There are different ways of paying attention.
Living in a world that requires us to get from point A to point B multiple times a day (and navigate a complex array of stimulus en route) means that a large part of our attention is focused outwardly. Necessary so! However more and more research is showing that our ability to successfully engage with what’s external is increasingly benefitted by cultivating another type of awareness – that which is focused inwardly.
This is called interoception. Besides telling us we are hungry, tired, etc., our interoceptive system is also what allows us to FEEL our emotions. Something happens and we sense our muscles tighten, jaw clench, heartbeat quicken, heat flows through us. We receive sensation first, then name what we feel as anger. Emotions are directly linked to physical sensation in the body. In essence, feelings are physiology.
In this three hour workshop, we will use yoga practice, free movement, meditation, breathwork, and discussion to explore our inner landscape. Our aim is to find and widen the space between the moment we experience something in our body and the subsequent emotional label and story we immediately attach to it. What we’ll cultivate in doing this is called response flexibility.
We will look at two main categories of our awareness – exteroception (outer) and interoception (inner) – and explore how the conscious direction of our attention both inwardly and outwardly can amplify, soothe, transform, or give more context to what we feel. You will leave empowered by concrete practices that can support you in times of strong emotion and experience your own body as a supportive resourcing tool. Bring a yoga mat, journal, pen, and a your curiosity!