But most of all I have noticed a shift in me, I am more calm and understanding toward myself. In these times when I am all by myself and restless feelings come up (mostly also thoughts of beeing not enough, doing wrongly and so on) I seem to connect on a deeper level with me and these strong thoughts and old beliefs calms down. So grateful for these experience together with you all and so grateful for experiencing my connection to the nature and animals even stronger than before. Thank you so much for your silence, your words and inviting to listening to my body.

Sylvia Backström
Home in my body

On a night tour. Such an amazing experience. Gabriel is so charming as a person that he makes this experience completely his own.We could not have asked for anything more. (Well okay, more time to float in this bubble, so next year I reserve the whole weekend here) My heart has truly been moved. What a wonderful experience!

Tii-Anna Vanhanen
Sea Kayaking

It was such a touching and magical journey with the most loving group and a really sensitive, great pedagogue Gabriel. Thank you so much, looking forward 😍🐬💖

Mirjami Heikkinen
Aguahara basic training

With ElinMaria, yoga doesn’t have to be so complicated. I can use the exercises in my everyday life, if the exercises were too cumbersome I wouldn’t use them

Anita Bergman
Dynamic Hatha

As an experienced paddler, I want to mention that it was a great trip and I was reminded exactly of techniques that were familiar at the time, but less used. In addition general easiness, vigilance and bringing us to magnificent sea scenery – for which I thank you. This dance teacher can also be a great seakayaking guide!

Sirpa Nieminen
Sea Kayaking

I think Sydänvirta got the children on board very well right from the start, and it was interesting how they would use their bodies to express themselves and not their mouths.

Annette Holmén, Daycare teacher
Children's dance

The best Yoga out in nature. ElinMaria is a calm and clear instructor who can give different options of a movement. You can participate in ElinMaria’s yoga even if you have no previous experience. ElinMaria succeeds in creating a nice calm atmosphere. After the yoga you feel rested , energetic and satisfied. Can highly recommend ElinMaria as a yoga instructor!”

Niclas Nylund
Soft Yoga

Yoga with ElinMaria provides peace and quiet and to find and feel your different muscles and body parts at a leisurely pace. The classes can be adapted to your own capacity and to skip the performance

Maria Lagström
Dynamic Hatha

Your teachings was energetic and caring, attentive, gentle and building up materials not only phase by phase, but with an organic flow. This has been a calming experience, much like the life I would like to live, from day to day


You are very professional, gentle and considerate in guiding and inspiring other people. Everything in the course was well organised in every detail. You created a safe atmosphere and helped in getting contact with myself, others and the nature.

Silja Maki
Dance in nature

I loved the way that ElinMaria seamlessly combines themes around consent, self-compassion and somatics by grounding them in nature and our environment. The beauty of it is that these can be really big and complex theories and ideas, but she makes it so simple and easy to understand and

Mindfulness and somatics

Yoga with ElinMaria has been good for my fibromyalgia, that I feel stronger and relax better in my body. When you have pain in your body, you tense up, but after yoga I feel really light

Inga-Britt Sjöström
Morning Yoga

I recommend! The wonderful island of Nötö and the kayaking guides

Ulla Eerikäinen
Sea Kayaking

It’s great that professionals like you can be found to brighten the lives of our seniors.

Erja Rajakangas, director, elderly home

Dear lovely ElinMaria and dear lovely Gabriel, kiitos paljon ja tack for our magnificant Lappi gathering, it gave me confidence in dancing more CI in the future. Your pure, clear, enthusiastic approach helped me a lot to feel safe and create a joyful space full of trust, responsibility and self-care. I will definetly go with you once again on such a journey.

Lappi New Years Dance

I’ve participated in many of ElinMaria and Gabriel’s workshops and courses that they’ve held in Umeå, Sweden. And also co-arranged a couple of workshops. Their approach to dance (CI and dance improvisation) is playful and allowing. They have a great combination of giving clear instructions and listening and adapting to what the group needs. They are very present and encouraging, which makes you connect with yourself and the group on a deep level. Nourishing for both body and soul. I would describe their workshops as fun, light, playful and truly inspirational!

Stefan Andersson
CI Umeå

I can warmly recommend Elin Maria’s yoga. It provides increased mobility and creates an inner calm. The sessions are adapted to the participants and have a very permissive atmosphere

Katarina Isaksson
Soft Yoga

Inspiring material and beautiful way to teach it piece by piece, encouraging us to discover. I love your teaching and what you share: creating the space and the atmosphere, teaching complex things piece by piece and GENTLY putting them together into complicated moving patterns without the students even realizing the difficulty. I also appreciate your honesty of not always knowing and sharing how you feel, that’s admirable!

Pauliina Kettunen
CI Intensives

Thank you for the course Metsätanssit! You are very professional, gentle and considerate in guiding and inspiring other people. Everything in the course was well organized in every detail. You created a safe atmosphere and helped in getting contact with myself, others and the nature

Silja Mäki

A great kayaking trip in the archipelago sea.
Soul and mind nourishment at its best. Thank you 💚

Johanna Suominen
Sea Kayaking

Being able to work artistically with the film has meant, to me, that I got a chance to see my body as something artistic, a tool for expressing myself, something nice to show, which should just be just as it is, because that’s how it is meant to be. – these are thoughts about my body that I, as a disabled person, very easily forget among all other ideal images and media around where the norm is, far from the reality of how my body looks and seems … I am so grateful for that!

