There are a few books that are currently inspiring my teaching:
The first is called ‘Bodyfulness’ by Boulder author Christine Caldwell. It’s swelling with information for or anyone who’s ready to look at the how and why of how they move. The author founded the Somatic Counseling program at Naropa University and has been in practice for more than thirty years.
“The body isn’t a thing we have but an experience we are. Bodyfulness is about working toward our potential as a whole human animal that breathes as well as thinks, moves as well as sits still, takes action as well as considers, and exists not because it thinks but because it dances, stretches, bounces, gazes, focuses, and attunes to others.“
The second book, ‘Small Teaching’ by James M. Lang, is about small practices that improve teaching and learning. It’s not about movement classes, but the suggestions Lang makes are directly derived from the science of learning. These practices can (and should) be applied to any type of instruction if you want the people in your class to have a memorable experience and truly learn.
You’ll find out why talking to yourself (out loud) about how and why you are doing something accelerates skill development. You’ll also learn about the importance of making concrete predictions such as, “If I put my hand on the floor and pull in this direction, what will happen to the rest of my body?”
The third book is ‘The Body Is Not An Apology- The Power of Radical Self-Love ’ by Sonya Renne Taylor. This one is pow-er-ful. How have you decided that you can’t or shouldn’t move because of the deep-seated notions you hold about your body? Have you ever been shamed for how you look, or what you can do by a movement instructor?
Body shame runs deep in our culture, and this book asks us to look at beliefs we hold about ourselves and others. I think this one should be required reading for anyone guiding others to move-- especially if you are seeking or guiding others towards true freedom of movement. You cannot separate the way you move from the beliefs you hold about yourself, and you cannot separate how you teach from beliefs you hold about other bodies.