We are not made of flesh and bone

We are not made of flesh and bone; we are made of love and loss. The body is not meat; it is an autobiography. The pieces of the body are pieces of the soul – those that have touched us and those who have hurt us, places we have been and people we have cared for. The body is our values and history incarnate. It is a sacred poem and a warm bloody world of possibility. To know the body is to know ourselves and each other. To be intimate with the body is to have your tongue on the pulse of life itself. When we cut ourselves off from the body with stillness, technology or addiction, we cut ourselves off not just from pain, but from joy. Without...

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Many coaches have a sense that the body is important in their work, but may not be aware of exactly how much it matters. I’ve spent many years helping coaches and facilitators increase their embodied understanding; rather than just their bodily understanding. Here's a quick list of some of the most important reasons not to ignore the body. 1. It's tells you what you're screaming Your bodily states and general disposition are always transmitting to others. Our bodily way of being is one of the most dramatic influences on clients, regardless of the words we are speaking. Learning about this is vital. This video shows one technique for...

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Exclusion helps make a community

While inclusion is almost a knee-jerk stated value these days, it's worth noting that to form a really good community, inclusion needs to be balanced with boundaries. The Embodied Facilitator Course and Embodied Yoga Principles communities are powerful and contain many types of people (in terms of ethnicities, sexualities, nationalities, ages etc), but they are also defined by who we don’t let in. I actively discourage certain types of people from joining these groups and some of my ‘spikier’ marketing is about this. Both communities I lead are, in a funny way, elitist. This is what helps them work. Here are some examples of reasons we...

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Radical Somatic Responsibility (And A New Definition Of Kindness)

You're mostly your fault. Admit it. When people complain about their bodies and emotions, they tend to miss the central fact: true accidents aside, they're usually doing what they're complaining about! When someone says, ‘I have a bad neck’, for example, what they mean is, ‘I bad my neck’. It was their use that caused the problem – at least, the majority of the time. Sure, there may have been less direct causes, like them learning a movement pattern from society or whatever ... but they still moved their neck that way. Emotions are also bodily actions that we do, as Paul Linden has pointed out. You don't get angry as a passive victim of...

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As you probably know, I train people to teach embodiment. These are the most common verbal mistakes I see my students make: Starting instructions with 'Just ...' This is a common verbal tic, which actually minimises the task (when it may not be easy or trivial to your participants). Forgetting to ask permission when touching. Or alternatively, asking, but not really being OK with a 'no' answer.  This creates compliance. The ethical way is to gain consent. 'We will...' This is an example of forced teaming, as opposed to gaining consent. "Next you'll ...' This is an example of a fait accompli. Again, this removes the chance for participants...

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It can be: Noticing your breath a few times a day Coming back onto your heels when rushing Widening your awareness when wanting more confidence Going for a walk when stuck for ideas Relaxing your belly when stressed etc. Keep it simple.

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There are many different processes that can contribute to a sense of certainty in Aikido. Some are very different from others, but they all can have similar consequences. In this paper, we are going to consider some illustrative stories and utilize some technical elements about language and evidence to examine certainty and its effects in Aikido practice. I would like to suggest that putting much emotional energy into a feeling of certainty can be problematic. Certainty can close people’s minds and create barriers between people. It can result in separation from and dehumanization of people who do not share the certainty. And it can...

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Coming to love the archetypal father

A lot of my life has centred on first fighting, then coming to love the archetypal father. In a feminised society where boys are largely raised by women and masculinity mocked, repressed and despised, this is a hard journey. The world now embodies the supposedly caring but tyrannical mother of both state and counter culture. She will look after you and keep you oh so safe. All she demands is your balls. People talk about the "patriarchy" but this is the most pussified time in recoded history. Yes, men are still in charge, but not this is not the age of men. My teen years extended far into adult life as I tried to kill dad in so many ways....

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The first place terrorists win is in the body

Whatever the form, the purpose of terrorism is to produce a fight-flight state that perpetuates violence. Scared people hurt people, and hurt people hurt yet MORE people. This is the cycle of: violence-hindbrain dominance - more violence. This fight-flight reaction causes neo-cortical inhibition (you get stupid) and blocks the social engagement system (you get mean). Our lizard brains take over, we're soaked in adrenaline and cortisol, and that is not a good thing for anyone. This activation leads to "us and them" thinking, and primitive, violent and ineffective response patterns. The ineffective bit is important - if you want to...

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We live in a badly self-regulated disconnected time

We live in a badly self-regulated disconnected time. Basically we're lonely toddlers in tantrum land. And yeah, me included many days. People buy shit they don't need and do shit that hurts them to fill a void that can only be filled by meaning and community. We are cut off from ourselves, others and the planet - and as a result we hurt all three. At a conference I attended at the weekend the speakers near universally agreed on this despite coming from very different backgrounds professionally and culturally. What did differ between the speakers is that the proposed solutions were more or less individual. Is the answer to this endemic...

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Welcome to the new EFC blog

This will feature a mixture of written and video content from Mark Walsh and members of the EFC community.

To start with, here are some very recent videos showing EFC 2016 in action and examples of embodied coaching techniques:

Body listening coaching:

Contract coaching tool:

Relationship coaching:

4 Elements coaching:



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