Body And Earth is a synthesis of practices that has emerged from the ongoing shared inquiry of Andrea Olsen and Caryn McHose into embodied awareness. I have studied with them regularly since 2003 and continue to do so, both in groups and personal retreats. In 2010 was certified to begin teaching the work myself.
Body And Earth starts from the insight that our bodies are not separate from the earth, but are inherently connected to the natural world: its minerals, air and water are our bones, breath and blood. By engaging with a combination of experiential anatomy and time spent in nature, we clarify our perception and deepen our relationship to place.
The training focuses on three layers of work: evolutionary movement and experiential anatomy to clarify and orient the body; perceptual explorations to understand the nervous system and restore ease in alignment; and the disciplines of Authentic Movement and writing to integrate and articulate our findings.
Evolutionary movement reminds us that our bodies are part of the natural world and Authentic Movement invites listening to the inherent intelligence and mystery of the body. These practices offer us resources for clarifying personal movement and for teaching body and earth principles to others, as well as developing ways to cultivate creativity in our lives.
The work oscillates between studio work indoors that enables explorations of the inner workings of the body and encounters with the land to stir the senses and nourish creative possibilities.
Andrea Olsen is professor of dance and environmental studies at Middlebury College. She is the author of Body and Earth, An Experiential Guide and coauthor with Caryn McHose of both Bodystories, A Guide to Experiential Anatomy and the forthcoming The Place of Dance: A Somatic Guide to Dancing and Dance Making. Olsen performs and teaches internationally. She is also on the faculty of the teacher-training program for Yoga Center Amherst in Massachusetts, USA.
Caryn McHose is co-author with Kevin Frank of How Life Moves, Explorations in Meaning and Body Awareness and with Andea Olsen of Bodystories, A Guide to Experiential Anatomy and The Place of Dance: A Somatic Guide to Dancing and Dance Making. She is a Registered Somatic Movement Educator/Therapist in New Hampshire. She teaches perceptive approaches to core stability and structural integration internationally.