Contact Ken gilbert | embodyment

Contact ken gilbert | EMBODYMENT

Let me know what you sense, imagine, feel and create . . . 

22 East Victoria Street
Santa Barbara, CA, 93101
United States

(805) 452-7164

Somatic Education in Body-Centered Movement:

Pilates | Nia | Expressivity


Ken's Blog

Filtering by Tag: body/mind/spirit

Living Mindfully in a Healthy Body

Ken Gilbert

(this is what I teach in Nia & Pilates)

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The Body’s Way is the path in the experience of Nia. Living in a Healthy Spine is the way of Pilates (Body Contrology). How do I live in my body through sensation: the workout, the practice and the lifestyle of My Body’s Way? How do I move from the acute awareness of my spine mobility and stability into my everyday life? Nia is a way in which I experience the truth of my body without stories, my body is a mirror of what is – it only knows truth. When I live in a spine that is upright through alignment I optimize my thoughts and actions, my way of finding strength and balance. Living in my body becomes a commitment to acknowledging sensation and emotion while engaging my mental and spirit witness.

During the workout whether it be Nia or Pilates, I take the time to sense every moment, every movement; through the music in Nia, through the breath in Pilates. When I am conscious in my movement and aware of sensation I am safe: I have time to notice what is pleasurable or what is in pain or discomfort. In my awareness of what I sense I can choose to move with efficiency and ease; to live in my body with comfort and safety. If I let the movement do the healing, as it is the medicine of health and well being, I can live in physical ease all my life.

Awareness of my sensations invites me to practice being present in every moment; a living meditation of dynamic movement and stillness, from Nia I find that “Every movement feels like I am dancing”, from Pilates I find that (Body) Contrology develops my body uniformly, correcting wrong postures, restoring physical vitality, invigorating my mind, and elevating my spirit. When I workout, mindfully, I find the source of my self-healing. I create a daily personal practice of living in my body. With awareness, consciousness and mindfulness, my life is changed, it transforms everyday; I create my life as living art.

Photo: J Rosenberg

The Humility of Self-Healing

Ken Gilbert

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Living in a body and being a Somatic Educator I continually suggest that every move of the body is to “heal” – to make better any movement, being it habit or something new to the brain/body relationship.

In March 2015, I began healing my skin through an eruption of eczema, followed by MRSA and later on two smaller infections. My skin is sensitive and compromised; and, being the largest organ of the body, any disorder or discomfort is unsettling. My skin has become a journey of self-healing in the awareness of how my body, mind, emotions and spirit work together, expressing through my skin.

Louise Hay, “Heal Your Body” (paraphrasing) suggests that the skin is a protection that lets us feel safe; that the skin, when protecting us allows us to feel free in every moment. I have great longing for this to be true, in my skin, to have my self-healing bring me to feeling safe and secure in the world.

Body Awareness is the entry into Self-Healing – to pay attention to sensation and to invite mental and emotional insight. The body has the power to heal when guided with support and assistance. Healing comes in many forms: moving the body, body work (physically and energetically), and medicine; all ways of assistance into systemic healing and integration of the brain/body.

For me, healing my skin is a time of surrender and reflection. I am spending time listening to my body and seeking support: for my body with a variety of treatments (sometimes pharmaceutical), with my mind and emotions receiving insights through conversations and therapeutic relationships, and with my spirit striving to thrive in the truth of who I am in the world – a self-healer teaching through somatic education how to have and be in relationship with the body.

For now, many imbalances of what I sense, think and feel have been revealed to me. And, there is more healing to be done for me to sense and feel dynamic ease in my skin.

Photo: Forte Fotos

Accidental Companion or in Your Body

Ken Gilbert

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During my day, I love to witness and observe people in their bodies. I have done this most of my life. I remember my mother tugging on my arm and saying "Kenneth don't stare". I would say to her: "I'm not!" What I was doing was watching and observing how they were living in their body; particularly if they had a physical issue with which they were living. I was  never judgmental, just curious.

I am curious about myself and others. And, from this curiosity I have created my career as a Theater Artist and a Somatic Educator. I love the human form and what it is capable of doing in Posture, Body-Center and Gesture. This awareness and consciousness, first about myself and then, about others, keeps me interested in all of us human beings.  

There is no hiding when moving in the physical realm of the body. The body is reflecting every choice in every moment, even if we think we are masking something; the mask is revealing something that is being concealed. Our physical practice, in our body, is revealed in its silhouette. Our emotional state is "written" in every gesture. Our thoughts are in every tension and relaxation of our bones and muscle. Our spirit, our uniqueness, is seen and felt with every step we take.

One morning, over the past several months, the title of "Accidental Companion" came to me as I observe and witness people in their bodies. Noticing how they move: are they an "appendicular mover" (moving from their legs and arms) or a "core mover" (moving from their spine, their core)? Without thinking, the title came. Some people have their head and eyes cast down, some people have their heads forward of their spine, some have their heads balanced over their shoulders. All of these are ways people sit, stand and walk. 

I realize, in this observation, that some people appear to have an "Accidental Companion", their body, coming along with them rather than being in the present, in the moment, sitting, standing or walking with eyes up looking out into the world.

Being an extreme introvert, learning to survive in an extraverted world I am making a bold choice, particularly since my Pilates and Nia practices over the past 20+ years, to keep my eyes "up" - looking out into the world, willing to be seen. Head on top of my spine as I sit, stand and walk, I am with my body more than having an "Accidental Companion".

Photo: Forte Fotos