Today I’m talking with Judith Blackstone. Judith is the creator of The Realization Process, which is an integrated approach to embodiment for psychological, relational, physical and spiritual healing.
Judith is a clinical psychologist and a meditation practitioner and student of contemplative traditions with more than 40 years of experience. She is the author of several books including Belonging Here and The Enlightenment Process, and she is also the co-founder of the Nonduality Institute which is dedicated to the science and practice of non-duality.
In today’s conversation we’re talking about “the issues in the tissues”, or how emotional pain gets bound in the body- and also how it can be released, what fundamental consciousness is and why it’s useful to attune to it, how your experience of gravity and your fluidity of movement changes with this embodiment work, what happens when people bypass their stuck emotional pain, and how this work can help what I call the “sensies” of the world- the empaths- to do their work and to live fully without feeling overwhelmed much of the time.
Those of you who are listening to season 4 have probably heard me say that this is Liberated Body’s last season. (Gah!) A number of you have reached out asking what that means, or simply wishing me goodness in whatever’s next, and so I’ve wanted to write a post explaining what’s up. So here we go!
First, to those of you who have gotten in touch to tell me how much Liberated Body means to you and who have wished me well in future adventures- thank you! When you make projects on your laptop in your living room it is such nectar to hear from the real humans who are interacting with the work after I toss it out into the internets (onto the internets?). This project has given me the chance to both in-person and e-meet so many delightful, creative, inquisitive, and joyful people all over the world. It regularly blows my mind.
For those of you who have donated to supporting the show through this and any prior seasons, I am endlessly grateful. I earn my living in my Rolfing practice still, so every penny you’ve donated goes into making the show- either paying my producer, or paying for the software I need to broadcast and store the show. Thank you thank you thank you. I can’t say it enough.
Now… as for the future of the show. If you have been a Liberated Body listener for a while you probably know that I am a believer in letting my projects lead me instead of me leading them. You can hear a lot about that in the interview Bo Forbes did of me at the end of season 3. I’ve tried leading my projects! Believe me! I just find that they lead me to much better places than I can come up with. All things go more smoothly and juicily when I let the intelligence of the project find its own way. So I do my best to relinquish my imagined control…
This project is still leading me around, so I don’t actually know what shape it will take eventually, but here’s where things are at right now.
When I began season 4 I anticipated that Liberated Body would have one more season and then live on as an audio archive of body nerdery on iTunes and the website going forward. Right now that is still the thought, but I’m also sitting with how it might live on. And I’m still in the midst of recording interviews for season 4, so new conversations will continue for a while.
I continue to be in the process of writing a book proposal (Hey book agents and publishers! Email me!) which will turn the most insightful moments of Liberated Body into an inspiring in-print collection dedicated to how vast, unknowable, and wondrous our bodies are- straight from the mouths of the somatic visionaries I get to talk to on the show.
I’ve pondered ways to have more group conversations online (i.e. not just me interviewing someone, but more like my moderating a conversation among peers- kind of like what I did in person for Beyond Anatomy recently at The Breathing Project), but so far nothing has stuck. I’m feeling into it, but I have to see what emerges. I’ll keep you posted as it evolves and matures.
Now to the question, “why is this the last season of the show?”
This show has definitely led me to places I did not anticipate that it would. It started as, and continues to be, a learning-in-public project. For that I’m grateful. What I’ve learned from all the bright and exquisitely talented people who I have had the great good fortune to interview has changed the way I see everything- not just the body.
At first, back in the early stages of Liberated Body, I thought I would be able to collect all the best models for working with the body and distill them into some ultimate truth that I could pass along. Do you remember the 30-Day Challenge (aka the Movement Cleanse) and the Liberated Body Guides? Those were my attempts to take what I’d learned and apply it to specific needs or concerns. There are a lot of people who do that work, and I am grateful that it exists. But in the end it wound up being too intellectual an exercise for me and I just couldn’t bring myself to persist in it.
Instead, and surprisingly, as I have continued to dive under and under and under many layers of assumptions about the body, I have found fuel for my spiritual practice (I had always put my “body learning” and my spiritual life in separate compartments, but they wound up being the same thing). Connecting with the knowing of the body has brought tremendous healing and clarity to my life. Those of you who have tuned into Bliss + Grit have gotten a peek at that particular experiencing-in-public project.