Marlene Bergqvist
Imprint Community Dance Project

The children come out in a different way in the dance, in how they are together in the group; both individually and as a group. I have seen sides of the children that I have not seen before; maybe that some children are more shy and don’t take much space verbally but that the body can say so much more. I experienced in dance that children are capable of much more than we adults think, especially based on what we expect in terms of age.

Laura Garcia, kindergarten teacher
Children's dance

I take with me all the nice exercises of landing in the body in different ways, and I want to integrate them more into my everyday life. I got reminded it doesn’t take much to ground myself in my body; to make it easy and that it doesn’t require lots of time. You have an ability to create such safe spaces, and make everyone feel included. It’s great how you remind us to constantly listen to what one’s body needs! It is a unique course in that way, and at the same time easy to learn the skills.

Karolina Nyström
Home in my Body

For me, the experience was like cotton to the heart. We listened to all the sounds in nature and took careful steps forward on the path that led us to the sea. On the way, we chose a tree and hugged it, listening and feeling the bark. At the beach everyone sat on a rock and just listened to all the sounds and felt the sea breeze. Afterwards we got together and told each other how we experienced nature and what impressions we got. For me it was to stop and become one with nature. We really got to use all our senses. We should do that more often, to stop and just enjoy and gather strength from our wonderful nature.

Inga – Britt Sjöström
Mindful walk in nature

ElinMaria’s lessons are relaxing, the instructions are clear and precise. She motivates well the benefit with different movements. All in all, I am very satisfied

Ann-helen Saarinen
Dynamic Hatha

The Archipelago Dance was a moving and heartfull event that really got me connected to nature, myself and to others. The important elements: The trust in natures capacity to speak to us, to be present and open for the unknown, the wonderful gift of playfulness, the frames that made it all possible…the warm and allowing atmosphere. The depth of my trust in myself and my ability to accept myself and let me be truly alive grew during this time together, and afterward. I am very happy I got the opportunity to be a part of this – my most heartfelt thanks to you! I am looking forward to move with you again and be moved. <3

Monica Björk

But ElinMaria, you learn on your own mat to land in your body and sort of push everything else away and just be for a little while. In the evening in bed, I can use yoga to relax. Yoga is so very good!

Liselott Fagerlund
Dynamic Hatha

Thank you for all the techniqal support. I felt the last days that I found some new softness and listening in my movement. I understood new ways to follow other bodies with a soft flow also while giving weight. That was a beautiful sensation.

Flow - Summer Intensive

I take with me something that lets me be present, to value life as it appears, with sense that there’s always lightness and nice funny things to observe, and just be really kind in all circumstances.
The body is a friend, always supporting me, and it has wonderful ways to adapt. My special moment of this class was to embrace my body by the presence of conscious compassionate thought and sensing. ElinMaria you bring sych a nice atmosphere to your classes, I enjoy every time. Thank you. Life is short and sharing these together is like a most precious jewel in the darkest of times

Pasi Liimatainen
Home in my body

I am still really thankful for our weekend, I really liked the pace we were having and you showing trust in the time and pace so I didn’t need to become unpatient about it. I am very thankful for the guidance of ElinMaria during this workshop – remembering me of my own supporting qualities of breath and heartbeat, finding the strength for clarity.

Frauke Beiersdorf
Home in my body

Thank you so much for what was for me an amazingly unusual beautiful visit to nötö.
I love the way you guide meditation. So gentle and smooth and natural. Gave such a beautiful safe comforting feeling in my body and whole being.

Mindful Kayaking and Yoga retreat

This has been a fantastic and important experience. The filming, the process was fun and it is special to experience. It was a big challenge for me to dare to dance. But in time, I let go and it became fun. You got us to see the beauty in each individual’s expression. You created an accepting atmosphere. I have grown by daring to let go of the barriers and open up.

Sahar Svedberg
Imprint Community Dance Project

I loved your metaphors and compassionate language and attention while guiding. It really helped me remember to stay self-compassionate and not judge myself or try harder. I think I cried every time at some point!

Aino H
Mindfulness and Somatics

Meditative poetry in motion. With the invitation from Moving Heart, a gate opens to feel community and love, a space where everyone grows through impressions and expressions. Unconditional guidence in nature together with ElinMaria and Gabriel, in movement, silence and dance. More love and harmony.

Albin Sterner
Forest Dance, Sweden

You both have a gentle and playful way of guiding and I had some amazing experiences! While playing in the snow, I was a child and I forgot everything else, spinning on the floor brought me closer to my innermost being. And while following the authentic movement, I forgot the difference between the mover and the moved, nature and man/human body seemed to be similar parts of nature. Thank you for maintaining the space and facing all the feelings. I personally really liked the lifting exercises!

AnneMari Salminen
Lumi New Years Dance

It is very useful to break the way you do things in a certain way and to try something new. You come from outside and open doors for the kids that we might not be able to do here. It’s great fun to see how dance can become a common language for everyone, where the children can do something together regardless of how the children otherwise speak and what their mother tongue is. I think it’s great fun! It is something we need; that very thing of being able to talk to the body.

Tiina Mattio, kindergarten teacher
Children's dance

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