Through BIM you will experience:
• The body as the self
• Emotions as events in the body
• A mindbody state of power and kindness
• Effectiveness as arising out of this state
• Ethics as built into the body
• The bodyself as part of the planetary web oflife
Being In Movement® mindbody training (Watch Video) is an educational process which uses body awareness instruction to help people increase comfort and improve performance in whatever areas of their lives are important to them. BIM uses practical movement experiments to help people learn how to examine the Body as the Self, and it focuses on helping people learn how to create a mindbody state of awareness, power and love as a foundation for effective action. BIM explores the underlying links between structural/functional efficiency, emotional/spiritual growth, and environmental/social justice.
BIM focuses on helping people overcome the body's distress response. When people feel threatened or challenged in any way, they typically contract their breathing, posture, movement, and attention. This can take a number of forms. It may take the form of hardening and bracing as a preparation for strength and effort. It may take the form of stiffening and constricting in shock. It may take the form of collapse and numbness. Or elements of these can combine. This body contraction can be seen in situations ranging from sports to job interviews to abuse and so on.
Contracting the body reduces ease and effectiveness. Acting in a state of contraction is like driving with the parking brakes on. People cannot function effectively, and this ineffectiveness reinforces their feelings that the challenges or threats they are facing are indeed difficult or overwhelming.
Beyond just physically interfering with performance, contraction leads to alienation and separation from oneself, one's body, the environment, and other people. This separation not only reduces the capacity for effective action, but it is also a deep spiritual wound.
Contrary to our normal distress response, action is much more efficient and effective when the mind/body is free and expansive.
BIM approaches the body as both an objective process governed by rules of physics and biology and a subjective process of lived consciousness governed by rules of awareness, emotion, and energy flow. By examining how breathing, posture, and movement simultaneously shape and are shaped by thoughts, feelings, and intentions, BIM teaches people to develop an integrated mindbody state of awareness, calmness, power, love and freedom and use that state as a foundation for effective action.
BIM teaches people to develop an integrated mindbody state. Speaking structurally, this state is one in which the musculoskeletal system is balanced and free of strain. Speaking functionally, this state allows stable, mobile, graceful and easy movement. Speaking in terms of intention/energy, this state involves staying anchored in one's core while reaching out into the world with a symmetrical, radiant, expansive awareness and will. Speaking in psychological/spiritual terms, this state is an integration of power and love (Watch Video) and freedom.
IN A NUTSHELL-- A TESTIMONIAL click here
I received this e-mail from a former client. She identified the core of the work -- to stay present in your body, and by doing so become able to successfully handlie a past or present challengie or threat. It is that success which changes your relationship to the situation and to yourself.
NOTE: BIM is an educational rather than a medical or psychotherapeutic approach. It does not diagnose or cure. Rather, it teaches people new resources for effective action. BIM is often helpful as an adjunct to appropriate treatment, but BIM is not a replacement for appropriate treatment when that is required.
There are five interconnected areas of application that BIM generally deals with:
RELAXATION focuses on stress reduction, both in quiet, meditative body work and in maintaining a state of calm alertness during pressure-filled situations.
TASK IMPROVEMENT includes such things as improvement in music or sports skills, ergonomic safety for computer use or other work, and reducing movement discomfort during pregnancy or daily life activities from shoveling snow (Watch Video) to hoeing a garden.
PERSONAL GROWTH involves learning to sense the body foundations of emotional and spiritual states and how to move toward more harmonious ways of living; it includes instruction in somatic self-regulation for people with conditions such as attention or anxiety problems.
TRAUMA WORK includes body training for survivors of physical or sexual abuse or survivors of other overwhelming life events. It also includes movement retraining and pain management for people who have experienced such things as surgery or accidents.
COMMUNICATION and CONFLICT RESOLUTION training (Watch Video) focuses on creating a body state of assertiveness, compassion, non-violence and interpersonal sensitivity as a foundation for effective communication. It also includes exploration of the somatic foundations of ethical behavior, peacemaking, and ecological awareness.
Though private lessons and classes in BIM are infinitely varied, according to what the students wish to learn, there is a basic structure which organizes the teaching and learning:
- IDENTIFY THE CHALLENGE: Students come for BIM lessons or classes because they are not handling some life challenges as well as they would like. Challenges offer feedback about areas of awareness and skill that need improvement.
- DESIGN A MOVEMENT EXPERIMENT: Movement experiments are small-scale representations of life's challenges. Movement experiments offer safe ways of studying difficulties. The physical details of people's
behavior in an experiment reveal their habitual ways of thinking and acting.
- USE BODY-BASED LANGUAGE: It is helpful to describe actions and feelings by reporting the specific details of events going on in the body. By noticing and amplifying what they are physically doing moment by moment, people become aware of and feel much more of what is going on inside of them, and they can speak about it more precisely.
- IDENTIFY RESPONSES: People generally respond to challenges and difficulties by constricting themselves and alienating themselves from their bodies and their environment. This involves tensing and constricting
muscles, restricting breathing, and distorting posture and movement flow.
