photo: Kari Lindstrom
about Technique
Topf Technique® | a practice of embodiment
"The body is a thinking organism" – Nancy Topf

The Topf Technique® addresses the body's essential wish and desire for movement. Through the initiation of an internal thinking process using anatomical imagery, students work to acquire a fluid yet strong inner attention focused upon images of the body's structure. In the beginning the mind pictures the spine, specifically the lumbar spine, and the psoas muscle. When the body moves, muscles follow the direction of bones. As we orient the mind toward the skeletal structure the body moves freely. Through this movement practice students unify their sensing and thinking capabilities.

The body needs freedom, it desires openness. In their search for this, students learn to find space in their bodies and to organize movement around the central axis, a line of support that falls through the gravitational center of the body.

This centering process supports observation, inquiry and creative experimentation.

As students advance, they often experience emotional release, creative growth, and increased energy. Greater relaxation and a more natural alignment occur. Wider range and fluidity of movement, better posture and balance, healing and reduction of injuries take place with regularity. The aim is not to reach specific goals, rather to develop a life-long process to support and guide the subtle growth of an individual, grounded in cultivating a healthy, moving body. The work is not about knowledge quickly gained—it's about the slow gathering of experience over sustained study and practice. The technique bridges mind and body allowing students to access a deeper level of creativity, expression, and wellbeing.

The Topf Technique®, was created by Nancy Topf (1942-1998), a pioneer of release and alignment work. Inspired by her study of Mabel Todd's work (The Thinking Body, 1937), Nancy Topf spent 25 years developing this innovative approach to neuro-muscular re-education.

The Topf Technique® is part of the field of somatics. The School of Topf Technique® is approved as a training program by ISMETA (International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association) making Topf Technique® practitioners eligible to register as Somatic Movement Therapists and Educators.

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