Become Aware of Your Body and Yourself

We exist in a culture that encourages the betterment of self through productivity and accomplishment. It often feels like, busy == success. Living without break and without rest is not sustainable. We are not machines. We are animals. Animals with unique and highly specialized bodies. Use them. Use your body as a site of creative inquiry.

Your Homework

  1. Listen to and move with Hedy Tower in her practice¬† “Learn to Become Aware of Your Body and Yourself.” This recording has been digitized from vinyl; you will hear artifacts of that transfer. Hedy studied Ballet, Creative and Modern Dance. She was a solo dancer at the Theatre of Culture in Berlin, a Professor of Dance at the New School in NYC, and an accomplished performing artist of dance and pantomime.
    1. While Hedy leads you through movement exercises remember:
      1. This experience is for you and only you. Move in ways that feel good to your body. At times it might be difficult to understand what she is asking (there is no video), but try your best. No one is watching!
      2. Find a private space where you can move comfortably and freely.
      3. Wear comfy clothes.
      4. Listen
      5. Play
  2. Take a fifteen minute walk, it could be inside or outside. Practice soft focus.
    1. Soft focus is the physical state in which you allow the eyes to soften and relax so that you can take in many things instead of only one or two. By taking the pressure off of the eyes to be the dominant and primary information gatherer, the whole body starts to listen and gather information in new and more sensitized ways. In a culture governed by commodities and consumption and the glorification of the individual, we are taught to target what we want and then find a way to get it. Soft focus allows the world in. It comes to us, we don’t go to it.
  3. Reflect and respond to these exercises. Your answer should be approx. 300 words. Your response could be written only, however, if you want to incorporate drawing, music, or other media in your response, please do. Submit your responses to Canvas by 2:40 p.m. on Monday, September 21.
    1. What were you thinking at the beginning and at the end of the exercises? What shifted?
    2. What were you feeling at the beginning and at the end of the exercises? What changed?
    3. Did anything in particular come up for you? Ideas? Dreams? Nothing?
    4. Additional thoughts?

Practice extraordinary listening.