Steve ‘engages the body in conversation’ acting as a facilitator for the body’s natural desire to move. The series of fluid movements is healing and restorative. I emerged renewed.
Karle ‘talks’ to my body, tunes into it and instinctively knows where and how it wants to move and then supports and guides me into certain positions. The sequence is never choreographed. Instead, the aim is for the body to experience ‘new’ movement.
Aquatic body-worker Steve Karle takes you as his floating dance partner, weaving you in and out of the water to stretch and de-stress. It’s like falling through space.
What Steve offers is a total immersion of both body and mind in such an intense manifestation that it far surpasses even the deepest of massages, or the most delicate of facials.
I had a session with Steve last week and found him to be exquisitely in tune with both listening to what I needed as well as gently guiding me beyond my current experience. Highly recommended!
During my session with Steve, I was able to relax so completely that it felt like I was in another world sometimes. It’s the ultimate stress-buster, and a kind of magical zen treatment that sticks with you for a long time.
You feel the same force of nature as you get at the exact moment you catch the wave out surfing, the exhilarating feeling that you are actually being propelled by the entire universe. It reboots and somehow grants you, whatever it is that causes the feeling of wellbeing and peace with the world and above all yourself.
The principle is simple: you enter a private pool with your therapist, who will observe the natural movement of your body in water, massaging and stretching it as required, and leading it through a dance-like journey. With Steve Karle, this is anything but as weird as it sounds. You emerge rejuvenated and calm.
It’s hard to appreciate the quality of this experience until you try it. Supported with floats to my legs whilst my head was gently cradled, imagine the feeling of sinking weightlessly into a warm bath at the end of a long day... Being quietly held, stretched and moved through the water with care by Steve I found myself relaxing even deeper as every crank in my body unwound. The water being just a couple of degrees lower than body temperature, the edge between me and the water became blurred, I felt infinite, it was as if I was flying...but with a depth. Steve’s presence is apparent, but it’s not at all intrusive as one may imagine being held so closely. The connection was very much with myself. I felt trust. I felt safe. I felt free.
Trauma, whether physical, emotional or psychological, are events that are experienced within our bodies, says Steve Karle. When there is no way to fight or flee, the nervous system freezes as a self-defence mechanism. This response mobilises a great deal of energy in our bodies which often remains trapped in our system unless we know how to release the charge. By allowing the body to naturally unwind in the freedom of water, such pent-up energy can find its way towards expression and integration.
...at times it feels like the slowest of spin cycles, at others like you might be bringing up the geriatric rear in a dolphin pod. It’s weird, it’s great.
There are persons (and experiences) that transcend the order of this world. Steve Karle belongs to that realm of senses and revelations. Find him in London or meet him in one of his journeys. Find your eternal self in his Poetry in Water.
Most impressive and surprising of all, Akasha is home to London’s first ever Watsu pool. Separate to the lap pool, the totally private Watsu pool is heated to more of a bath-like temperature of 35 degrees and where one finds the very likeable Steve Karle, director of the British School of Aquatic Bodywork, no less! His water massages are a truly unique experience. Karle uses a combination of yoga-like stretching, joint mobilisation and craniosacral elements to create a tailor-made hydrotherapy treatment during which he glides you through the water with small floats attached to your limbs allowing for an amazing sense of weightlessness of both mind and body. A must-book treatment.
I had my first aquatic session with Steve and I found it a highly moving experience. As the session progressed I witnessed myself shifting from being tense and restricted; letting go of anxiety and fears to opening up in a relaxed and malleable state. I woke up the next morning feeling light and serene and felt a sense of equanimity. Having this session with a skilled and genuine therapist not only allowed me to enjoy the different tints of the present moment but most importantly confirmed my belief that aquatic therapy can allow freedom of movements, lightness of thoughts and deep healing to unfold.
I’m floating on my back in a luxuriously heated saltwater pool. The lights are dimmed, soft music plays. I have floats strapped to my thighs and a strange man is holding onto my head. He moves quite quickly and I find myself whooshing about, my body undulating like an eel’s. It’s hard to describe how this can go on for 45 minutes (or longer), but it does, there is seemingly no repetition and the whole experience is enormously relaxing. Aches and pains are teased away in a therapy that is good for one’s posture, flexibility and state of mind.
The sensation of weightlessly moving through water was a trance-like lullaby, with movements organically occurring through unconscious initiation. It was both a physical and emotional journey to let myself go and become vulnerable. The support from Steve allowed for an openness to experience this moving exploration, evolving between serene and sometimes animalistic sensations. It’s how I would imagine floating through space with a physical dialogue that seems to manifest from the unknown.
