A Fresh Perspective on Your Core

A note from Carl
So much of what delights and troubles you
Happens on a surface
You take for ground.
Your mind thinks your life alone,
Your eyes consider air your nearest neighbor,
Yet it seems that a little below your heart
There houses in you an unknown self
Who prefers the patterns of the dark
And is not persuaded by the eye’s affection
Or caught by the flash of thought.
-John O’Donohue
For The Unknown Self
For the past 30 years, a central thread that I have followed is an inquiry into what does it mean to move and live from the core, from the center? This inquiry is at the heart of martial arts and sitting meditation practice. It is at the center of the work of Ida Rolf and Moshe Feldenkrais and of the Focusing work of Gene Gendlin. Really, it is foundational to everything Erin and I practice and teach. How do we get under the surface and include and inhabit the deeper aspects ourselves, in our movement, and in how we relate to the living world around us? 
What does it mean to live and move from your core?
There are many ways that people use the word “core.” I can’t recall how many clients and students over the years have shared that “they need to work on their core” as though it were some endless self-improvement task. Often the approach we bring to our core can be mechanical, repetitive, dominating, or objectifying.
What if you didn’t need to work on your core, but could rather learn to inhabit your core? What would it be like to experience your core as an aspect of your embodiment that is intelligent, wild, animal body strong, soft and sensitive, filled with truth resonators, bullshit detectors, tuned to, and ready to respond to the living world and the currents of soul, eros, and the deepest aspects of your being? Doesn’t that sound more fun than crunching your core into submission?
In this workshop, we will bring an approach of reverence to our core as a deep-innermost element of our embodiment. Central, sacred physiology, filled with intelligence and the potential for great animal body strength, sensitivity and power like that of a cat or a snake. Our cores are a deep-time ancestral inheritance going back hundreds of millions of years, even way before beings came slithering out of the ocean onto dry land, and these fish-like undulating spinal patterns still exist in us now.
This area of our body, our middle, our belly, diaphragm, heart, neck and head is also where we tend to feel life. Our gut sense, our heart-knowing, this area of our core is filled with subtle ways of knowing – awe, wonder, intuition and grief are felt in our core, yet we will not feel much if we are either too bound in that area or if our presence and vitality is absent. In this workshop, we will seek to grow an organic strength that is also soft, like a child or an animal, capable to move with power in any direction, yet relaxed enough to be permeable and sensitive to the world around us, allowing each wave of breath to move through, unrestricted, massaging our internal organs and tissues.When we inhabit and move from our core, we live and move from wholeness, not parts of ourselves. When we reach for something, when we stand for something, when we speak for something, we can do so from a place of integration and wholeness.
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By training and profession, I am a somatic educator. Over the past 25+ years I have trained in and taught modern dance, tai chi, Indian and Tibetan yoga, yoga therapy (specializing in back pain). I completed a 4-year professional Feldenkrais training in 2007 and a 3-year Embodied Life training in 2014. I also study and work with somatic meditation and the profound practice of embodied inner listening known as Focusing.