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Explorations in Awareness Through the Body. The wisdom of the body is in each of us… What is Awareness Through the Body?
Imagine a group of children seated quietly in a circle on the floor, each with a large sheet of newspaper. Silently, they gently smooth out the newspaper, noticing any signs of stress in the paper, perhaps a fold mark, or a small tear. The teacher tells them to crumple the newspaper, then let it go. It expands from a tight ball to a looser one. Then, the children are instructed to smooth the newspaper out, noticing again how it changed in shape, size, texture, orientation. With these sensory landmarks in place, the children make the same shapes with their bodies – first scrunching up tightly, then opened up and smooth. With earnest concentration the children twist and scrunch the newspaper and then twist and scrunch themselves until each is “crumpled” like their newspaper. When everyone is tight and closed the teacher asks them to slowly relax their bodies until they are as smoothed out as their newspaper was in the beginning.
The newspaper activity is only one of a hundred or more experiences in Awareness Through the Body that blend an appeal to the senses, body, mind, and emotions to make the qualities like concentration, relaxation, and mindfulness real for the students. As they learn to recognize for themselves when they are “scrunched” or relaxed they are more able to be aware of, and to take control over their own actions and responses. Awareness Through the Body (ATB) is an integral yoga practice that enhances concentration, relaxation and self-knowledge in children and adults.
ATB provides tools for teachers, coaches, counselors, parents, and therapists of all disciplines, who work with folks of any age, to help their students/clients develop their capacities for calm attention, self-knowledge, and progress towards a balance of the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of experience. By synthesizing exercises from yoga, martial arts, dance, and mindfulness approaches into an original and developmentally appropriate series of sequential activities, ATB can enable children and adults to become more self-aware and self-confident. The activities can be quiet or lively, simple or complicated, profound or just plain fun. And best of all, you can experience it for yourself in this real-time, virtual certificate course.
Mindfulness involves noticing the thoughts that arise in consciousness, and letting them take their course without judgement. This noticing without judgement helps free the mind to express itself, eventually helping to quiet the stream of thoughts that can contribute to anxiety and stress. In a similar way, Awareness Through the Body takes the capacity of people to “notice” – to use attention for observing only, without becoming attached to what has been observed – and broadens the application beyond mindfulness (awareness of the mind) to put the body itself as the object of attention.
Awareness Through the Body is an integrative yoga practice, which means it blends the wisdom of yoga with aspects of dance, bodywork, mindful meditation, and new games in a way that encourages individuals to explore:
ATB has been designed to help adults and children experience the existence of an inner and outer space, and of being present in both simultaneously. ATB is made up of exercises that to refine and internalise the senses, and activities that encourage participants to become aware of what happens within us as we experience the world. Using each of our senses in a more complete way, free from judgement and preconceived ideas, we are better able to think well, move well, and live well.
ATB helps on this learning journey by offering interesting and fun activities for refining the senses, identifying and managing thoughts and emotions, becoming better attuned to others, and in a sense creating our own “owner’s manual”. Playing with ATB can help both adults and children practice the skills to self-regulate, integrate new knowledge and experiences, and to connect to the world and each other in more meaningful ways. Learn more about Awareness Through the Body at https://awarenessthroughthebody.wordpress.com/
This certificate is ideal for in-service teachers, counselors, and other professional educators in both private and public schools, as well as informal education/wellness settings.
Each session will be offered through Zoom (a video conference) and will last 90 minutes; these are scheduled at a time that works for all participants. Lessons will include a combination of embodied practices, collaborative discussions, information sharing, and reflection.
This course is an exploration of ATB in the context of Integral Bodywork and does not replace the ATB Facilitator Courses available through Auroville and listed at https://awarenessthroughthebody.wordpress.com/
Following successful completion of this certificate course, participants will be able to:
To qualify and receive a course certificate, students must complete the following:
To stay informed about this course offering, info@TLCommunity.org
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