- SENSE INTENTIONALITY: Intentional projection is the process whereby an image of a movement and a commitment to doing that movement organize
the muscles and set them in motion. By practicing awareness of intention, people can discern the choices
and decisions that operate to structure their bodies, movements and actions.
- DEVELOP POWER AND LOVE: Power is experienced when the pelvis is set firmly atop the legs and serves
as a balanced foundation for the spinal column and head. Being warm hearted or tender hearted means having a soft, free chest and throat. Integrating power and love in the body produces awareness and freedom.
- DEVELOP RADIANCE: By working to create a sense of symmetrical, radiant, expansive intentionality, which stays anchored within the body and reaches outward into the world, people can organize themselves for effective ways of meeting their challenges.
- TRACE MOVEMENT PATTERNS: By going deeply into body sensations of physical/emotional patterns, people
can become aware of their origin and meaning. Generally, stuck body patterns have a component of learned powerlessness and contain some unfinished action.
- REPLACE THE STATE: It is impossible to stop a feeling
state or body action, but it is possible to replace one state/action with another. Creating the body action of power, love and radiance is a way of replacing negative feelings with more effective, healthful and life-affirming habits--which will give you the ability to perform successfully the action that you were previously unable
- APPLY AND SUCCEED: Effective action in the real world is the goal, and a series of BIM lessons works through a graded series of increasingly intense challenges – until the original life situation has been mastered.
Private lessons and group classes in BIM are available here in Columbus, Ohio, where the movement center is. Workshops can be custom designed and presented anywhere.
An ongoing BIM class is offered -- the Monday night No Falling Aikido class. I developed BIM using Aikido as my movement laboratory. In many ways, BIM is the core of Aikido, broken down into smaller, easier-to-learn chunks, and without the self-defense functionality. In the Monday night class, I use Aikido movements as a vehicle for exploring BIM principles, and I use BIM exercises to illuminate the Aikido movements. The cost is $40 per month. Click to go to the No Falling Aikido Class page.
There are also a number of certified teachers of BIM in Munich and Berlin. Click on the Germany link for information on the German practitioners.
Phone 614-262-3355 to schedule private sessions in Columbus.
Check the Upcoming Events page or the Workshops page for workshops.
BIM focuses on achieving a state of mindbody coordination for effectively handling challenges. Here's a simple experiment that can serve as an example of the process that BIM uses.
Stand up, feel your breathing. Now, try saying "Rat guts, ick!" And for contrast say "Ice cream, ahh!" (If you don't like ice cream, think of something else that you like, and say that instead. If by some chance you like rat guts, then choose something else you don't like.)
Find a word or phrase that summarizes some aspect of a conflict you've expe-rienced. Maybe the word "unfriendly" or the word "disagreement." Try saying that word followed by ick or ahh. "Disagreement, ick!" And now say, "Disagreement, ahhh!" Can you let your body stay in the open ahhh state even as you speak about the issues in the conflict?
BIM includes many more exercises for achieving awareness, power and compassion, but this brief experience should give you a feeling for the approach to self-knowledge taken by this movement discipline.
As the developer of Being In Movement mindbody education, my goal is to teach others to teach the work. Professional training is available for people who wish to become certified practitioners of BIM. This training is for people who would like to create a community of learners and questioners. Anyone with an interest in learning this form of body training is encouraged to apply for the program.
Discovering the Body's Wisdom:
A comprehensive guide to more than fifty mind-body practices
that can relieve pain, reduce stress, and foster health, spiritual growth, and inner peace. Mirka Knaster. New York: Bantam Books, 1996. 407 pages, paper bound. $15.95 (Canada $21.95).
This book includes a chapter on Being In Movement® mindbody training. The book is an excellent introduction to the ideas and methods underlying somatic work, and it includes an encyclopedic listing of all the common forms
of somatic work.
National Organization On Male Sexual Victimization
BIG VOICE PICTURES produces documentaries that give voice to emerging and cutting-edge social issues,such as sexual abuse of boys and men, with the intention of motivating discussion, effecting change, and offering new insights and hope for individuals, families, and communities.
Connecting organizations and individuals who engage in peacemaking through the body. Martha Eddy’s blog.
Mark Walsh's blog. He is a student and practitioner of BIM. The blog focuses on bodymind exercise, martial arts, alternative health, somatics, bodywork, Non-Violent Communication, meditation, business training, all with a personal touch.
Stories, articles, research and quotes to support you in your journey to center. Judy Warner's blog.
A German Aikido instructor and bodyworker, his approach is similar to mine.
"Resolving the Body Schema of Anxiety" article by Bertram Wohak.
The body schema of anxiety is a chronic contraction of muscles and breathing. It is a defensive reflex which has become a permanent neuromuscular pattern. This article describes how training with a Japanese wooden practice sword can be used to empower and rehabilitate trauma victims by resolving this body schema of anxiety.
Certified both as a Feldenkrais practitioner and a Rolfer, his website has interesting material about somatic work and links to many other somatics sites.
A physician and psychotherapist, his website has interesting material about somatic work and links to many other somatics sites.
An Aikido instructor and NLP practitioner, his website has interesting material and links to other sites.