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EMBODIED ANATOMY: taking your study off the page and into your body

Exploring the body from within and focusing on felt-sensations and experience fosters a deeper connection to our bodymind.


What is embodied anatomy?

Embodied anatomy is a somatic practice that asks us to gather information about our body systems and structures from our own direct experience. Compared to conventional methods of learning anatomy that rely on things like images, models, and dissection material, embodied anatomy asks us to investigate our anatomy as we ourselves experience it. For example, we each of us know cognitively that we have a skeleton made of the dynamic cellular processes of bone, but what is it like to pay attention to the presence of our bones? What kind of vocabulary comes up, images, stories and ideas?


What does the study of embodied anatomy involve?

We start from the traditional means of learning using books, models, videos etc, and then make use of multiple creative methods like exploratory movement, hands-on techniques, drawing, modelling, inner body dialogues, and visualisations. Through this process, we develop a multi-layered and entirely individual lived-understanding of our body.


What are the benefits?

Apart from the joy of the creative process and the integration of recognised anatomical information, we gain a deeper, more nuanced body-awareness which can serve us both on and off the mat. We become empowered to trust our own knowledge and as a result we find fascinating new ways of initiating movement and finding support for movement. Our vocabulary becomes enriched and this enhances our way of speaking about the body and inviting ourselves and others into movement practices.


Importantly, we discover the artistry and philosophy of our body.



 

If your learning is enhanced by feeling and doing, or you want to deepen your anatomical knowledge for yourself (and your students), or you're ready to trust the grace and wisdom of your own body maps, then you might like these introductory days I offer through Barefoot Body: Embodied Anatomy: The Organ Series (online in 2023). We'll be looking at the heart and lungs/blood and breath system, the soft spine of the digestive tract, and the organic psoas support of the kidney/bladder connection.




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