with others, I had no choice: I “had to” learn to love the activity of practicing alone and immerse myself in it.
As a result, two exercises have turned out to be my “favourite” exercises this year: The growing expanse (the Lion) and the Cross (The long closing exercise). Both of these exercises strengthened me on the horizontal level (the emotional level, the space where social contacts take place) and helped me to retain conscious, free thinking. These two qualities of being a human faced lot of challenges this year. I am grateful that I have a “tool” that offers me inspiration, inner hold and strength, at all times.
We, the trustees of bmi, hope that you are all doing well and wish you all a relaxing and peaceful Christmas season!
Krisztina Mogyorosi

Bothmer at Christmas - an inspiration for your own practice!

Which Bothmer exercises are particularly suitable for the different seasons? When it comes to this question, one will surely quickly think of “The Cross” as The Exercise for Easter. But isn't there also an obvious Christmas exercise? – For me, an appropriate candidate for this seems to be “The Dome”!
The Christmas-thought describes the birth of the spiritual on earth. With “The Dome” I can actively support this happening and shape it individually. The upright posture can become a centre of attraction, which the higher forces need in order to find their way into the earthly.
The exercise is determined by the upright position - the most human posture. This position is an expression of the balance between heaviness and lightness – between the earthly and the spiritual. Only an inwardly upright person can be an intermediary between these two worlds. The threefold opening of the arms above the head can be experienced as an invitation of cosmic forces to earth. The repeated immersion in the exercise enables me to feel more and more consciously a penetrating, clearing and warming light-force in me.  
And thus, the exercise - "The Dome" can become a "door opener" for a cosmic seedling, that I myself can further let grow and nourish, from within my I, in everyday life. It is a true source, from which I can face the demands of our time with serenity and confidence.
 ...  and what are your thoughts and experiences about this?
(I am glad to engage in further discussion:
 Christmas greetings,
Adrian Constantinescu

The cross at the river

I have been working with a patient, who is suffering from regular headaches and stubborn tension in her shoulder and neck muscles, for a long time. Despite her petite, almost fragile frame, she looked like she was carrying lots of weight on her shoulders. Her ribcage--the centre where our feelings are at home--seemed to be contracted and somewhat cramped and from her posture it was obvious that gravity “settled down” deep in her chest.
We worked a lot on the gesture of opening up and learning to trust the frontal plane. She especially enjoyed extending her arms in the opening exercise. Her condition has gradually improved.
The real breakthrough, however, came with the “growing width” exercise (Lion). Starting from a standing position, to create a curve in the frontal space and dive into the realm of gravity, of earth, in order to experience the density and the concentrated tension of the earth-forces in the touch of her fingers and fists, was a new experience for her. This movement-sequence forms a solid base, so the straightening, turning of the arms and spreading into the light-filled sky can then unfold. This exercise speaks a strong (emotional) language and, in my opinion, can be used successfully for all forms of depression, fear, loss of trust and emotional isolation.
After she was able to do the exercise smoothly and was able to create this transformation into the light by herself, we worked with the Cross-exercise, where the space in the middle radiates into the width and into the horizon, where one connects with heaven and earth and positions oneself, balanced and free, betwixt the dimensions.
She is so enthusiastic about this exercise that every morning on her walk by the river Elz, she looks for an elevated place on the embankment of the river and enjoying the view of the expanse over the water, feeling like a queen looking over her realm, she makes the “royal cross”. Because the river is called Elz, she calls this exercise "the Elz-dam exercise".
She told me that when she regularly does the exercise, she does not only get a good feeling in her muscles, but also her entire shoulder- and middle area feels “free” and her headaches significantly decrease.
It is moving to see how these exercises work on a physical, emotional and spiritual level, despite a lack of technical perfection and a body, which is already marked by age. It is a real gift what we, with Bothmer gymnastics, can offer to movement and I hope, especially in this time of Corona, that we can offer support to many people to find their way out of the isolation and into the "re-ligion" (to the re- connection).
Stephan Thilo
Resonance Christmas 2020
If you look at this geometric drawing, what do you perceive?
Coming from the outside, the inside of the drawing becomes gradually brighter, as if enveloped by the darker colours. At the same time the inside shines outwards.
In this unusual time, it is the task to warm up and illuminate the 'outer' in our 'inner', soul, and to let our 'inner' become attentive and aware of what is approaching us.
 I regularly find small gifts of jewels, for example in the form of a book review, in a Berliner newspaper. The following quote is also such a jewel and is from the book of the Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector, who writes as if she were a Bothmer gymnast: “A line of the pencil tip. Where a thought breathes out, there is an idea; the last breath of joy is another joy, there is magic at the tip of the sword - that's where I want to go. To the tiptoes of a jump”.
At the end, our limbs / hands, a jump, an openness for what comes my way ... inside and outside penetrate one another.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Eric van Wijnen


  • International Summer Intensive 2021, Polička, Czech Republic,
    26. July 2021- 01. August 2021

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