Coming this summer to Antioch University New England
Summer 2015 Schedule:
- Durham, New Hampshire session: June 24-25, 2015
- Keene, New Hampshire session: June 27-28, 2015
Basic Tools of Awareness Through the Body: June 29, 2015
Awareness Through the Body II: July 1–3, 2015
Awareness Through the Body III: July 5–7, 2015
Awareness Through the Body is a comprehensive curriculum of exercises that aims to raise awareness and enable children and adults as well to become conscious of their own perceptions and abilities so that they may become self-aware, self-directed individuals. The activities are creative and often fun. The program works by first bringing the individual into a state of receptivity in which he/she can better listen to the many and varied inputs being continuously received from both their inner and outer worlds. For all ages the exercises allow for each person to gradually discover all the parts of her/himself and to find the tools to manage this complexity effectively.
The Origin of Awareness Through the Body
Awareness Through the Body was developed in India with children in Auroville schools. Auroville is an intentional, international community in southern India, dedicated to the search for human unity and best known for it’s groundbreaking projects in environmental sustainability. (www.auroville.org.in) For more than fifteen years children in the Auroville Schools and in the surrounding village schools have participated in weekly or bi-weekly ATB classes and for many children the differences have been profound. Workshops for adults with many different backgrounds (teachers, yoga instructors, artists, body workers, therapists) have been offered in India, Holland, Spain, and the United States since 2004.
What children say about ATB:
It made me more aware of everything around, and it made me much more open. When I get nervous now, or angry, I always return to my breath to cool down.
They gave us exercises to quiet us down and then exercises to bring us back, exercises on how to develop the senses and awareness, and how to use the senses and how to recognize feelings.
The group work was very important. You learn how to find your own way in a group and one thing we learned is that if it didn’t work one way we could try another.
I know I am not good at physical things but I remembered to use my breath and my will to get calm and focused. Then I won the discus toss!
The Founders and Instructors
The Summer 2015 Keene workshops will be led by Aloka Marti (method creator) and Francesco Colturi (certified facilitator) with Drs. Heidi Watts and Margo MacLeod, adjunct faculty.
The Instructor and Co-Creator of ATB:
Aloka Marti has been living in Auroville, India since 1991. With Joan Sala, she developed the program Awareness Through the Body for children in the Auroville Schools. More recently they have added a corresponding sequence for adults. The work draws on a deep understanding of Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga and their experience in many disciplines such as Tai Chi, dance, martial arts, massage, Alexander, yoga and physiotherapy.
The original work has evolved into a sequential series of activities combining strategies from dance, movement, yoga, mindfulness, new games and physical therapy which are engaging and effective with children of all ages, and indeed, with adults as well. All of the workshop activities can be used with children from quiet breathing to negotiating an obstacle course collaboratively. The experiential nature of the workshops makes it possible for participants to learn deeply and to adapt the rich variety of activities to settings from schools to old age homes or to use as part of an individual practice.
The Book, Awareness Through the Body
In 2006 Joan and Aloka published Awareness Through The Body, which describes the evolution of the work from the philosophy of Integral Education. Organized around themes such as Concentration, Attention, Physical Structure, and sensory awareness, it explicitly describes relevant activities, giving the purpose and place of each in the sequence and details their experiences when doing the activities with children. The book is enriched by several hundred photographs of children engaged in these activities, from a group symmetry exercise with music, to a child, blindfolded, meditatively feeling the bark of a tree. Teachers who attend the workshops often buy the book as a user’s manual and for inspiration.
The book can be purchased through amazon.com.
What teachers say about ATB:
I loved the workshop and the strong sense of connection to myself that it engendered. ! In addition I thoroughly appreciated the variety of activities that gave us a balance of active and quiet, inward experiences, connection with others and with self all of which contributed to the overall sense of centeredness and self-knowledge. THIS WAS THE MOST PROFOUND EXPERIENCE I HAVE HAD AT A WORKSHOP IN MY 60 YEARS.
Teacher Educator, Vermont, 2010
With so much time spent watching computers, social media, television, movies, games, etc.,. the visual dominates in our culture. How relaxing and interesting it is to take time to explore the world with our eyes closed or blindfolded, to sense in other ways. Not to imply there isn’t lots of eyes-wide-open laughter as well….
Center Director, New York, 2012
I am heading into the next year with new “games” and exercises to bring to my students and, more importantly, a way of talking with them about their experience of attention. This is a real gift. I would love to explore ATB further, and would like to stay in touch about other workshops.
Waldorf teacher, Maine, 2013
What is ATB? It’s when mindfulness meets new games and all the capacities open up!