The Elemental Body: A Movement Guide to Kinship with Ourselves and the Natural World

by Elaine Colandrea and Rori Smith

With The Elemental Body you will craft a personal understanding of how the four elements essential to life – Air, Earth, Fire and Water – weave together within your body and your environment.

Beauty, movement, nature and art are completely enmeshed in the journey you will take with this guidebook. The soul-stirring wonderment of life expressing itself – both intrinsic and extraordinary – is paramount in what we share with you. 

Through embodied explorations from the somatic practice Continuum, you will investigate movement, breath, sound and creativity; fostering inquiry in all aspects of your being, awakening you to kinship with the natural world and the artistry in all life.


About the Authors

Elaine Colandrea’s abiding interest in the transformative capacity of the body led to a master’s degree in Dance Education from Columbia University and careers in dance/choreography, somatic education and bodywork. Authorized to teach Continuum by Emilie Conrad and Susan Harper, Elaine offers workshops from New York’s Hudson Valley, teaches regularly in Italy and has been an invited presenter at Associazione CranioSacrale Italia, Dharmakaya Center for Wellbeing, ISMETA, Omega Institute and Shantigar Foundation.

Elaine’s deep passion for bringing together somatic practice and artistic expression guided the creation of Watermark Arts. As Artistic Director of Watermark Arts, Elaine curates digital art galleries; produces exhibitions, films and performances; publishes an annual journal and hosts conferences and workshops. The inquiry closest to her heart is how the somatic arts foster healthy relationships with oneself, others and the natural world.

Rori Smith is an artist, somatic movement educator and researcher of bodily experience. She holds a master’s degree in Dance from Temple University and is currently a doctoral student in Dance & Philosophy at The University of Maine. Her work explores the nature of sensation, how our senses connect us with our environment and the ethics of this relationship. Rori has been immersed in Continuum since 2014, a practice that grounds her in the subtlety of each lived moment. In service to the somatic arts community, she writes and edits for Watermark Arts.

To contact the authors, send a note to:

Praise for The Elemental Body

“The somatic practice Continuum is a way to know the richness of our interiority; to know ourselves to be participants in the heart and imagination of creation. Elaine Colandrea has spent decades exploring creativity in its myriad expressions, directly informed by the intelligence and beauty of the natural world. Elaine and Rori Smith offer a treasure trove of evocative experiences, art and poetry that kindle an embodied, generative journey of transformation.” – Susan Harper, Founder of Continuum Montage, seminal contributor to Continuum since 1975

“The Elemental Body is a deep dive into creativity itself. I am transported directly into an experience of mystery and a felt sense of being an integral part of the natural world. In our busy lives, we often miss the simple truths that emerge from pausing and steeping our bodies in the larger scope of natural life. As you explore these artistic adventures, you will be ushered into unexpected revelations of beauty and wholeness to explore again and again.” – Beth Pettengill Riley, Continuum teacher and co-author of A Moving Inquiry, the Art of Personal Practice 

“The Elemental Body is an exquisite guide to the territory of your wilderness within. Immersion in the insights and practices in this book offers an opportunity to open your senses, remember your interconnectedness with the natural world and creatively participate with your life.” – Bonnie Gintis, Osteopathic Physician, Continuum teacher and author of Engaging the Movement of Life: Exploring Health and Embodiment Through Osteopathy and Continuum