“Weakness, inflexibility, and lack of coordination are often not due to structural or muscular problems but caused by a lack of process. When that process is actualized, we experience strength, flexibility, and ease in our movement and our mind. The Basic Neurocellular Patterns are an exploration of that process.” – Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen
The Basic Neurocellular Patterns (BNP) form the underlying words and phrases in the language of human movement. The BNP have a global influence on our physical, perceptual, emotional, and cognitive functioning. They shape how we bond, defend, learn, organize, and sequence information, and how we relate to ourselves, others, and the world. Done in sequences, they can also form the basis for a deep and ongoing personal movement practice.
Although the BNP normally emerge and ideally integrate throughout infancy, revisiting these patterns and exploring them as adults can be eye-opening, transformational, and life changing. With this book as a guide, Bonnie invites you to directly experience, embody, and integrate your own developmental movement patterns. In doing so, you can come to know and use this work in deep and meaningful ways with yourself and with others.
This book includes the following:
- Parallels between animal movement and infant developmental movement
- Progression of development from internal movement to external movement and locomotion
- Exquisite drawings to help you get a feeling for the patterns
- Step-by-step exercises to guide your exploration of the patterns
- How to use the vertebrate patterns as a framework for your personal movement practice
- Applications to yoga, dance, sports, music, vision, touch, teaching, aging, psychophysical processing, meditation, and prayer.
Movement is a language and the body is the instrument through which it speaks. It is a doorway into the body-mind relationship, at once the expression of that relationship, a way to assess it and a way to balance it. Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen is a movement linguist who has spent her life exploring and mapping the grammar, syntax and vocabulary of movement.
Her book, Basic Neurocellular Patterns: Exploring Developmental Movement is about human movement and its significance to our development and well-being. For over fifty years, Bonnie has worked with people functioning in a wide range of skills – from professional dancers to infants with severe neurological difficulties. She has observed that the developmental patterns outlined in this book have a global influence on our physical, perceptual, emotional and cognitive functioning. She named these movement sequences the Basic Neurocellular Patterns (BNP).
The BNP normally emerge and ideally integrate through infancy and can have a profound effect on an infant’s development -- how it bonds, defends, learns, organizes and sequences information, and relates to itself, others and the world. Revisiting these patterns and exploring them as adults can be eye-opening, transformational and life-changing. Who we are as a person has a lot to do with how we experience ourselves through movement.
With this book as a guide, Bonnie is inviting you to enter your own world of movement experience. She has provided discussions of the patterns to give you a theoretical framework of ideas, insights, relationships, and correspondences – a context in which to explore your experience. The exercises she outlines will help to guide your exploration of the patterns. The copious drawings not only illustrate a pattern or its correspondence in the animal kingdom, but also help you get a feeling for the pattern. The richness and subtlety of movement does not easily translate into words, so feeling is important in a book about movement.
In the developmental work, as in all aspects of Bonnie’s work, the place to begin your study is through your personal experience, embodiment, and integration of these principles and body-mind relationships. In doing so, you can come to know and use this work in deep and meaningful ways.
Paperback; 430 pages, 400+ illustrations, 80 explorations
An eBook (ePub) of this book will be available in the near future.
What people are saying about Basic Neurocellular Patterns: Exploring Developmental Movement:
“I am so happy to see that Bonnie – one of the true innovators of bodywork – has finally shared her system in an organised fashion. Here is the underlying body language – the reflexes that build into patterns that build into individual expression – and what happens when these pathways to maturity get diverted, detoured, or stopped.
Most methods proceed from the idea of ‘body as machine’; Bonnie has named her book well, because she proceeds from two ideas: 1) We are a cellular collective, and we each have to build ourselves from a single cell. Bonnie identifies the benchmarks of the growing cellular self moving out into the world from conception to adulthood, and 2) We are reaching for full self-expression through movement and voice, and Bonnie lays out how these blocks to full expression can be relieved through re-establishing these instinctual movements within your clients or students.
Bonnie marries cellular requirements with developmental movement to adult biomechanical issues. This is not an easy path to take on – it’s requires subtle perception and inventiveness – but Bonnie has just made it easier by cataloging the language and stages of, well, exactly: Basic Neurocellular Patterns.
I am devouring this book. Its insights will inform and enlighten any bodyworker with both the simple wonder of animals in motion and the complex intricacy with which it plays out in human form"
– Tom Myers
Director, Anatomy Trains
"It is not often that I feel a breathless excitement in opening a book. Each chapter, each page, each sentence of this page sings with a depth of insight that is truly astounding. Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen simplifies an extraordinarily complex subject while at the same time drawing us into the deeper significance of the human developmental patterns and what they tell us about ourselves and our connection to all of life.
