Connect
To Top

Hidden Gems: Meet Prue Jeffries of Body of Wonder and Surf the Flow

Today we’d like to introduce you to Prue Jeffries.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Water, nature, creativity, wellbeing and travel have been my greatest passions in life. I have been fortunate to be able to combine them all in various ways.
In my high school years, I delved deep into poetry, metaphysics, and philosophy. I was happiest in the library reading David Bohm or an Auden poem and looking at an atlas. Reading Krishnamurti at 14 had a significant impact on me. At the same time I was immersed in art and photography, and playing many sports, but one – surfing started to take all my focus. I needed several outlets to balance the artistic, athletic, mental and spiritual dimensions of myself. I found surfing satisfied the artistic, the athletic and the spiritual through communing with nature and the ocean.

At 17 years old, I deferred university to pursue a pro-surfing career in 1990. That started about 16 years of traveling the world searching for waves, training and competing, on what is now known as the World Surf League. I was ranked 6th in the world, won two silver medals at the World Surfing Games, and a number of contests such as the Margaret River Masters. I also co-founded an international women’s clothing line, and was a writer and editorial consultant for various worldwide surf publications. I planned editorial trips to exotic locations, made films and helped organize women’s surf events. During my career, I took a brief hiatus and paddled outrigger canoes in races such as the 41 mile Na Wahine O Ke Kai. I loved the Hawaiian culture and heritage of canoe paddling and the challenge of traversing long distances in the open ocean and various changing waterway conditions. The endurance and focus needed, and the blending as a team and responding to changing elements, left a lasting impression on me.

Through all my travels and training – I kept building on the passions I had for nature, wellness, and metaphysics. I was integrating holistic and natural approaches into my training before they were really accepted, or widespread in the way they are today. So it was unique at the time. I also used different methods to take care of my own health when I was competing. I was fortunate to be able to call on experienced exercise physiologists and people from many different backgrounds and knowledge. My coach was an Olympic Kayaker with a Phd in outdoor experiential education and interest in eco-tourism, another was a dedicated Yogi, and the other an Olympic Snowboarding coach, again in the days before all these ideas and approaches had caught fire. This is in the late 80’s to early 90’s. I also had my grandfather who trained Olympic Wrestlers. So from my birth, I was immersed in movement, connecting and perceiving the body and wellbeing. My travels took me to countries and places where we would often visit traditional healers for treatments. My mum and I were very close and she was also into health and worked in the medical field.

These influences saw me build on my surfing career into organizing surfing and stand up paddling retreats that connect with cultures and unique places, and with a holistic focus combining gentle movement meditation sessions. I have a SUP ( Stand Up Paddling) Retreat planned for Malta in 2022. Its a place I feel a deep connection with, its fascinating, ancient and has some of the most amazing water. So that is the www.surftheflow.com aspect of what I do.

I also teach meditation and movement which I had used extensively in my surfing career and life. I have now worked from the base of 40 years of surfing, training and coaching, with 18 years as a bodyworker and teacher conducting workshops, retreats and practitioner trainings as www.bodyofwonder.com. I have always enjoyed uplifting, supporting and developing people – it’s a passion of mine.

I have an approach I have developed called Flow Awareness™ and I will be starting a practitioner training this year. I also provide Biodynamic Craniosacral sessions and trainings, as I am a Registered Craniosacral Therapist and Approved Teacher. I also teach group classes and workshops as a Registered Somatic Movement Educator in a movement approach called Continuum. It is gentle and deeply restorative work where we learn to listen to our bodies’ natural internal movements using breath, sound and movement. A lot of my focus is around building resiliency, self awareness and better self-regulation.

What I love about these practices is that my affinity with water and waveforms is in all of them. As a surfer for almost 40 years, a canoe paddler and from a lineage of sailors – it’s visceral. For me it is an evolutionary imperative, a deep calling of this natural underlying, implicit reality that exists within nature. I have let the ocean, the rivers, the waves, dolphins, whales, the birds – the earth, and the movements of life inform me. I like to share that through the sessions, classes, workshops and retreats.

