My Story

Erik Emanuel Fenz "Bodhi"

I was born on September 7, 1960 in Boulder Colorado. I spent my formative childhood years living in Europe where I developed an early interest in the healing arts from my eccentric Austrian grandmother who treated her rheumatism by rolling around in stinging nettles. She used to make many healing remedies from “magic” plants and flowers that grew near her little medieval castle in the mountains of South Tyrol Italy.

During long walks in the surrounding forests we would often sit alongside an ancient trail and she would read stories to me by Hermann Hesse, Rainier Maria Rilke and others. These tales, particularly Siddhartha, inspired in me an interest in spirituality that eventually led me to Thailand, Bali and northern India. Throughout my off-road travels I began discovering a different world, meeting people who lived in a very different way, with different values. They had just the basic necessities and yet were very happy people. No psychological problems.

These journeys and others I took with friends and family became a means of coming into relationship with others and myself that was far removed from the limiting beliefs of my “conditioned”, sheltered upper-middle class upbringing. It brought me a deepened sense of awareness of the world that has given me the ability to relate to a wide range of people and bring a rich sense of humanity to my bodywork practice.

I am the oldest of five siblings. I have two sisters and two brothers who live in Europe the United States and Israel. My mother Karin, a retired nurse, is from the old whaling town of Sandefjord Norway. Her father Otto was a whaler who sailed around the South Pole and often spent years at a time at sea. My father Emanuel was a European history professor born and raised in Florence Italy and the mountains of South Tyrol, Italy. His father Johann was a minister and the founding director of a Seventh Day Adventist College and book-publishing firm. 

Before becoming a bodyworker I owned a small business in Mill Valley, California and worked part time as a professional exhibition skydiver for the Miller High Life Skydiving Team. I also worked for a time as a commercial helicopter pilot/flight instructor and once circumnavigated the United States using a hand held GPS and by reading road signs. In my seemingly endless desire for ever increasing levels of stimulation, I explored B.A.S.E. jumping in the early pioneering days of the sport, leaping off cliffs and towers with a parachute on my back and overwhelming fear in my heart. These experiences taught me that when I have come to my “edge” and stepped through challenges that have scared me the most, I have gained innumerable benefits.  I learned to “feel the fear” and do it anyway. It also taught me the willingness to grow and “let go” of things that no longer serve me.

After surviving a near fatal helicopter accident by “flying” to the bottom of an alligator inhabited lake, I spent a couple years recovering in a Zen Community near San Francisco and at the Esalen Institute along the coast of Big Sur California. There, I discovered the healing power of transformative bodywork and the desire to live a more meaningful life by helping others learn the “art” and yoga of living in their bodies. 

I have worked with thousands of individuals from all walks of life including many world-class athletes, students of yoga and meditation, professional dancers, artists, actors, writers and business people. Physicians, musicians, Roshis, Rabbis and Rinpoches, and many “ordinary” people who appreciate long-lasting, transformative bodywork.

Erik has over 21 years worldwide experience, as a body worker. He is a certified Advanced Rolfer ™  and Biodynamic Craniosacaral therapist, with over 3000 hours of training in Deep Tissue Therapy, Polarity Therapy and Somatic Emotional Clearing. He trained at the Heartwood and Esalen Institutes in California and the Rolf Institute in both Europe and the U.S. He also completed the 3-year 700 Hour Franklyn Sills Biodynamic Craniosacral training in Boulder, Colorado. Erik is a long-time practitioner of Zen meditation, Vedanta, Iyengar Yoga and Jingui chi gung. He has been jumping out of airplanes for over 36 years, offering a unique perspective on “heightened states of calm awareness” and the phenomenon of fear