“The influence of a vital person vitalizes, there’s no doubt about it. The world without spirit is wasteland. People have the notion of saving the world by shifting things around, changing the rules, and who’s on top, and so forth. No, no! Any world is a valid world if it’s alive. The thing to do is to bring life to it, and the only way to do that is to find in your own case where the life is and become alive yourself.”
― Joseph Campbell
What is embodied learning?
I approach embodiment as a process of mindfully inhabiting one’s body and all the qualities that one is. It can be described as a kind of synchronisation between the body and mind. It is a practice of becoming rather than just thinking or talking about something. By embodied learning I mean a holistic approach to human learning, one that aims to connect different facets of human experience: the intellectual, emotional, physical and intuitive. Our culture encourages us to separate from aspects of ourselves. Often we feel one thing and think another. Or we spend our days sitting down, leaving behind our bodies, putting to sleep its capacities in joining and contributing to our thinking processes. Embodied learning stands for more honesty, simplicity and unity: individually, in relations to others, and within the environment. It aims to bring the whole person into the room, to unify human intelligence. Body is already one, it is not divided into departments as a university building. It expresses our life, history, culture. All of who we are is already there, and it stays in the constant process of becoming. Embodied learning experiences are designed to foster awareness and integration of this continuous and often unconscious process, and therefore also a choice.
My approach to learning and teaching is participatory, experimental and process-oriented. Depending on who are the participants and what is the subject, I choose different tools and combine various elements from movement, embodiment and physical presence practices, as well as creative expression in forms of drawing, painting, working with clay or other materials, voice and improvisational theatre. All of which are tools to engage the body in mindful and purposeful way, to learn to pay attention, to connect to ourselves and others, to be present to every moment, and to express ourselves honestly and freely.
Over the past 15 years I’ve been continuously searching for ways to combine my interests in sustainability, education, movement, and arts; for work that would be creatively and intellectually satisfying and that at the same time wouldn’t deny my physicality by making me sit all day long. Since 2009 I started building my work around the subjects of human learning, attention and creativity, with a holistic approach to wellbeing at its foundation. I’m offering individual sessions, workshops and classes, and I’m most interested in subjects like dealing with change, creativity, collaboration and personal sustainability. I work with people from different walks of life, cultures, and moments in time. Whatever our age, ethnic belonging, or professional path, our concerns in life are not so different. We all search for belonging (safety, connection, understanding) and becoming (risk, challenges, freedom), and a healthy balance between the two. Working with different age groups and across different disciplines are both the largest challenge and privilege of my work so far. I work in English, Spanish, Russian, German and French. Universities I went to, as well as teachers I’ve been learning from you will find in the Links section. Some of the clients I’ve worked with include Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts, the Do Lectures, Targetprocess, Meridian University, Agora School Roermond, European Kids Culture Month, Children Arts Center (KinderKünsteZentrum), Greifswald University, Evolve Magazine, Über den Tellerrand kochen.