In my work these days my great love really sits with guiding people (and myself) into a deepening experience of their bodies, and how connecting with that kind of intimate felt-sense of the body allows people’s most genuine lives to unfold. You can probably see that shift in the kinds of interviews popping up in the current season. That seems to be the place of deepest satisfaction for me right now, so I expect that I’ll continue creating Bliss + Grit with my bestie and co-creator Vanessa Scotto, and working with her doing group facilitated work. I also work individually with clients for… whatever you want to call it- spiritual mentoring or coaching seem to be the least-terrible names I have for it now.
If you’re interested in following along with that vein of my work and getting updates when I do run any events you can check out Bliss + Grit, or go to my personal website and subscribe for updates. And of course I will keep you all posted on any changes in Liberated Body as things emerge.
So- that’s where I’m at these days! Big gratitude to all of you. I’m so glad to know you’re all out there doing your good work to connect people to their bodies. Keep on making the world a more embodied place!
Today I’m talking with Peter Blackaby who is the author of the book Intelligent Yoga which he is currently writing the 2nd edition for. Pete started practicing yoga in 1978 and began teaching in 1986. He then went on to become an osteopath. In 2002 he became involved in the British Wheel of Yoga (which is the governing body in England), and ran a two-year teacher training program for them. Since then, Pete has been running courses for teachers and teaches functional anatomy and biomechanics in the UK and internationally. His interest in the last 15 years has been to put some scientific underpinning to the practice of yoga, both in the biomechanical sense and in the mind/body relationship.
In today’s conversation we’re talking about moving away from the Western reductionist view of anatomy, what a bottom up approach to yoga looks like vs. a top down approach, how the whole person’s lived experience is tied into how they move, and how yoga teachers can approach working with students who have chronic pain.
Leslie has been a yoga educator for the last four decades and is an internationally recognized specialist in the fields of yoga and breath anatomy. He leads anatomy and yoga methodology workshops for many of the leading yoga associations, schools and training programs in the world.
He is the co-author of the bestselling book Yoga Anatomy and the founder of The Breathing Project.
Leslie has also helped to organize international yoga conferences while serving as Vice-President of Unity in Yoga, and was part of the committee that established national standards for yoga teacher training.
In today’s conversation we’re talking about what it was like to have a front-row seat for the birth of the fitness and yoga industries in the United States, concepts related to breath and breath anatomy, and the art of teaching and the importance of creating an atmosphere of inquiry in yoga classes in order to honor students’ individuality and allow for deeper insights.
Today I’m talking with Amy Matthews. Amy has been teaching movement since 1994. She is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst, a Body-Mind Centering® Teacher, an Infant Developmental Movement Educator, and a movement therapist and yoga teacher. Amy is also the co-author of the best-selling book Yoga Anatomy, and together with Leslie Kaminoff Amy teaches The Breathing Project's Advanced Studies courses. In today’s conversation we’re talking about Laban Movement Analysis and Body-Mind Centering, developmental movement work, and what that means for infants- how they can get a solid foundation for personal agency and emotional regulation through movement, and how developmental movement work helps adults as well. We also talk about embodied teaching, how teaching is its own art form and how it can also call forth a student’s personal agency.
Beyond Anatomy: A Somatic Symposium (coming soon! April 1st and 2nd)
Katy Bowman is a biomechanist and the founder of Nutritious Movement. She is the author of several books including Move Your DNA, Whole Body Barefoot, and her most recent collection of essays, Movement Matters. In today’s conversation we’re talking about the ecology of movement. How does your movement affect not just your health but also humans everywhere, even ones you’ve never met, and how does it affect the health of the planet as a whole? We discuss the real impact of our sedentarism and our drive for convenience, and how movement can be a very profound and impactful form of activism.
Today I’m talking with Mark Walsh, an embodiment specialist who is the creator of the Embodied Facilitator training, Integration Training, Embodied Yoga Principles, and Purpose Blackbelt. His work in embodiment has taken him to a wide range of organizations and communities, from businesses in the UK, to the Middle East alongside the UN, the slums of Brazil, an HIV organization in East Africa, and many other places. In our conversation today we talk about what embodiment means, some of the ways embodiment is being misunderstood, how lives change with embodiment, what the consequences are of living in a disembodied time culturally, and, considering that the world is in a pretty inflamed place these days, we take on how those of us who work with the body can be activists- how our work makes the world a less traumatized and traumatizing place.