It Starts With the Body

In yesterday’s HVS Movement Study video, I offered an explanation for how “embodiment” and “somatic” work weave together in our ideal practice, whether that practice is for our own personal growth, for learning in a classroom or studio, or for leading into somatic work within a therapeutic space.

In my years of teaching, I have come to understand those whose first language, their way of being and of knowing, stems from the body as well as those who still innately hold body wisdom but it is primarily a learned experience before it is a lived one. Both paths lead to further learning and deepening, particular through practice yet for those who are of the latter group, there can be barriers to clearly understanding how to engage those they are teaching or counseling or parenting into a body-based experience.

The path to embodiment requires us to take an “as if” position until our practice of living physically transforms into our way of life. This can be a barrier or a tricky step when adopting a new posture, especially when doing it publicly such as in front of our students, clients, peers.

The series of videos I am sharing this week all deal with engagement in order to develop ease in that embodiment of somatic work. Connecting to ourselves, connecting with others.

It begins with starting at the “person” level of the work. Acknowledging our own existence. Then acknowledging the existence of others. In my book, this is the root of social-emotional awareness. It starts with the body.


Author: Heather Vaughan-Southard

HEATHER VAUGHAN-SOUTHARD is a connector. She uses somatic engagement and creativity to inspire change in people, perspectives, and practices within classrooms, therapy rooms, and boardrooms. She is a presenter in the fields of education, social-emotional learning, somatic practice, and the arts.

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