What to Expect

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. ~  Chinese proverb


First, take note.

New location starting December 2018 in Berkeley


Located on Adeline Street across the street from the Berkeley Bowl, Innerstellar Pilates & Yoga is in the heart of the burgeoning South Berkeley Commercial district, four blocks away from the Ashby BART station.
2800 Adeline Street, Berkeley CA 94703

Vallejo: I am available, most all days of the week except Sundays, please go to appointments for available times



“Resilience: the way the water knows just how to flow, not force itself around a river rock; then surely I can stretch myself in the shape of my own path is asking of me”  Corrine Fadel



What to Expect

Generally, if you have been in some sort of pain, it is a good idea to be prepared to come for your treatments weekly or bi-weekly as we start to heal and track your tension and release of pain or discomfort. It is a process, rather than a quick fix, as we begin to unfold the layers of your physical and emotional body. One Ortho-Bionomy session is about an hour long but can go to an hour and twenty minutes because of settling in and settling after.

Before you arrive, please download and complete the intake form HERE, if you have made an appointment with me by phone. If you have made an appointment with me online, which is preferable, please fill out your intake form there. This way I can  better address your needs in your session.

Please drink plenty of water the day of your session, to help fluids move in your tissue during your session.

You will be on a massage table fully dressed and There is no oil involved.

There are no two sessions alike. What you may experience in a session is that you may notice your body settling into a deep state of relaxation and a quality of stillness and maybe sleepiness. You may notice an internal experience of being fully present, calm, and a sense of integration with different aspects of yourself. Sometimes you may notice an image, or emotion or specific time and place can come up and pass again. You may remain alert, smile, laugh or fall asleep and snore. No worries please about snoring. It’s always an honor. There will be a pause and rest and sometimes ther will be rocking between each release position, for your body to respond, assimilate and settle throughout your session. I will often let you know what I am tracking/sensing, so that you can learn to sense the new sensations and vocabulary of your body through Ortho-bionomy.

I will be gentle with your body’s nervous system because sometimes the subtler the release the bigger the feel and response later. I will rely on your verbal feedback to find the techniques which best facilitate your body’s return to natural alignment and what is most comfortable for you. You will let me know what you like and what you don’t like. There should be little to no discomfort. You will let me know if there is.

Leopi_Nicola_Painting-4Comfortable loose cotton clothing is recommended; no shorts, tight pants, or tight bras or belts please. Long sleeves  preferred, to allow for a full range of movement and exploration and a feeling of warmth.  Cozy socks are important to bring along.  As the nervous system settles into a healing state your body may cool down. I will most likely cover you with a light blanket and use different size pillows for your comfort.

If you have just had a baby, you will most likely need to bring your baby with you.  Please be sure that a family member or close friend will accompany you and be there to hold your baby as you receive your session and we can take short breastfeeding breaks, whenever needed.



What I have observed as a practitioner when you are on my table:

You may experience yourself  going into a deep state of relaxation within about 10 minutes… deeper breaths and a sense of expansion will begin to be noticed,  internal sensations of warm fluid moving, belly gurgling, tingles, ripples, bubbles, warmth, colors, coolness, fullness, “inner trails of liquid-light” “the color blue” or warmth, snoring, giggling, tears, trembling, memories, words, yumm mmmmm and guttural sighs, light dream state and images and sometimes you may not feel very much in sensation at all, but simply feel more relaxed and warm.

All of this may feel very fresh, tender, intimate and new to you. You may awaken unknown or forgotten spaces. You will experience new kind of deep listening.

After Your Session:

Please drink a lot of filtered water with unsweetened electrolytes and make sure the next three days are not over-scheduled. Although Ortho-Bionomy is gentle and subtle, you may experience strong responses in the first 24-72 hours after your session, which may surprise you. This is a good sign. After the session you may feel very relaxed and sleepy or sore or unusually light, energized and clear. You may sleep a long time the night after your treatment.

