Mind-Body Disunity

It seems like decorating for All Hallows Eve is no longer something only for shops and schools to do. Dressing up a window, front door, balcony, yard, or even an entire house seems to be spreading. Is it like that where you are?

As an ardent osteophile — someone who loves bones — I particularly enjoy seeing skeletons strewn about in all sorts of entertaining poses and situations. (Come to think of it, spying skeletal remains in a neighbor’s yard at any other time of the year would be truly spooky and quite possibly terrifying.)

The ornaments of the season extend far beyond skeletons, of course. There are ghouls, graveyards, zombies, bats, spiders of all sizes, and other scary creatures galore. 

However, it was the juxtaposition of skeletons and ghosts that got me thinking.

On the one hand, you have specters, the visible disembodied spirits of the departed ranging from sinister phantoms to friendly ghosts, floating and flying around. These dynamic apparitions stand for incorporeal beings; they are pure essence without any need for body or biology.

And on the other, you have (if you’ll pardon the pun) the bare bones of a being. There is no brain, nervous system, muscles, connective tissue, nor the slightest evidence of digestive, respiratory, circulatory, or immune systems. Historically, when we consider these inanimate compressive, supportive elements of vertebrate architecture on their own, they appear as symbols of pirates, poison, and death. 

In horror stories, fantasy movies, animated epics, and Halloween imagination, these breathless boney remains, divorced entirely from flesh and soul, are somehow able to move all on their own. Consider, for instance, Ray Harryhausen’s classic stop-action animation of the infamous fighting skeletons in the 1963 Jason and the Argonauts movie? [Click on the image below to watch the video.]

These specters and skeletons represent a supernatural split of the body from the mind (or spirit), a division of psyche from soma. This annual holiday presents an unreal situation, the opposite of what my students and I are interested in: living an embodied life, one in which we realize our potential for mind and body unity.

Please join me to celebrate Halloween this weekend for Dem Bones 2021, a celebration of living anatomy. I’ll be offering a couple of fun, festive, and family-friendly Feldenkrais® lessons about breathing better! 

These lessons will give you a chance to:

  • Find out how your muscles and skeleton make breathing happen.
  • Discover your multilevel house of breath.
  • Unlock your habits.
  • Develop the range of your respiratory repertoire.
  • Realize your potential to breathe easier.

If you exercise, practice yoga, or not, whether you’re a meditator, martial artist, musician, or furniture mover, whatever your level of activity, you’ll find out what it takes to breathe better.

To make it convenient and easy to sign up, the 2021 Dem Bones workshop is taking place twice:

  • Saturday, 30 October 2021
    From 5:00 to 7:15 PM Pacific time
  • Sunday, 31 October 2021
    From 9:30 to 11:45 AM Pacific time 

[To find out when the workshops are happening where you are, please click here.]

Please click here for more information and to sign up.

On Sunday, I’ll be presenting a Postmortem — a professional program for Feldenkrais teachers and trainees — during which we will:

  • Debrief what happened during the workshop.

  • Decode the ATM lessons.

  • Discuss the underlying learning logic.

You will have a chance to unpack the lessons, participate in the conversation about them, and, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced teacher, further your understanding of the strategies, tactics, and techniques that comprise Moshe’s method. 

During this professional program, I let you in on my process of constructing the curriculum, which is based on approaching the classic SEE-SAW BREATHING ATMs in a new way. I will also support you in fleshing out your insights, developing your way of understanding, and integrating what you are learning into your personal ATM practice, the classes you teach, and the clients you see.

The POSTMORTEM session happens on:

  • Sunday, 31 October 2021
    From 3:00 to 5:15 PM Pacific time 

[To find out when the workshops are happening where you are, please click here.]

Please click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for more information and to sign up.

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  1. My thoughts: a surrealist sky rocket travel around Moshe, Feldenkrais practicioners and bones, built on questions and answers, just to myself. I wonder: —Where can we find Moshe’s bones? Certainly a full skeleton in a graveyard, somewhere in Israel. —Is it OK to exumate his remains and reproduce a skeleton model to spread around the world? —By the way, can the Feldenkrais community keep his real skeleton in a glass cage? —Just to visit and watch? —I mean: Israel doesn’t need more places of worship and devotion… —A cage to travel around the world; Feldenkrais traveling bones! — To move around, to tame the surrounding space, the main function of bones! —That’s the point! … …