The Aquatic Therapy with Steve Karle is a mixture of water shiatsu and cranio-sacral therapy and takes place in a private pool. You’ll be lifted and stretched, massaged and whizzed around. It’s like contemporary dance, with you as the passive partner, totally supported throughout by Steve and the water. Prepare to feel satisfyingly wiped out afterwards, like you’ve had a session with your osteopath - miraculously without the discomfort.
If you’re after something a little more special than a massage, then try Watsu therapy with Steve Karle at the subterranean Akasha Spa in Café Royal. As you float in a pool directly under the hordes of Piccadilly Circus, Karle will gently manoeuvre your limbs into different positions leaving you utterly, sublimely relaxed.
My shoulders and spine decompress, my chest opens and I feel stress leave my body. “Water is a healing element,” says Karle, “and its use in conventional and complementary medicine is long established. But it is also a great conduit for our emotions, and a mirror to them. We can be still waters that run deep, or we can feel waves of emotion, or we seek to wash away our pain”.
If you’re feeling frazzled, Steve is the king of calm and offers a totally immersive experience. He gently guides you through a series of gravity free movements, stretching and star-fishing you around the pool. It’s a blissful floating sensation in a state of free flow that lengthens the spine, reprograms muscle memory to ease up aches and niggles, improves posture and calms the mind. A total tonic for helping with insomnia, expect the best night’s sleep.
I’ve just had the best bodywork session in a long time with Steve Karle. Amazing experience, so unleashing. This guy is a real artist. We can definitely name his work ‘poetry in water’. I recommend it to any mover who wants to experiment or improve the infinity and beauty of spiral motion, and so much more. Will never forget this!
Steve Karle proposes an emotional journey between dream and reality. The aquatic treatment is a good way to restore trust and confidence for people suffering of claustrophobia or aqua phobia. This parenthesis helps to forget the outside world and to focus on yourself in order to restore the balance of the body as well as the peace of the soul.
I had a course of treatments with Steve Karle which helped me emotionally and allowed me to dive deep into my unconscious mind and work through unresolved processes. Steve’s listening skills showed great empathy and sensitivity and the absence of judgement from his side enabled me to express without resistance. This could sound more like psychotherapy even though his main focus was aquatic bodywork but this was the beauty of it. I have discovered how much of the memories in our psyche are deeply embedded within the body and how liberation can only happen when both mind and body are held with deep awareness of their intrinsic connection. I was suffering from PTSD and through the sessions I was able to unwind both physically and psychologically. I am very grateful to Steve.
Warm saltwater, soft live music and Steve’s gentle and sensitive touch and movement created a space where I felt safe and supported to let go and allow myself to connect deeply with my breath and inner landscape. I felt like a shimmering leaf dancing and playing with the wind. As the wind silenced, I found myself dropping down slowly… like a leaf rocking from side to side… down from its branch to the ground… into stillness.
I have had my first aquatic bodywork session with Steve yesterday. What can I say... You certainly crafted a unique immersive journey for me. Highly commendable, something one has to experience to be able to comprehend. I will ask for more, but for now I just like to enjoy the beautiful effects it has on my body and mind...
The treatment was blissful - a relaxing mix of weightlessness in a warm pool, with sound reverberating throughout your whole body and gentle manipulation by Steve Karle. Afterwards I felt lengthened, a pesky pain in my lower back had disappeared and I felt energised like I’d had ten hours sleep.
Quite possibly my favourite treatment I have ever had and the best hour’s escape from all the noise. Aquatic bodywork with the super talented Steve Karle. You become all zero gravity and go into the deepest relaxation: my limbs moved without my mind - so weird - so wonderful. Dreaming of my next go...
Being held and supported while floating effortlessly through the water shifted my perception of the element deeply. When I go for a swim now or even when taking a bath, the way the water touches my skin with tenderness and strength, makes me feel like I am back in the pool with Steve. After many different kinds of bodywork and energetic process sessions, I can say that I’ve never been able to let go so gently.
My first session: as soon as I let go, I could feel the energy. A bright shine, sparkling and glittering like the golden sun on the calm ocean. Following the movements it sometimes rushed down my spine, from head to toe, and sometimes rocked in smooth ways from left to right, up and down. In the moment, when the energy goes in spirals around me, I feel no boundaries, no limits to body and spirit. Completely free. Thank you Steve.
