Preliminaries

The word means "preparation", also "threshold". The name implies a distinct difference both in approach and practice from what usually is called ‘exercise’. Mme Bertherat gave this name to the movements which are designed to prepare the whole living organism for full and pleasurable functioning.

Form and Practice

A typical session lasts approximately 90 minutes and always begins with quiet guided self-observation. This is followed by a test position or movement.

A gentle preparatory activation of the whole body is followed by the central preliminary focusing on a specific area. Foam balls of various sizes and other accessories are used to specifically localize and give feedback of movement. A ball will be placed in a strategic position, for example under the large shoulder muscle, and the practitioner will be guided in small and specific movements, the purpose of which is to gradually restore the normal elasticity and responsiveness of the muscle.

There is a brief return to the original test position. This gives the practitioner an opportunity to tangibly assess the progress made through the preliminary. Verbal reports are invited in order to articulate and make conscious the experience.

The session usually ends with quiet rest in silence. Participants are encouraged to transition back to their daily activities in a leisurely and self-attentive manner. This encourages the neuro-muscular system to transfer newly gained responsiveness into everyday activities.

"These movements originate from inside your body; they are not imposed from the outside. Their goal is not to have you escape from your body, but to avoid having your body escape you, and your life with it."

(Thérèse Bertherat)

Practice

"Being crushed and cramped by our own musculature

makes us feel crushed and cramped by life;

freeing our musculature enables us to reach

our true height and our real dimensions."

(Thérèse Bertherat)