What healing modality or modalities do you practice?
I teach Shiva Nata, which is a highly unusual type of moving meditation.
It is quite possibly the only movement practice where “getting things wrong” is not only allowed, but encouraged. The more you flail, the more your brain rewires itself.
Why do clients typically seek your particular style of work?
People use Shiva Nata in almost every area of their life.
Athletes use it to improve their athletic performance. Musicians use it to help with their music. Artists and other creators use it to keep ideas flowing. People interested in personal growth can use it to rewrite patterns of anxiety, overeating, procrastination, and more.
I work with students to help their practice fit them better. We use Shiva Nata to examine their relationship to Shiva Nata itself. That way they return to their home practice with insights into what makes Shiva Nata fun and sustainable for them so they can keep getting the benefits.
How did you get interested in doing what you do?
I first read about Shiva Nata on the Fluent Self website run by Havi Brooks (the #2 World Expert in Shiva Nata). It sounded amazing but I waited to start until I could learn from someone in person.
Eventually I traveled to Portland to do a Rally with Havi and got to study with her there. Immediately I knew that this was going to be a huge part of my life, and that’s exactly what it became.
Where and when did you do your training? Was it formal or informal?
After spending a few days learning with Havi, I bought the Starter Kit and began an insane version of study. Seriously, don’t do what I did. Unless you need to change pretty much every thing in your life, which is what happened.
Anyways, I spent several hours a day working on Shiva Nata and within a few months had mastered Levels 1 and 2 with both arms and legs and many variations thereof. That initial work was absolutely pivotal in helping me transform my life from a miserable college student to a very happy entrepreneur. I also credit it with preparing me to meet my fiance.
In February 2011, I attended an in-depth teacher training with Havi and became a certified teacher. I began teaching via videos over the internet that very month and in person some months later.
How long have you been teaching? Has your practice always looked like this, or have there been variations?
Right now I’m in the very exciting process of creating the online Academy of Shiva Nata, which will eventually offer private lessons, group classes, and DIY courses in many different aspects and applications of Shiva Nata.
I’m starting with private lessons over Skype, which are currently available only to people on my Sneaky Peeks Discount List. I’ll open it up to the public sometime in late March or April, but getting on that list is the cheapest way to work with me from anywhere in the world.
I also teach in person to children and adults in several places around Portland, OR.
What ages can you work with, and in that range, what ages have you comfortably worked with?
Shiva Nata is appropriate for all ages. I teach an after school class to six-year-olds, and I know some Shivanauts who flail with their children as young as two years old.
This can also be wonderful for older adults. If mobility is a concern, positions can be modified to make them easier, or Shiva Nata can be used as a purely mental process. As long as you’re engaged, even watching Shiva Nata has powerful effects.
What are common fears you have encountered in new clients that you’d like to allay?
Most people have some amount of fear and pain about movement practices. We’ve all been the slow learner in a dance class…
Shiva Nata really is different. The point is not to get it right. The point is to engage with your patterns.
In my teaching environments, the focus is not on you. I won’t even look at you much. I’m offering you an opportunity to interact with Shiva Nata in your own way. I might correct your hand positions at the beginning but otherwise you are in a criticism-free zone.
How frequently and for how long do you recommend practicing Shiva Nata for the typical person?
Each person will find their own relationship with Shiva Nata and that relationship will shift as time goes forward. But generally people think they need to practice a lot more than they do.
There is not guilt; there is no should. If you need to take six months off, you can. Practicing five minutes a day can be more than enough. All of it is just information about you and your patterns.
If you stop getting epiphanies, then do make sure you’re truly flailing (getting it wrong).
Are there other modalities you would consider complementary to your work?
Shiva Nata is especially well-matched to yoga, but is a lovely companion to almost any self-work process.
By crossing the midline of the brain with targeted movements, you are teaching your brain to rewire itself. It makes everything else easier.
Do you have a website?
Yes I do! It’s http://rhiannonlaurie.com/
How do you take care of yourself?
I use the mirror method of teaching. Which means that my students get to mirror me as a form of learning, but also that I let Shiva Nata do the teaching. I’m just holding up the mirror.
By holding healthy boundaries, my students can face their “stuff” from their own strength instead of believing they need me to do it for them. And we’re all safer.
How can I continue the work we’ve begun here in my daily life?
For anyone with questions about a Shiva Nata practice, I recommend asking Shiva Nata. Do some Shiva Nata as best you know how and then journal about it.
That is how my sessions are set up. I expose you to a variety of variations on Shiva Nata and possibly answer some questions, but the most valuable part is that you get to connect to your own insights and wisdom.
If I want to explore this more on my own, what books or other resources would you recommend?
There are a lot of great free websites with information on Shiva Nata. My favorites are Havi’s Shiva Nata website: http://shivanata.com and also the free variations and videos Beth at Fan the Ember shares on her blog.
Or hang out on twitter: #shivanauts #shivanata
For insights into the science of neuroplasticity (changing your brain, even as an adult), I recommend the book: Train Your Mind, Change Your Brian by Sharon Begley.