Our first experience of aquatic bodywork has also been educational. A sensory exploration of body and soul - a therapy session encouraging full trust and relaxation and releasing our imaginations...
Specialist therapist Steve Karle guides me on a series of twists and turns, in what begins to resemble underwater ballet. By releasing muscle tension and encouraging flexibility of movement, Karle hopes to improve my posture and alignment. But the benefits are not purely physical; after 45 minutes I sit calmly in the water for half an hour as my mind and body slowly reconnect. I’ve not been so still and settled for years.
Steve is fully present and you feel the full-hearted love he puts into your treatment. At the same time he stays neutral as a person, gifting you with the possibility to experience the treatment in your very own, personal way. I felt lovingly held and cared for.
Steve has such a wonderful way of sharing this practice - total presence, a structural approach, but most importantly a sensitive, safe and gentle way of guiding people with or without water experience into total surrender. And he also makes room for sharing, improvisation and humour, which adds great value to the total experience.
...an earnest young man in a swimming shirt and shorts explains that he’ll be attaching floats to your legs and using cranio-sacral holds, among other things, while swirling your body through the water. “I will follow your body’s natural choreography,” he says, and does exactly that. It’s extraordinary and not for the self-conscious.
… or there’s Steve Karle, who is young, fit, and sort of extraordinary. He’s an aquatic body-worker whose new retreat for couples includes four hours of yoga-like stretching and a beginners’ masterclass involving you and your other half doing craniosacral therapy on each other. Then you all hop into the pool for watsu - a kind of private, wet threesome (stop it), where Karle observes the natural movement of your bodies and moves them in a dance-like journey. You’ll both emerge a little looser, a little happier and giggling like you used to.
A beautiful and powerful experience. For some moments you live in another world, with deep, strange, amazing sensations. Steve is the son of Neptune!
Warm water so comfortable and cocooning... feeling completely reassured by the movements Steve was guiding my body into... a sense of letting go appeared and the magic was there. Some old muscle tensions disappeared. The water throughout the session was like a deep cleansing procedure. Thank you deeply to Steve who has been a Master in that experience of well-being.
My session with Steve Karle was amongst the best treatments I’ve ever had.
An extra-ordinary experience: a magical dance of the body, mind and soul. Words can’t describe it. It was like taking a magic pill that sent me straight to the moon!
... bravely I took myself to the South Kensington Club, lowered myself into the Sicilian sea water, heated to 35C, and allowed myself to be manoeuvred by a young, handsome and, I happened to notice, exceptionally toned man in a wetsuit. It was the most extraordinary hour of my life: never have I felt so calm.
Having had Watsu treatments in the past I sort of knew what to expect, however, a session in the pool with Steve Karle is a very different experience. He works using a combination of intuition, body analysis and short discussion pre-treatment. He moves the body through the water as he gains an insight into your posture and flexibility. He’ll then gently stretch and flex the muscles to improve mobility. The minutest movement, stretch and turn worked wonders. But it wasn’t all sweetness and light. It was contrasted with vigorous swirls and turns in and out of the water. Totally different to a choreographed Watsu treatment, this was out of this world.
... a combination of Watsu (water shiatsu), Alexander Technique, Craniosacral Therapy and sound therapy devised by a genius called Steve Karle, has been known to make grown men weep like babies, though being swished around the specially designed pool for an hour had rather a cheering effect on me. This is a spa to make Asklepios, the Greek god of medicine, proud.
Steve was very good at putting me at ease, there was a sense of full trust the minute he started the treatment. It was an extraordinary experience of relaxation: calm yet dynamic with incredible stretches and spinal adjustments. I am coming back.
I just had 3 wonderful sessions with Steve during my retreat in Amanzoe. It was like exploring a new dimension of inner peace, relaxation and stretching. The under water experience was pure bliss.
My session with Steve was totally different from what I had expected. It was like a roller coaster into the ocean. The water removed both the tension in my body as well as in my mind, it was a kind of detox.
The pool measures 4x4 but when you close your eyes, it becomes an ocean.
Last time you found yourself in a heated pool at night with a man you had just met, it ended with a pounding headache and a guilty feeling that was hard to shake. This time will be different. Wet-suit-wearing certified practitioner Steve Karle guides you through gentle stretches and water dance moves combined with underwater shiatsu. The weightless floating alleviates pressure from muscles and joints and sends you into a meditative state. It’s not cheap but we promise you won’t regret it.