Old patterns are releasing, unwinding and moving through you and with this can come soreness and fatigue as if you have worked out physically or emotionally. This is your body self correcting and healing. Healing occurs on all levels. Take time to notice the subtle shifts and enjoy!  these can be occurring up to a week. Let your body be in charge for a change. Plan your next few days following your Ortho-Bionomy session, as simple as possible with light schedules for deep rest, refuge and some self reflection.

What to Expect for Baby’s session

As a midwife, I have been catching and holding babies for 32 years!  To be able to incorporate the therapy of Ortho-Bionomy and craniosacral work with midwifery, makes so much sense to me.

DSCF3078When a baby is brought to me, I will want to know her birth story. I then start the treatment as soon as the baby feels safe and connected with me. We begin by being in a quiet place, with gentle, “soft” eye contact. I synchronize my energy and respectfully tap into, literally, baby time. The treatment may be done on my lap, or in the arms of her mother or on my massage table. At this moment with your baby, all my listening is to baby, as I track her head, face and body with my hands and “soft” eyes. I will make assessments about where possible tension and strain is being held there. I will follow with positional Ortho-bionomy and cranialsacral release techniques. The pressure of my touch will be no more than 5 grams (the weight of a nickel). The range of therapeutic touch for a baby will be from light to almost energetic. The work is very gentle. Sometimes children release emotions or cry during treatments and need to tell their story, but the techniques do not hurt infants and children. Most children find the sessions to be deeply relaxing and pleasurable.  You may notice a very calm, quiet and alert state in your child, as we unwind.

I have been named the poop witch! because often babies who are not having regular bowel moments will have a magnificent gigantic bowel movement after the treatment.

Babies and children will often sleep for a longer stretch than usual after a session. During a session I will adapt my technique to the attention span of the infant or child. Infants and children release quickly and have shorter attention spans and patience than adults. Your baby or child may have a session as often once weekly, depending on what the issues are.

After the treatment, your baby may sleep longer than normal or cry more than usual or in a particular way as if telling a story. This response is OK but can be upsetting for the parents. Do not worry. The treatment continues to re-balance  and shift, for up to five days. You may notice positive shifts after one session but sometimes there will be no noticeable change until the second treatment. In general 3 sessions is a good number. It is also important that the day of treatment and the day after, your child will have quiet retreat at home to rest and to be able to be physically close to you and her other parent and have your full attention.

It is always wise for both mother and baby to have Ortho-bionomy sessions because they are so attuned to one another and have been in relationship together since the beginning of conception. I have noticed when mother comes for her Ortho-Bionomy session and both mother and baby are in the room together, (a family member holds the baby during this time) as the mother goes into a deep state of relaxation, the baby goes into a deeper sleep also. (even when the baby is another room!)


Stay in touch 

I always appreciate a text or email about how you are doing in the next few days after your session. Please describe what you’re tracking in your own shifting, it helps you to learn how to track and to listen to yourself in a deeper way.

DSCF3091Take a walk after your session for your body to center, integrate and circulate. Be in nature, sit in the sun, listen to soothing music and rest. Take a hot bath with Epsom salts or sea salt and drink a lot of water after your bath. Drink plenty of water the next few days and try it with fresh squeezed lemon and/or electrolytes. Drink more than usual to flush and hydrate your muscles. Do not swing your body and test old patterns. Do not do any physical activity other than walking or for the first 48 hours. Your exercise routines may be similar to your old patterns or be over strenuous after a session. Your lymphatic system may feel full and as if you are catching a cold, keep flushing. A dose of homeopathic Arnica 30 C a few times a day in the first few days may be helpful for feelings of soreness and strain. Please do not have other forms of therapeutic body work too close to your Ortho-Bionomy treatment (2-3 days apart is ok). This may be too much information for your body to take in all at once.

My greatest hope for you, is that you may return to a pace of a slower and softer world that strengthens and nourishes you. I hope you are able to tap right back into the stillness and healing state you have within, whenever you need. I hope that you will make time to practice this.


Please feel free to contact me if you have anything you would like me to know after your treatment at info@sanctuaryleopi.com or text me at (510) 717-5060.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your journey to well-being.