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What are the differences and similarities between BT & AM?

Body Tales® and Authentic Movement are complete methodologies on their own, and can complement one another well. Both forms are based in body awareness practices in which expressive movement emerges through listening to and following our sensations, emotions, images, memories, and impulses. Both practices involve a respectful and supportive relationship between “movers” and “witnesses.”

Authentic Movement (AM) is primarily an eyes-closed, internally focused movement inquiry practice, that often includes nonverbal vocal sounds and stillness. The movement structures are very simple and spacious in AM, and movement times are usually significantly longer than in Body Tales. After moving there is always a speaking component in Authentic Movement, in which movers get to share about their experience and to hear from their witness if they choose to. While sometimes used as a sourcing process by dancers, writers, and visual artists, AM is primarily an expressive, therapeutic, and meditative practice, free from any drive to create for an external audience.

In Body Tales (BT), movers usually have their eyes open and are exploring a combination of movement and speaking. BT movement times often start with leading questions and are contained within specific timeframes that include moving without words, moving with words, inviting images, and honoring what has come through. After each person’s turn, mover and witness together re-name some of the words and movements. Within these structures is a wide open invitation to welcome what emerges. This supports participants in following their internal guidance, within a form for creatively communicating memories, images, and in-the-moment themes and feelings. BT groups often include a class performance, which provides meaningful opportunities to share this work with our communities.

Have more questions? You are welcome to be in touch to discuss which practice may be right for you at this time.

Who are these practices for?

Movement is our first language. Every body holds emotions, memories, images, and the inherent capacity for play, rest, creativity, tenderness, fierceness, subtlety, and much more. These somatic practices are for those who feel called to a contained and open space to expand, explore, and express their embodied experience. Adults of all ages, body sizes, physical abilities, sexual orientations, ethnicities, and spiritual practices are welcomed! (While most of my groups are currently women-only, I also welcome working with people of all genders, and hope to have more offerings accessible to everyone in the near future. Please see the next question for more details.)

Some people come to Authentic Movement and /or Body Tales because they already love moving and are looking to deepen into body-based self discovery. Others may have done other kinds of personal growth, meditative or creative work, but delving into somatic practices is less familiar, and they are looking for a respectful, protected place to begin exploring internally guided expressive movement.

For those whose work or family life involves caring for others (therapists, body workers, parents, teachers, healthcare professionals, workshop leaders, and those taking care of elders), the freedom to safely express and be compassionately witnessed can be an essential part of self-care. Artists and activists often find inspiration, renewal, and expanded pathways for creative expression and communication. During times of transition, physical limitations, illness, or loss and grieving, these practices can offer invaluable spaciousness in which to be, feel, express, integrate, and find new ways forward.

Why are most groups for women only?

I began calling many of my offerings “women’s groups” years ago after long stretches with only women enrolling. I value the safety and simplicity that women’s groups can provide. These groups are open to trans women and can sometimes be a good fit for non-binary folks as well.

I also value working with men, and in mixed gender groups with people of all gender orientations. In the past I facilitated an all genders group in Sebastopol, and I hope to restart a combined Body Tales and Authentic Movement all genders group in Sebastopol again soon. Please contact me if you are interested. While I don’t have plans to start an all genders group in Berkeley at this time, I may in the future. Some retreats are open to all genders, and individual sessions are available for everyone.

How does the sliding scale work?

Everything I offer has a wide sliding scale to accommodate the large differences in financial realities. The top end of the sliding scale helps subsidize those who need to pay at the bottom. The scale is self-determined. I invite you to pay as generously as is comfortable and sustainable for you. A good rule of thumb is to start in the middle and slide up if possible or down if needed.

Occasionally I’m able to offer partial scholarships below the bottom of the sliding scale (usually to people already working with me). If a reduced rate is necessary for your participation, please check with me to find out what’s possible.

What is the refund policy?

Open Evenings: Payments for open evenings are fully refundable with cancellation one week before the event. For cancellations under one week, you can use a credit for a future open evening within the next two years.

Groups: Deposits for groups are refundable minus 20%, with notice of cancellation two weeks or more before the start date. Within two weeks of the start date the deposit is not refundable, but may be applied to a future group, retreat, or individual session within the next two years. Payments for groups are non-refundable after the group has started (for cancellations based on difficult circumstances and under financial hardship, I will attempt to work out something fair and helpful).

Retreats: Payments for retreats are refundable minus 20%, with notice of cancellation 4 weeks or more before the start date. For cancellations between 2 and 4 weeks of the start date the payment is not refundable but may be applied, minus 20%, for a future retreat, group, or individual sessions within the next two years. Payments for retreats are non-refundable within 2 weeks of the retreat.

“Thank you for the open Body Tales class last Monday. I was deeply moved by the level of empathy and intimacy that emerged within a short 2 ½ hours. It felt magic. With your skillful and compassionate guidance, I felt complete permission to move deep within and to fully witness my fellow movers. Wow. I will be back!”
— BT Open Eve Participant, Yoga Teacher

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