Freedom of Movement

In this series, Ryan Hoffman provides background lectures and movement meditations into our lived experiences as social animals. The same mechanisms that let us function in day-to-day routines -- the force of habit -- is also responsible for some of our most commonly-encountered challenges to our health and our interpersonal lives. Hear how a biology and pain science perspective can be used to approach this challenge, and experience how simple movement lessons (based on the Feldenkrais Method) can be used to increase ones self-awareness and ability to find comfort in difficult or coercive scenarios.

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Each day will function as a stand-alone class, but all three days will coherently address how to foster the autonomy and adaptability of movement. The classes will be performed in chairs, and most movement limitations can be accommodated. Over the three days we will examine three spheres of our experiences (and self-identities), in the reverse order of their development: the vocational sphere, the social sphere, the ontogenetic sphere. Day 1 will be especially helpful for those interested in being more comfortable while they engage in repetitive tasks, or in learning more about the Feldenkrais Method. Day 2 will explore the relationship between perception, affect or emotional status, socialization, and movement. This will be especially interesting for people interested in exploring the socially constructed aspects of their self-images, or those that engage physically coercive people. Day 3 will provide an experiential workshop in which the distinctions between self/other, subjective and inter-subjective self relationships, are explored from the perspective of movement.

Course sessions

    Thursday June 29

    6:00PM - 9:00PM ()

    Session 1: We start by exploring (and expanding) our movement patterns associated with the most extrinsically-related goals (like money), those associated with the vocational sphere . Movement exercises include "Better Slouching," and "Sneaky Eyes for Creaky Necks." This day is very accessible, so if you're interested in the second or third days, it is recommended as an introduction.

    Friday June 30

    6:00PM - 9:00PM ()

    Session 2: The social sphere is explored/expanded. This aspect of our self-identity is constructed of movement patterns characteristic of the schoolyard, including performances, romantic adventures, and physically coercive bullies. Movement exercises include "Butt-Head" and "Shoulder-Neck Duet." This day is especially good for those interested in feeling more comfortable in difficult scenarios, like public speaking, verbal altercations, or being (coercively) handcuffed. (No explicitly martial movements are endorsed, so this session can harmonize with the movement goals of pacifists as well.)

    Saturday July 1

    6:00PM - 9:00PM ()

    Session 3: Here the ontogenetic sphere is explored; the world of childhood and its developmental movements. Movement exercises include "Subject-Object" and "Spine Curves." This day is especially good for people with preexisting meditation, physical exercise, or health practices, or an interest in those practices owing to preexisting challenges with anxiety or chronic pain. Those conflicted regarding the authoritarian tendencies within "conventional" (biomedical) or "alternative" medicine systems could also especially benefit from this session.