cara judea alhadeff

body consciousness program

Jumping Into the Unknown

Throughout Europe, the US, and Korea, I teach the Jumping Into the Unknown body consciousness workshops to those working in the arts, anthropology, gender studies and ethnic studies. Frequently, I teach them in conjunction with my visiting artist lectures at universities and museums. Most recently, I have been incorporating the workshops into collaborations with medical professionals.

Join Cara Judea Alhadeff, photographer and Iyengar yoga teacher from New York and San Francisco, for an adventure investigating how self-inquiry can become a bridge between the mind and the body. Using the theater of our bodies as a site for exploring both the familiar and unfamiliar, Alhadeff will lead participants through a series of "reaction activities". The foundation of this relationship is physical and emotional strength rooted in vulnerability and difference. These workshops will focus on postural behavioral patterns/reactions and breath access in relation to a variety of psychological contexts.

These body consciousness workshops integrate both the philosophical and the psycho-anatomical into a framework that sheds light on how to thrive on contradictions and ambiguities in our chaotic daily lives. The mind's natural tendency is to be preoccupied with the outside world. When we cannot separate ourselves from our reactions, we are no longer committed to the practice of being in the present. When people resist the unfamiliar and become unwittingly frozen in the habitual, tension is stored in muscles, diaphragm, and the nervous system. This attachment to ego may have detrimental short and long term effects on our psycho-neuroimmunology: body, mind, and emotions. Since a lot of us are addicted to stress—to the chemical, endorphin high-- we tend to confuse feeling energized with nervous system stimulation. Alhadeff encourages participants to slow down enough to find connections within their own bodies, between themselves and others—to develop self-awareness by paying attention to the present moment. Adaptability, rather than attachment, is a central aspect of this practice. For Alhadeff, this is the definition of "commitment"—a willingness to jump into the unknown.

Participants will explore body awareness activities, Alhadeff's photographic work, and participate in group discussion as lenses through which they can investigate choice and creativity in their daily lives. Most importantly, the workshop offers the possibility of experiencing empathy and layers of interconnectedness.

These are not the titles, but the subjects for the different workshops include: Yoga and Sexuality, Yoga for Stress Reduction, Neuroplasticity and Ego, Yoga for Performers and Public Speakers, Yoga for Parkinsons and other Chronic Disorders, Yoga and Fertility, Yoga for Pregnancy

• Increase concentration, mental clarity, and receptivity

Ease exhaustion, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue or other stress-related physical and psychological issues in order to relieve tension from our demanding daily lives

Notice and Cultivate stillness and silence within-- the space inside our bodies and consciousness that already exists

Develop physical and emotional vulnerability as a source of personal strength

Improve posture, digestion and essential body functioning

Explore our comfort zones with empathy and the unfamiliar by identifying how we react to the unknown

Pay attention to how often we create a separation /b/ ourselves and others; us vs. them

Learn how to let go of counter-productive habitual patterns of behavior

Take aesthetic, personal, and intellectual risks in order to listen to and nourish our own bodies, minds, and spirits

    Questions we will investigate in small and large group activities:

    What is Ego? And how does it manifest in your mind and body?
    When do we expand our energies? When do we contract our energies? When do we contain our energies?
    What is Stress? How do you define it? Where does it come from?
    Where does rest come from?
    What do you need in order to balance your energy? Is it erratic, lethargic?
    How does your body respond to external and internal expectations? Where does your body hold these pressures? How does your mnd react?
    How does your body respond to the unknown/vulnerability/ambiguity?
    How does your mind respond to the unknown/vulnerability/ambiguity
    How does your body respond to relaxation?
    How does your mind respond to relaxation?

Copyright 1999-2007, Cara Judea Alhadeff