This June the R.M.I.C. launched its first ever joint anatomy workshop with Matthew van der Giessen as our lead teacher. We also had Karen Peters our senior movement teacher and Mariette Berinstein as co-teachers in this amazing collaberative workshop designed for anyone interested in learning about anatomy from the somatic bodywork domain’s perspective. What is somatic bodywork, you ask? Somatic bodywork is any form of bodywork that encourages and supports increased body awareness or sense of self in the body, and therefore the awareness of body/ mind connection.
Matthew integrated the teachings of many different founders and developers of somatic bodywork and led us through a variety of exercises that helped students to learn about the bodies natural capacities for moving and being in the world and the places where people can be habitually stuck or stopped. Karen brought in Rosen Method Movement to facilitate this process and allow students to integrate the wisdom of their own bodies and deepen their experience of themselves from the inside out. Mariette brought in her understanding of Rosen Method Bodywork and the possibilities for healing that can occur within that work. Mariette also helped the Rosen students gain an understanding of how Rosen Method works based on Matthew’s teaching of anatomy.
I was left with a profound gratitude for the deeper understanding and inner knowledge of the body and how it works. I am also grateful for the descriptions of body neuro-physiology in Matthew’s teaching that helped me to better understand the how’s and why’s of Rosen Method Bodywork and Movement.
Here are some of the things that stuck with me the most:
- The body is the mind. When we touch the body we are touching the mind.
- The skin is the surface of the brain.
- Touch is essential to forming and maintaining identity. Sensory pathways die if there is a lack of touch.
I leave you with a quote that Matthew shared with us by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen:
There is something in nature that forms patterns. We, as part of nature, also form patterns. The mind is like the wind and the body like the sand: if you want to know how the wind is blowing, you can look at the sand.