Body Politic: How Do We Organize Ourselves?
An Āsana and Somatics Workshop
Sunday 1/17, 10am-12pm PST, 1-3pm EST
I’ll be teaching this workshop live over Zoom on 1/17, and your purchase will give you access to the recording through Sunday January 31st.
Practically speaking, this will be an open-level alignment-based vinyasa class, with intermediate pose offerings broken down in a workshop format. Students who feel ready will have the option to explore inversions including headstand and handstand, though these postures are not required to attend the class; there will be other opportunities for beginners to experiment with going upside down. We’ll start slow with a somatic exploration and see where we go.
The body politic can be defined as “the people of society considered collectively as an organized group of citizens.” Examples can be found throughout history, and the first recorded mention of such a metaphor is in the Ṛg Veda, the oldest known Vedic Sanskrit text. Its more archaic usages use biological metaphors for society, comparing it to the human body. Historically the body politic has been used to describe hierarchical structures. Western anatomy also arises out of hierarchical paradigms which inform how we conceive of our bodies, and thus how movement is taught. How do these ideas of hierarchical organization affect our movement possibilities, and our experiences of our bodies, in motion and in stillness?
What if we flipped the script, and reimagined our bodies as grassroots communities of cooperative agents? What if in our deepest sheaves we embody blissfully free, cooperative, spontaneous, egalitarian, and unmanaged intelligence? The body wisdom microcosm teaches us that body reality by its very nature is auto-organizing and non-local in its intelligence, rather than top-down. Each piece is has its own individual role to play, and yet remains paradoxically non-separate from the whole. Far from the false Cartesian overlay the western world has applied and our egos have adopted, our bodyminds are continuous and non-hierarchical. The revolution starts within each of us with this knowledge. Eckhart Tolle says, "Body awareness not only anchors you in the present moment, it is a doorway out of the prison that is the ego." The egoic prison writ large is the hierarchy and subjugation we see before us. Come unpack some of this at the body level with me!
All levels are welcome. You’ll be sent an optional Spotify playlist link with your registration.
Though not absolutely required, you’re encouraged to collect props that will support you in this class: a yoga mat, a couple of blocks or something like them, a strap or scarf, a couple of folded blankets or towels, a bolster or pillows. You can always improvise with what you have at home, and I’ll offer options as we go along.