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  • Writer's pictureNikolas Maslow

'Supporting Tenderness Through Contact Improvisation'

I woke up to a new body. Unlike the dung beetle that took over Kafka’s Gregor, I felt more comfortable inside myself. As if the exo-skeleton wasn’t as stiff and alarmed as it used to be. I could wiggle my spine and stand up straight: not arrogance but dignity. I am thankful for the contact improvisation weekend I took with the venerable Karl Frost. I learned to breathe deeper into parts of me that I didn’t know could know breath. I could carry and move weight over my bones with fluidity. I didn’t have to show off to have a good time. 

Mindfulness of body and breath with the help from the more playful and elastic parts of our consciousness (and the guidance of good teachers) can really make a difference in our perspective of the world. Its hard to be depressed when you are upright (thank you Dr. Peterson and Arnie Mindell!). The more rigid I am in body, the more critical I am with myself and others. No matter what is happening outside, I can keep coming back to the movement of my breath as it enters and exits my lungs. Even as I grieve, I can put my hand on my chest and feel the tenderness of my heart. That’s a good thing. 

While at Akumal, we will learn various practices that will support our tenderness, celebrate our foibles, and learn how to dance with tragedy through mindfulness meditation, prayer, movement, and prac

tices that come from the worlds of modern dance and contact improvisation.


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