(917) 405-5877 shakti@premasoma.com
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  • February 5, 2024 - April 1, 2024
    12:00 am
photo by Cristie Strongman
“Movement, to be experienced, has to be found in the body, not put on like a dress or a coat. There is that in us that has moved from the very beginning: it is that which can liberate us.”
~ Mary Starks Whitehouse

Authentic Movement
An Embodiment Journey
2024 Winter Series

Eight Mondays, 6:30-8:30pm
February 5th-April 1st, (no class 2/19)

@Moving Body Resources, 112 West 27th St #402, Chelsea, Manhattan

-tune into your inner impulses, in alignment with the winter season-

This is an invitation to devote eight weeks this winter to deepening into your body space, to turning inside to experience your inner landscape. 

Authentic Movement is a transformative body centered practice. It is embodied meditation, Deep Listening with your body and your eyes. It is simple yet profound. Mary Starks Whitehouse first developed it in the field of expressive arts therapy in the 1950’s; then Janet Adler evolved the form, bringing in Buddhist and ecstatic aspects. It has roots in Jungian Psychology. In the words of Mary Starks Whitehouse: in Authentic Movement you experience “…an open waiting, which is a kind of listening to the body, an emptiness in which something can happen. You wait until you can feel a change… you follow where it leads, like following a pathway that opens up before you as you step.”

During these eight weeks you will explore this pathway to presence via experiencing the human body more truly in the now. It is practiced in a safe and respectful container held by the facilitator and the group. The mover generally moves with eyes closed in order to contact their inner body, witnessed or seen by another. There are different ‘scores’ or forms that allow for experience and exploration. Comfort and facility with the form deepens over time. As with the layers of an onion, the depths are endless, inviting curiosity and engagement while discovering new territory in the world of your body, the space between you and others, in relationship, and in community. And it can be fun.

As we navigate this fifth year of the pandemic, climate change, and political crisies and atrocity of escalating magnitude Authentic Movement offers us balance through connection to self and others in the amplified space of the movement circle. It is an ultimate embodiment tool. It is a safe space within which to ground and experience the body; likely awakening to feeling and sensing it in many ways for the first time, as well as seeing others with new eyes.

In this course you will:

*Learn about Authentic Movement, it’s history as an embodiment practice and its potential for healing
*Try on the roles of both mover and witness
*Learn techniques that allow the body to move and express, and be the initiator (rather than the mind directing)
*Practice drawing, writing, and speaking as integration of the unconscious material you discover in your (and other’s) movement
*Learn safe and respectful ways of reflecting on others experiences.
*Practice compassionate listening and witnessing (of yourself and others).
*Have the opportunity to experience your body kinesthetically, in a space of non-judgement and positive regard.
*Experience new aspects of connection with others, yourself, and Community

The Structure:
Each of the eight weeks will progress into the next, visiting a different theme and aspect of the form. Each week we’ll begin with a guided warm up or ‘drop-in’ to the body—drawing from Breathwork, body-mind centering, release technique, qi-gong, shamanic practice, and yoga. There will be time to practice a traditional Authentic Movement ‘score’—solo, in dyads and with the whole group. There will be time to integrate through writing, drawing, and reflection with others in the style unique to Authentic.

No previous experience is necessary, experienced Authentic Movers are welcome.

All Bodies, abilities, and identities are welcome.

If you have any questions contact Shakti via email or phone to schedule a 15 minute call. (917-405-5877, shakti@premasoma.com).

If you are new to Authentic Movement or to Shakti, there will be a 15 minute call scheduled as a part of registration, and a bonus 45 minute private zoom session during the 8 weeks to assist with your integration of the material.

has been studying and teaching Authentic Movement since 1992. She has studied with Janet Adler, Susan Schell, Paula Josa Jones, and Carolyn Shakti Sadeh. She has led weekend workshops and ten week groups, both inside and outside in nature, at The University of Vermont, Emerson Umbrella, Earthdance, Dance New England, and in New York City. For more about Shakti scroll below.

EarlyBird: paid by 1/26: Low end slide: $375, Standard: $425, Supporter: $475
After 1/26: $495
Register by sending your payment to:
Venmo: @Shakti-Smith, last 4 digits phone number are 5877
Zelle: shakti@premasoma.com
There are two student/low income artist spots available for $265—please inquire.

“Class with Shakti is a spacious affair, starting with reconnection to one’s own body, moving to an embodied awareness of the physical world, and reaching out to the realms of the spirit. I always feel satisfyingly grounded and joyfully lifted… Shakti is a gentle guide with the just the right balance of direction and silence, her timing perfect, as she allows her students to unfold and make personal discoveries. Easeful yet direct, she holds everyone lightly with her big heart, creating space that is nurturing and safe.”
—Jacki Dickert, Teacher
art by Janet Morgan

“The form of this work is simple—one person witnesses another person moving in a studio space… The witness, especially in the beginning, carries a larger responsibility for consciousness, as she sits to the side of the movement space. She is not ‘looking at’ the person moving, she is witnessing, listening, bringing a specific quality of attention or presence to the experience of the mover.

The mover works with eyes closed in order to expand her experience of listening to the deeper levels of her kinesthetic reality. Her task is to respond to a sensation, to an inner impulse, to energy coming from the personal unconscious, the collective unconscious, or the superconscious.”

—Janet Adler, from “Who is the Witness?.” Contact Quarterly, 1987

Photo of Moss by Courtney Supple
“Developing an Inner Witness that is present to the is-ness of something, rather than the standards and judgments we attach to it, gives us the space to come into wholeness. That’s where we become free, when we’re with what is and can see it clearly, we automatically know what to do. The hand moves, the heart opens.”
~Zoe Avstreih
When asked, “What are you bringing with you, from this experience?”
Some participants shared:

“I am still amazed, as from day one, at how articulate I feel when expressing myself in movement”

“It’s a great reminder that I love to move, that it’s great to do it in nice company and that movement is an extremely important tool for clearing, releasing, and being energized.”

“A safe, gentle, wise, and energetic/physical container to somatically experience myself without pressure…along with the absolute joy and dynamic stillness of witnessing. wonderful.”

“..the importance for me of being witnessed and feeling comfortable with it and taking up space”

“the essential creativity of authentic movement and the body’s ability to listen and move, shedding conventions, the feeling of witnessing.”

“I knew that the group would feel warm and holding”

“listening to and witnessing others show and share vulnerability was beautiful and touching”

“I am blown away by the intimacy, the community”