Betsy Polatin


Often after teaching a lesson, I am ecstatic with the joy and fullness of doing what I feel I was made to do. Perhaps what I came to this planet to do. Time and space seem to have expanded, my body feels light as a feather, my mind is free of triggers and heavy, negative, thoughts. No one thought or feeling sticks to me. They pass into the next moment of consciousness. I am present and I feel part of and one with this amazing, large universe around me. I wish this for every human being.

I have spent the last 40 years of my life training, clearing, exploring, and figuring out, my body, mind, and spirit. I studied: how the body is designed to move most efficiently, how the mind forms patterns and functions as one with the body, and how spiritual practices affect body, mind, heart, and consciousness. My life has been rich, and full. I have laughed, cried, wondered, suffered, and searched, as all humans do in their own way.

The formal education for my passion of exploring deeper levels of consciousness began when I was a teenager in 1966. In that year I was initiated into transcendental meditation after seeing the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. That year I also began practicing Macrobiotics, the study of food and the order of the universe with Michio and Aveline Kushi. I did many experiments, exploring how food affects the body and mind.

humanual_coconut_treeMy formal dance training began in 1968. Many wonderful teachers helped me sort out how to make this six- foot body move gracefully and expressively. Frances Cott, a technical dance analyst taught me how bodies move most efficiently to prevent injury while dancing or to recover from injury. For the next ten years, I continued to teach this movement analysis and macrobiotics, and wrote a book on this subject, Macrobiotics in Motion, The Yin and Yang of Moving Spirals.

As a yoga practitioner, I attended the International conference of Yoga teachers in Japan in 1978 and studied with Swami Satchidananda and B.K.S. Iyengar. I also had my first lesson in the Alexander Technique in 1978, and have had many wonderful teachers. I am recognized as a senior Alexander Technique teacher and have presented this last year to conferences at the Royal Academy of Music, Theater Communications Group, Tanglewood Music Festival, and other national and international venues. See for full Alexander Technique bio.

I have a B.A. in Dance and an M.F.A. in Theater Education. My studies also include Functional Voice, a method of voice and sound production, taught by Gisela Rohmert. I spent many years with Carl Stough as he taught me his brilliant discoveries about breathing. When he died he named me as one of the few qualified to pass on his work.

humanual_betsy_teaching3I learned about trauma from Peter Levine. I also trained with other very skilled Somatic Experiencing teachers who helped me work through and heal my own past as I learned to work with others. I am a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP).

My spiritual practice never stopped. I prayed and meditated with many traditions. I studied the wisdom of ancient as well as modern spiritual masters and spent many years in an ashram. I have visited holy temples and shrines in many countries.

On any given day, I may be watching a YouTube video of a spiritual teacher, or reading a book about the body, and/or mind. I now put together ancient and modern, chaos and law, spirit and science, and synthesize the important aspects of this wisdom and knowledge into the Humanual teachings.

I have taught thousands of lessons to actors, artists, musicians, chronic pain sufferers, and to people from all walks of life in private sessions and master classes. I am currently full time faculty at Boston University College of Fine Arts (since 2000) and a guest professor at Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory and around the world.

My new book, The Actor’s Secret, Techniques for Transforming Habitual Patterns and Improving Performance, will be available in the fall of 2013.