Foraging and gathering plant medicines from Nature calls for our engagement on a physical level. The way we respond to our environment, how we move physically, speaks to our awareness of what's present in our environment and it speaks to our internal environment as well. Engaging with Nature offers up a multitude of opportunities for healing and deepened awareness of who we are, why we're here, and what we're being called to do at this time.
John's background in movement arts such as hatha yoga, capoeira, tai chi, chi gung, and other Chinese internal martial arts has led to a deepened awareness of how our bodies relate to the world around us, and how we can move less encumbered, more fluidly and efficiently, and more powerfully. Employing these principles through movement within the natural world pulls information from our surroundings, feeding, healing, and enlivening our nervous system, while energetically grounding and harmonizing our electromagnetic bodies.
In these workshops, we explore the natural world through our senses and the natural movements of our bodies. We get close to the ground, move over and across rocks, logs, and earth. We take simple movements and break them down, slowly. We open ourselves to receiving information through our tactile senses, while taking notice of limitations in our bodies, and inspiration towards movement which comes from the earth, from Gaia herself.
Chi is another important aspect of these workshops. As we develop a feeling sense for the chi we can begin to utilize it more effectively in our movement, utilize it for healing, and expand our awareness beyond our physical bodies. Chi is a subtle energy yet it's power moves through all things, and can move all things. Chi cultivation and awareness will be woven into all the workshops.
Each workshop will feature a variety of movement trainings and chi development exercises within the natural world. During our "breaks" we'll explore a medicinal or edible plant in our midst and break down some key aspects of what these plants are will to teach us and share with us. As we become engaged physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually with our environment our awareness opens up and information can come in through a variety of avenues. Each workshop will offer some plant knowledge and a variety of perspectives on how these plants can affect our lives.
In this Basics in Balance workshop we'll explore a variety of balance exercises which bring us into contact with the rich natural textures of our environment. We'll develop our senses through a single point of contact, or edges of contact, with the earth, logs, branches, rocks, drainage banks, or whatever else we find. The reliability of our home and work environments in our man-made world deprive us from exercising our complex nervous systems in a continual feedback loop as is done in Nature when the terrain is uneven, and all objects are richly textured. Balance is not a state but a continual work in progress, always seeking new information.
The goal of this workshop is to open us up to a wider spectrum of possibilities, enhance our mental, emotional, and physical well-being, and deepen our awareness of and relationship with the local environment. Integrating specific knowledge gathering with movement training in Nature adds a complexity which aids tremendously in our neurological development, our ability to retain new information, and our continued well being.
This workshop is for anyone interested in plants (herbalists, foragers, botanists, etc.) who enjoys moving through nature and would like to become more mobile, stabile, and integrated in their everyday movements. You'll integrate these principles and movements into your daily functional movement, and, maybe, you'll start moving even more once you remember how good it feels. Open to those of various disciplines of movement seeking to explore a new terrain.
This workshop does not require a high level of physical conditioning, but it does require full use of one's body. If you currently require an assistive device (cane, walker, wheelchair, etc.), unfortunately, this workshop won't serve your current needs.
Bring ample water to drink, and a packed lunch if you'd like to stay and enjoy lunch together upon the conclusion of the workshop. Clothing and footwear should be flexible and allow for a wide variety of movements. Be prepared to get close to the ground, on the ground, and moving through uneven and potentially wet terrain. Be prepared to explore your limitations, safely, and enter into uncomfortable positions to shed light where your awareness may not be accustomed to.