For 20 years Edna Katz-Levy has been weaving together wisdom and techniques from many traditions to create her unique Bodylight programmes.

And for 14 of those years she has been giving weekend Bodylight courses at Mana – and becoming part of the Mana family (along with Yaron and their two sons, Oryaam and Amir) along the way.

Edna’s experience of classical ballet, Pilates, Yoga, Qi Gong and Feldenkrais all contribute to helping people she works with move mindfully and gracefully with flow and rhythm, and to be more at ease in their bodies.

“All of these traditions have so much to offer. With so many options to choose from I can be creative and intuitive about which particular movements or exercises would be most beneficial for someone in that specific moment,” she says

Having their own ‘tastes’ of the different traditions also allows clients to experiment for themselves with what works best for them.

“People come to me for many reasons. They may have neck, back or postural issues, be recovering from a specific injury, wanting to build up strength and flexibility. They also have very different personalities and respond to different approaches. Whoever they are and whatever their issues, I want to inspire people to move mindfully and with ease – to be more connected with themselves and where they are in space.”

I was a client of Edna’s 20 years ago, benefiting from her wonderful knowledge and teaching when she was working as an instructor in one of Auckland’s first Pilates studios. While dealing with specific injuries following a car crash, I also wanted to increase strength and flexibility and move with ease. Edna’s ‘tool-box’ was immensely helpful back then, and has continued to be. Over the years we have worked together in her small home-based studio in Orakei, in her new, spacious and light-filled Mission Bay studio, and, of course, at Mana…

Taking part in a Bodylight weekend at Mana allows time for people to go deeper: “They can spend time with themselves, surrounded in beauty and come up with a programme which they take back to their daily lives.”

Edna emphasises it is concepts rather than ‘a list of exercises or techniques’ which she offers: “When I work with someone I help them find the teacher inside themselves, to come up with their own choreography and the imagery that works best for them. If people can be inspired to work on their own programme, my job is done. Self-care is really what I am trying to impart.”

Article by Penelope Carroll, Mana trustee.