Your Animal Body

Block 7th
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Greetings beautiful human,
This Saturday, I am teaching a Coming Home to Your Animal Body workshop.
What is your animal body?
This is a question that I love to simmer in.
To me, animal body is not anything esoteric or shamanic, but rather our profoundly ordinary humanness.

When Mary Oliver writes that “you only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves,” that could be sufficient instruction for a life well-lived. Many of us, however, are disconnected from our animal bodies. Many of us modern people tend to move around, as Thich Nhat Hanh describes “lost in thought,” disconnected from our bodily experience and the living, sensual world that surrounds us.

If you think about how much your attention, posture and movement have shifted just in the last 20 years, with the increase of screen use, and organizing ourselves around cell phones, let alone the changes in humanity over the last thousand or fifty thousand years. Though our daily behaviors and activities have changed significantly, our physiology, our nervous systems, our psyches have not, and the intelligence of our animal bodies is often right there under a thin surface level dust of forgetting, or, as the Zen saying goes “closer than our own skin.”

In this workshop, we will be gathering for a few hours to come home to our animal bodies. To rest in the peace of wild things, to remember ease and intelligence and power in how we move, and to weave ourselves back into relationship with the living world.
Awesome movement lessons, somatic meditations, poetry, and good people. Want to join us? Recordings are provided to all registrants if you are not able to join us live.
Carl creates a friendly and sacred space where the functional, playful, natural, and sublime intersect.
He shares various potent yet accessible somatic practices with an animist lens, inviting you to study and awaken the terrain of your own body while also taking your rightful place in relationship with an alive world.Carl’s classes assert our (as humans) innate blueprint for ease in movement. He offers a way back to this ease that’s fun, functionally responsible, stress-relieving, and community building. He then helps us remember what’s most important by addressing our embodied humanness in entirety, weaving in beautiful readings and teachings on longing, emotion, lineage, and our relationships with the wild and each other.
Carl teaches with humor, confidence, respect, and love. His mastery of many movement and spiritual traditions is evident, and yet he seems to be continually learning along with his students, curious about our findings.”
—Ruthie Fraser, Somatic Educator & Founder of Body Rewilding

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an excerpt from “At the River Clarion”
Mary Oliver
I don’t know who God is exactly.
But I’ll tell you this.
I was sitting in the river named Clarion, on a water splashed stone
and all afternoon I listened to the voices of the river talking.
Whenever the water struck a stone it had something to say,
and the water itself, and even the mosses trailing under the water.
And slowly, very slowly, it became clear to me what they were saying.
Said the river I am part of holiness.
And I too, said the stone. And I too, whispered the moss beneath the water.
I’d been to the river before, a few times.
Don’t blame the river that nothing happened quickly.
You don’t hear such voices in an hour or a day.
You don’t hear them at all if selfhood has stuffed your ears.
And it’s difficult to hear anything anyway, through all the traffic, the ambition.
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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.