Learning anatomy is wonderful and connects us to ourselves, but doing it through videos or textbooks adds an unnecessary layer of translation. We are convinced that the best way to come to know our bodies is through the language of touch and tactile sensing. The unique minds of each of our diverse tissues are coherent interwoven communities that await our attention.
Join Elena Lake (a mathematician-turned-massage-therapist) and Bex Naj (a somatic movement educator, dancer, and yoga teacher) for a haptic body trip that explores the myriad of ways you can experience yourself and others through touch.
First, Elena will guide the group in feeling our fascia and bones - where are they, and how does their texture stand out against other body textures? Then, Bex will help us experience our cells as our first sense organs, exploring how they respond to touch in a number of ways. We will investigate the mechanical forces flowing through them, their chemical environments, and how they use stimuli to organize themselves into the tissues we know as bones and fascia. For the last ninety minutes, Bex, as her alias Qalia, will DJ a somatic dance party to integrate and express the deep embodied learning of the first half of the class.
Attendees can work with touch and movement in groups, dyads, or on themselves. No prior experience is necessary. Come dressed comfortably in layers for optional exploratory movement, sitting or lying on the floor, and freeform dance. Bring any blankets or pillows you’d like. Other suggestions include a journal and/or drawing supplies.
Logistics: There is free, ample parking at The Alembic. Doors lock shortly after the event begins at 3pm, so please arrive with enough time to get settled in.
Elena Lake is probably the only bodyworker in the world with a degree from MIT in Math, Computer Science, and Physics. After graduating, she spent two years as a machine learning engineer. She learned a lot on that life path, including the heavy toll that stress takes on bodies and spirits. So she pivoted. Now the second chapter of her life is devoted to holistic healing as she helps people shed layers of stress and other emotional baggage, so they can return to feeling the joy of their authentic lives.
When not practicing massage or bodywork, she also explores mythosomatics, somatic-emotional spaceholding, and ritual community grieftending. Her background also includes contemporary dance and contact improvisation.
Bex Naj has been a mover her entire life. She is an E-RYT 500+ and somatic movement educator. She has practiced yoga for more than two decades and studied movement and dance modalities as diverse as Body-Mind Centering®, Haitian folkloric dance, tap, ballet, contact improv, modern dance, Afro contemporary, and Butoh. She recently began DJing to add an ecstatic, booty-shaking dimension to her guided somatic explorations, allowing more explosive possibilities for communion, integration, and resolution.
Her facilitation style reflects her deep enthusiasm for exploring and expressing consciousness through touch and movement. She draws inspiration from all of her teachers, in particular, Amy Matthews, Nikki Costello, Sarah Barnaby, and Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen. She believes that feeling strong, expressive, present, and comfortable in your body is your birthright. Movement is the foundation of everything we are, including the mysterious processes we call “our bodies,” “consciousness,” and “thought.” She grounds suggestions of spirituality in felt-sense and whole body inquiry rather than relying on abstract, dualistic dogma. Her ongoing project is articulating nondual philosophy, which can seem heady or abstract, through the laboratory of embodied research. Embodiment is the fundament from which all spiritual practice and self-transformation emerge, and these are not separate from exploring ourselves through movement. You can check out her class and workshop offerings at http://bexnaj.yoga and her DJ sets at https://soundcloud.com/djqalia
Cover art by Katie Scott