Marion Rosen, the founder of Rosen Method, was a physiotherapist who was born in Germany in 1914. (Read More). She had a deep curiosity, fascination and interest in how the body moves, and why some people can move more freely than others. While awaiting in Sweden for a visa to the United States she spent many hours observing dance classes and watching how the body moves, learning what a normal free-flowing full movement looked like. “Un-inhibited movement looked wonderful” to Marion and something she loved to watch. The dance classes Marion had taken from aged seven were the highlight of her week.

“The teacher started slowly, and there was always good music. While we danced it was a totally satisfying experience” – Marion Rosen

StretchIn 1956, Marion began teaching movement classes in Berkeley, California as a response to a friend asking her how to prevent aches and pains to avoid physiotherapy. She accumulated all the exercises she taught patents in her physiotherapy practice for stiffness, pain or difficulty moving. Her classes began as a prevention against inability to move. She encouraged her physiotherapy patients to attend to avoid re-injury, falls, and to stay limber. Recognizing from her young dancing days, that music and rhythm were essential to the enjoyment of movement, that music could assist and encourage people to move, Marion, set the exercise sequence to music. She came to understand that rhythm as well as moving in time with the music can be rehabilitating. She noticed that the bodies of her students stayed young, and that as they aged they continued to perform the movements as easily, even better, than they did 33 years earlier. Some of her students attending classes were between 70 and 83 years of age.

Rosen Movement is based on the knowledge of the function of all the joints in the body. We work towards the participant obtaining a full range of movement in every joint by loosening the muscles around the joints. The movements are done with ease and gentleness, and with the pleasure of moving to music, without strain, effort or competition. There is a warm up, a gentle stretch section, a circle for balance and leg strengthening, dance like movements across the floor, and relaxing movements on-the-floor. The end of the class is marked by great joy and a celebration of moving together as whole individuals, which gives the class its very special energy.

Rosen Method of Movement is designed to:

  • Lubricate and move the joints
  • Expand and open up the chest and rib cage
  • Release the diaphragm and allow the lungs to breath more fully
  • Lengthen muscles so that holding patterns can change
  • Focus on relaxation rather than moving with effort
  • Re-shape the body without pain
  • Use movement to reach frozen, stiff or blocked places
  • Strengthen the body
  • Assist balance and strengthen the legs to prevent falls and injuries
  • Relax and stretch the body following a more strenuous activity or work out
  • Use pauses during class to allow breath and feelings to be noticed and felt
  • Increase embodied-awareness of the interconnection between one part of the body and another
  • Teach letting go, using the body in a freer, less inhibited way
  • Move with joy and ease in new ways
  • Provide an amount of exercise adequate to maintain body function and mobility even in older age
  • Teach participants that tightness does not define us and that we have choices about how our bodies move and feel.