Every moment in life we function through our bodies. Our breathing, posture, movement, the way we hold ourselves altogether, influence our whole presence, the way we think, feel and perceive the world and ourselves. In academia often more importance is given to a person’s mind, to knowledge, explanation and understanding. Without being integrated with the body this knowledge becomes abstract and distant from life. In such a situation we do not really feel involved and truly fulfilled. Disembodied, we become ungrounded in ourselves and can easily feel lost in the information flow, options seem infinite: what to focus on, where to go, what is our path and true interest. Reintegration of the body is also a way towards our own authority, our own truth. In the body we find out what is real for us, what really matters. Generally speaking, through practices of embodiment we train a kind of synchronisation between the body and mind.

The basis of this workshop is learning to pay attention to the body, its subjective experiences and how they influence who we are, and thus to be actively responsible for one’s own life and well-being. This process involves paying attention to the present moment, without trying to make it be different than what it is – this way of being honestly present can be described as embodied and unified attention. Training attention we expand our choices: when we become aware of what is happening our choices move from unconscious automatisms to mindful decisions. With our choices we sculpt our lives. This class will combine movement, awareness and other embodiment practices, as well as give some theoretical insights. We become what we practice, so training awareness, expanding our movement and breathing capacities, we learn to embody new ways of being, because body is not a fixated being, it is a process, in constant movement.

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“Into the body” can also be offered as a course with an extended curriculum of exercises, theoretical discussions and practices, that aim to raise body awareness and enable students to become more conscious of their own perceptions and abilities, of the inner resources of strength, silence and presence whatever the outer circumstances, as well as encourage concentration, focus, relaxation. Such course offers a way to discover the existing connections between mind, perception, expression, emotions, behaviour and the physical body and to integrate these different parts into a more harmonious whole.

Images from working with students at Bard College Berlin, Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts, Greifswald University