By Richard Barker
Special to the Town Crier
Trine Bietz, one of Idyllwild’s premier holistic healers and artists, has had an eventful summer. In June, she opened a shop where she offers a variety of holistic approaches, while simultaneously showcasing her artworks, which line the walls. On Sept. 15, the San Jacinto Mountain Community Center Board of Directors elected Trine to their ranks, recognizing in her the ideal candidate to represent the artistic, as well as the holistic, community.
The essential idea underlying holism is that it is better to address the whole person (physical, mental and spiritual) than to address just the malady. From humble beginnings as a fringe practice, holism has grown over the last few decades into a widely accepted alternative to traditional Western medicine, largely in part to advancements in neuroscience that have scientifically proven many holistic claims, such as the existence of the energy flow known in Eastern healing as Qi (or Chi).
Trine is probably best known for her yoga classes she holds four times a week at Town Hall, but her two decades of studying, practicing and teaching yoga are but the tip of the iceberg of her dedication to learning and incorporating all the varieties of holistic healing. In addition to being certified in hatha yoga under Erich Schiffmann, Trine has been a Reiki master since 1998, received certification in Thai Massage in 2002, studied extensively for a year with the Zen master Mushashi Teksukoba, completed a Tibetan Sound Bowl Therapy program in 2004, studied the Alexander Technique in 2005 (in the Caribbean), was certified in Pranic Healing in 2006, completed the entire course at the Optimum Health Institute in 2010, and has been practicing Art Therapy with children since 2003. Her resume is all the more impressive considering she is only 35.
But if you are thinking that her world-class education in this esoteric field must render her profound understanding of it incomprehensible to a layperson, then you obviously do not know Trine. Her greatest strength as a teacher and practitioner lies in her gift of being able to explain lofty and nearly ineffable concepts in everyday language that makes sense even to beginners.
An example of this is a lesson she taught in a recent yoga class, where she described the accumulation of traumatic memories in these terms:
“Your experiences — especially any traumatic experiences that have not been fully processed — leave you with a distorted perception of the world. Your nervous system gets loaded with traumatic cellular impressions that manifest as beliefs about the world and your place in it. Over time, you continue to add to the ever-growing pile, as if you are adding yet another pancake to an already towering stack, until that stack becomes an obstacle to experiencing reality in a fully direct manner, in the here and now.
“Undigested trauma keeps the human spirit in bondage. Breath work and simple, yet mindful, movement — both of which are provided by yoga — are tools that can help you discard unwanted pancakes. And always discard pancakes from the bottom of the stack, for the oldest ones are the ones most likely to have become self-limiting beliefs that are hindering your spiritual evolution.”
This is pretty heady stuff, very difficult to put into words, but Trine has a knack of explaining such things in a down-to-earth and even lighthearted way; when she spoke of discarding pancakes, she made a Frisbee-throwing motion. And the fact that she utilizes physical metaphors (like “pancakes” and “undigested”) is fully in sync with holism, as versus the Western compartmentalization of mind, body, and spirit.
When describing the process of diving into your own depths to clear out undigested traumas, another metaphor she uses is spelunking. “To open up the darkest recesses of your mind, be mindful of your breathing. Your breathing becomes a flashlight; focus your attention on it and aim it where you want to go, and the body follows,” she said.
Trine has succeeded in avoiding a trap that often ensnares even the most spiritually enlightened: she is ever mindful to transcend the polarizing role of “master” or “teacher” or “healer.” “If I am a healer, that implies that you are sick or in need of repair. And I don’t teach yoga, I simply share what I am practicing,” she said. “My goal is to create a supremely safe, nurturing environment for personal growth that is approachable to everyone. I am a student myself, and always will be. Listening, changing, willing, teachable — I do my best to adhere to these principles every day.”
The schedule of her yoga classes can be found in the Town Crier’s “On the Town” calendar. Visit her shop in Oakwood Village, where she offers a variety of holistic approaches, including one of her own creation called “Original Circuitry Reboot,” which she describes as “applying the zero point field and the awesome possibilities of quantum physics into the healing arts.”