Basic Neurocellular Patterns is exquisitely illustrated and rich with inquiries that can be utilised by teachers of dance, yoga, somatics and those interested in the intersection of the mind and body. I feel that I have been gifted with jewels of distilled wisdom that will enrich my own practice and teaching for years to come.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding how human development movement can inform the work of yoga teachers and somatic practitioners."
– Donna Fahri
Donna Farhi, author of Yoga, Mind Body & Spirit.
"Every generation has a few gifted pioneers that forge the path towards a more enlightened and conscious understanding of our self and our universe. Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen is definitely one of the main pioneers of our generation.
In her recent book, Basic Neurocellular Patterns: Exploring Developmental Movement, she not only reveals her great knowledge of developmental movement but shares the connection of movement and consciousness itself. True to Bonnie’s respect and love of movement this book provides a way to explore one’s self and one’s body through exercises of embodied anatomy. I highly recommend this book to all who are on the path of self-discovery."
– Donnalea Van Vleet Goelz, Ph.D.
Executive Director of Continuum Movement®
"This book is a must for the experienced movement professional and quite accessible to the novice that comes with open curiosity. Bonnie’s consummate embodiment has allowed her to distill and transmit so that we can all enter, explore and have our full understanding and experience.
Bonnie does for movement and the Basic Neurocellular Patterns what Stephen Hawking did for space. The depth of her passion and understanding combined with her ability to communicate will allow many more people to come into their full movement potential and a deeper sense of identity."
– Roxlyn Moret
Certified Practitioner and Teacher of Body-Mind Centering®, CMA, RSME, ERYT-500
"In my almost 40 years of practicing and teaching yoga, the insights and revelations I have gleaned from studying with Bonnie far surpass anything I have experienced anywhere. Her clarity and depth continue to amaze and delight me.
With her new book, Basic Neurocellular Patterns: Exploring Developmental Movement, Bonnie is presenting the culmination of over fifty years of embodied spiritual practice, therapeutic application and collective exploration of human movement. The twelve neurocellular patterns are presented within the context of the evolutionary journey of life, embryology, and the developmental movement sequences that allow an infant to discover human locomotion.
Well illustrated and filled with explorations and descriptions, this book will offer anyone engaged in a somatic spiritual practice a treasure trove of wisdom and guidance on the path of awakening."
– Arthur Kilmurray
Yoga Teacher and Somatic Explorer
"The book is a marvel! Every time I open it, my understanding of developmental movement, and all movement deepens and clarifies.
The life’s work and living that this book encompasses is enormous. You have articulated it, organized it, and made it so accessible.
The clarity and simplicity is astounding, knowing how complex the subject really is.
This text will stay near me for a long time. I will be sure the Laban Institute has a copy in the library, and I can now fill in aspects of my own learning that were weak.
For example, today, I realize that I have never really understood “yield.” So I kept reading, and came to the beautiful page called YIELD, where you so clearly explain the need to experience the pull of gravity before the experience of push. This goes directly into my daily movement experience and opens a new door. And this is just one example of what lies ahead, even after so many years with the material."
CMA, KMP, AP, Senior Faculty of New York Certification Program in Laban Movement Studies, Author of As Others See Us: Body Movement and the Art of Successful Communication, Geometry of Movement; Part 1, the Defense Scale, Part 2 the Axis Scales
"Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen is a uniquely brilliant teacher and healer. Yet she is far more than this. She is a rare original thinker who enables others to experience their own bodies with a radical intimacy that transforms their way of being present to themselves and the world.
With surpassing kindness and gentleness she guides you on a journey into yourself. Those who travel within with her emerge with a changed relationship to life, to themselves, and to others. As an innovator in the sphere of body/mind integration, she is without peer and beyond comparison."
– Jonathan Klate, Ph.D.,
Lic.Ac, in practice since 1975, is a second generation practitioner of traditional acupuncture and Chinese medicine, author to The Tao of Acupuncture, who maintains his practice in Amherst, MA
“Basic Neurocellular Patterns: Exploring Developmental Movement offers a comprehensive description of human developmental movements, along with detailed exercises to enliven one’s experience of them. Comparisons to other creatures demonstrate our relationships in the natural world and in the evolutionary progression.
Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen has spent a lifetime exploring this work and the clarity and specificity in this culminating volume are unsurpassed. It is appropriate for beginners and more advanced students of human movement and early development. This book is instantly the essential reference."
Body-Mind Centering® Practitioner