THE HEART OF PERCEPTION
about the course
You work with bodies — your own and others’. You try to help folks move, perceive, and inhabit their bodies more skillfully. How do these skills arise?
How can a person find their own path into embodiment?
This class is about the breakthrough moments in that process — how to prime a mind for a richer connection with the body. We will be drawing connections between disparate and deep methods. We will weave together insights from modern embryology, fascial anatomy, and somatic neuroscience.
We will highlight some profound relationships between traditions like Yoga, Martial arts, Meditation, as well as more recent schools like Somatics and Contact Improv. We’ll meld the scientific and artistic aspects of the mind-body connection.
Whether your interest in embodiment is clinical, creative, expressive, or exploratory, this class will deepen your perceptual skills.
We’ll be focusing on the Heart, both in terms of its precise anatomy and its metaphorical significance. Participants will leave with new skills and insights in:
Guided meditation with a somatic focus — ‘Surfaces and Centers’
The embryologic origins of the heart, pericardium, diaphragm, and vagus nerves.
Palpation of the pericardium-diaphragm
Guided embryologic movement
Postural observation and standing palpation for fulcrums/pivots
Building a meaningful perceptual framework with a client/patient/performer
what is embodiment?
Embodiment is an exciting new field of study, with numerous useful approaches. For our purposes we define it as “The skill of perceiving, identifying with, and expressing the internal state of the body in the present moment.”
To speak in a grounded way about this subject, it helps to develop artful connections between different scientific modes:
From the perspective of embryology, how did this body form itself in the first place? What are the deep kinships between the body’s various tissues, and can awareness of these kinships instigate a richer experience of them?
From the perspective of somatic psychology, embodiment depends on certain conscious and subconscious processes. Are you aware of sensory changes in your body? Do you respond to them as gifts, as nuisances, as threats? Are you able to relate dynamically with other bodies, and with space?
From the perspective of neuroscience, the key processes are interoception, proprioception, and affective self-regulation. Where is the body in space? What are its physiologic signals? How does the brain integrate what it feels and how it feels about that information? Under what conditions do these brain systems learn/adapt? There is tremendous complexity in this field, but we can draw some careful inspiration for our daily embodiment practice.
continuing education certification
This 2.5-hour Continuing Education class is open to clinicians, movement teachers, somatic educators, and artists. It meets the WA state CE requirements for physical therapy and massage therapy.
NOTE: THIS VERSION IS ONLINE ONLY, but entitles you to attend a later in-person component (typically held in Seattle, WA)
You can expect the following to successfully complete the class:
Watch two 10-15 minute pre-videos prior to class
Attend a live 1.75 hour web class with lecture, demo, and QA session (link provided via email post-registration). A recording of the session will be provided at the end of class.
To participate you will need a phone or a webcam-enabled computer, and be available to participate in a focused way during the live class.
Complete a follow-up quiz to grant you a Continuing Education certificate
This 8-hour Continuing Education class is open to clinicians, movement teachers, somatic educators, and artists. It meets the WA state CE requirements for physical therapy and massage therapy.