Michelle Cohen-Coté, Founder
Michelle Cohen-Coté, RSMT/E, MA, founder of the Movement Forest, brings to the fields of health and wellness her belief and passion in the power of movement and somatic awareness to deepen embodiment, cultivate conscious choice making, and enhance lives.
Michelle maintains her private practice at the Movement Forest, a center dedicated to supporting transformational learning and healing through movement and somatic awareness in the heart of New York City. Michelle is a registered somatic movement therapist and educator (RSMT/E) with the International Somatic Movement Education & Therapy Association (ISMETA). She has a Master’s degree in Dance & Somatic Well-being from the University of Central Lancashire in England, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and a dance minor from the American University in Washington, D.C., and a Certificate of Dance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, graduating these programs with the highest honors of distinction.
Michelle is a certified Dynamic Embodiment™ Practitioner (DEP) and a BodyMind Dancing™ teacher, somatic practices developed by Dr. Martha Eddy. She has certifications in yoga, Pilates, and Gyrotonic®. Michelle is a registered experienced 200-hour yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance and a Master teacher of Pilates. Her additional trainings include Body-Mind Centering®, Continuum Movement, Reiki, Meditation, CranioSacral Therapy, Body Talk, Ayurvedic Healing, and Diana Muenz Chen’s Open Heart School. From 1999-2008, Michelle was on faculty as a Master teacher and teacher trainer of Pilates for the Kane School of Core Integration in New York, training teachers nationally and internationally.
At the Movement Forest, Michelle works with a diverse clientele of all ages in private one-to-one settings, often seeing families and children, in addition to actors, dancers, movement professionals, executives, entrepreneurs, fitness enthusiasts, and people recovering from injuries and trauma, a specialty of her work. Michelle’s intuitive and keen listening approach cultivates a safe and compassionate space for integrating the whole self through movement and body connectivity. Michelle’s ability to see and guide the whole body-self into healthy balance, supportive movement patterns, and optimal energy flow is a signature of her practice.
Outside the Movement Forest, Michelle conducts training seminars and master classes. She is on faculty at the Center for Kinesthetic Education, founded by Dr. Martha Eddy, that specializes in bringing movement programs into the classroom directly to children (including those with disabilities) and through professional development seminars for educators and paraprofessionals of the New York City Department of Education as well as for independent schools. Michelle is also on the Dynamic Embodiment (DE) faculty, in which she teaches Phase One course work for Dr. Eddy’s DE somatic movement training program. Her love for movement extends into the dance world, where she actively performs with Catherine Gallant Dance and Dances by Isadora. Inspired by her passion for movement and learning, Michelle is continually enrolled in training programs, which support her as a leader in her profession so that she can share with her clients, students, and community the most innovative practices and knowledge in the fields of movement and wellness.
GLOSSARY OF PRACTICES
Bartenieff Fundamentals is an extension of Laban Movement Analysis and consists of a set of concepts, principles, and exercises that was developed by Irmgard Bartenieff, who worked very closely with Rudolf Laban. This system combines movement theory with functional and expressive movement re-patterning, exploring breath support, dynamic alignment, center and weight transfer, initiation and sequencing, core support, rotation, spatial intent, effort intent, and developmental patterning and its support for level change.
Body-Mind Centering®, developed by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, is an experiential movement approach based on the embodiment and application of anatomical, physiological, psychophysical, and developmental principles using movement, touch, voice, breath, somatization, visualization, and community to expand awareness and invite transformative experience.
Dynamic Embodiment™ (DE) and BodyMind Dancing™, somatic movement therapy practices developed by Dr. Martha Eddy, bring together a deep comprehension of somatic education, movement science, dance education, and human communication. Eddy, a certified Laban Movement Analyst and Teacher of Body-Mind Centering®, developed her approach through teaching and practice. Her method is a cross pollination of Laban Movement Analysis, Bartenieff Fundamentals, and Body-Mind Centering®, which combines experiential movement, touch, and verbal guidance and dialogue with compassionate listening and support. Dr. Eddy’s model allows for personalized experiences that enhance self-awareness, creativity, and well-being by using biofeedback tools to counter daily life stressors and increase movement options to foster greater expression and the articulation of life goals.
Gryotonic Expansion System®, developed by Juliu Horvath, is a movement system that opens, lengthens, and mobilizes the body. Gyrokinesis® (matwork) and Gryotonic® (equipment based) comprise this system and use continuous movement, spirals, and breath to facilitate a greater range of motion and open up energy pathways.
Laban Movement Analysis (LMA), created by Rudolf Laban, is a way and language for interpreting, describing, visualizing, and notating movement. LMA draws on Rudolf’s theories of effort and shape to describe, analyze, and document human movement.
Pilates is a mind-body exercise system developed by Joseph Pilates. The method focuses on breath, alignment, and strengthening and lengthening core postural muscles that help support the spine. Stabilization of the lower back and pelvis is the foundation to all Pilates core principles and exercises. This approach is ideal for post injury or rehabilitation. Exercises are performed on the floor and on specially designed equipment, such as the Reformer and Cadillac.
Reiki is a spiritual healing system. The client lies fully clothed and relaxed on a massage table or the floor, while receiving gentle hands on from the practitioner. Reiki facilitates the innate healing wisdom of the body, creates balance while calming emotions, and leaves a feeling of wholeness and well-being.
Yoga or union is an ancient discipline based on a harmonizing system of development for the body, mind, and spirit. Yoga offers practices, such as meditation, breathing exercises, and asana (yoga poses), which help to increase stamina, reduce stress, balance emotions, enhance overall well-being, and lead to a sense of peace.