We were conceived and carried for 9 months in water, and our bodies are about 70% water. So when I work with clients or I teach – we are connecting deeply to our own waters and the movement of our life-force within them. Water – the ocean is often used as a metaphor for unity or oneness. We can connect to this through our own internal waters in a felt-sense way, and experience a natural sense of flow and better self-regulation. So the work I do as a therapist and teacher has a more contemplative quality to it, in that it is a form of deep listening to the subtle nuances of life.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
There was a long list of challenges in my surfing career – being a woman was one, and coming from a family that didn’t have the economic means to support. Women in my time were not paid well, if at all. So I worked full-time jobs with massive levels of overtime. But I made it work somehow. We had a lot of adventures and travelled into places not well known, even dangerous at the time. A challenge for me was that I was passionate about the overall welfare of women’s surfing. So this leads me to co-creating a clothing line, editorial consulting and more. I often spread myself thin with exuberance and purpose. I had a number of health and injury issues to overcome in a pressured competitive environment that had little support. It really taught me a lot and I got stronger from it all eventually.

A lot of what directed me on my path working with people was some very personal, internal experiences. I like to be balanced in what I do. I made sure I looked for education to continue to polish and refine what I had. I think by placing myself in those situations of learning and doing personal work – of course, its a challenge, as you must be vulnerable yourself. Which is what clients go through. Therapists and teachers are not supposed to be teflon coated or perfect. It’s their humanness that is an important base to have. So I like to embrace my humanness – it’s challenging and also rewarding.

I spent the early years of my practice doing a lot of volunteer work for some heartbreaking situations for people. It was fulfilling, often sad, sometimes happy and challenging to see what people were going through. I felt it important to be grounded in this for my own development as a therapist and teacher. Learning how to be with the range of human conditions and suffering, and not push it away. It builds a certain strength. I do tend to like challenges.

Obviously, the pandemic was very challenging for all of us in different ways. Not being able to see people I love and work was hard. I did tried to keep busy with volunteering on arts and teaching projects. I also lost family during it and could not travel to see them. I focused on what I could do – rather than what I couldn’t. That carried me far.

I am spontaneous, and at the same time a patient and process oriented being. I see all of life as an ongoing process. So I am often looking at the broader picture, the process and also the details and how they fit, when needed. It’s a different pace and way of being. It’s not always understood, as our world tends to value the fast paced and rewards that come with.

We’ve been impressed with Body of Wonder and Surf the Flow, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Body of Wonder
Exploring the nature of wholeness and health.

Body of Wonder offers practitioner training programs in Flow Awareness™ & Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy.

Classes and workshops in Somatic Movement Education and Continuum, and retreats and private sessions are available to support living as full-bodied expressions of wholeness and wellbeing. Body of Wonder explores how we can deeply embrace ourselves as a dynamic emerging process. How can we live as an open experience and infinitely creative continuum? Can we find ways to acknowledge and be with challenging situations by embodying the everyday sublime of our existence?

Surf the Flow

Bespoke health and wellness retreats in select location around the world, lead by professional surfing champion , Registered Somatic Movement Educator and Teacher Prue Jeffries with colleagues and friends. The retreats are designed to develop flexibility and resiliency by exploring inner and outer worlds. They blend a mixture of guided health activities such as surfing, stand up paddling, kayaking and hiking in beautiful natural locations, with different wellness practices such as meditation and movement in order to foster a greater sense of wellbeing and connection with life. Enjoying local cultures, nature, places of history, archeology and art are a feature in each retreat. In order to lesson the impact on locations – retreats are kept to intimate numbers for quality experiences.

Any big plans?
I have a 2-year Craniosacral training occurring at present. So I am very happy I could get that moving forward safely for everyone during the pandemic. I think people feel better in a crisis – or hard times – if they can have a sense of at least moving forward.
I am really looking forward to starting the practitioner training for Flow Awareness™. It’s been a long time in gestation. So I am working on the program and getting that started towards the Fall.

I am looking forward to returning to Malta for wellness retreats, as long as it is safe. I had such an amazing time there on a photography trip that I knew I wanted to bring people to share in its magic. I had just taken a small group in 2019 before the pandemic started. So I plan to do a SUP & Wellness Retreat there in September/October 2022. We will do paddles each day exploring the coastline, good food, sightseeing of neolithic cultural sites, and some restorative movement. A retreat where people come to connect, feel good and grow.

I will also offer a deeper more contemplative depths retreat in Malta where moving meditation is the focus, and we add some kayaking, walking and sightseeing,

I am also planning an Australian Retreat for Surfing & SUP Wellness. More locations will be added as hopefully we can manage covid more safely,

So those are my plans for now – Practitioner Trainings, Workshops & Wellness Retreats.

I also spend a lot of personal time hiking, and adventuring in natural places and taking photos. I will have a few projects and adventures in the future, as I am very passionate about art and nature in my life.

Contact Info:

 


Image Credits

Tiffany Morgan-Campbell
Prue Jeffries

Suggest a Story: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Local Stories