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By Julene Tripp Weaver
Since 1988 I have been a student of Continuum movement. I have studied
with both the founder of Continuum, Emilie Conrad Da'oud, and with Susan
Harper. Emilie has developed Continuum over the past thirty years. Susan
Harper has worked in collaboration with Emilie for more than twenty years.
Continuum is a form of movement work that evolved from Emilie's background
as a dancer. When I lived in New York I began to explore a variety of bodywork
and energetic systems: Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique, modern dance,
yoga, hands on healing, Polarity Therapy, karate, and rolfing. In my experimentation
I found Continuum and my cells fell in love.
Continuum is an inquiry into our body and it allows our body to express
itself as a biological organism. It is the use of breath to soften muscles
and tissues; it is the use of sound to experience our bones as tuning forks
and to liquefy our bones; it is the use of slow micro movements that ride
the sound waves in the air; it is the ability to expand our neural sensibilities
and return to an infant-like state not yet grounded in gravity. Within
the waves and whispers that is Continuum we listen to new internal ques
and allow ourselves to go deeper. It is amazing what one finds. The first
time I did Continuum in New York City in 1988 my only explanation was that
time stopped. I went so deeply inside my body that the lapse of time that
had passed seemed impossible. How could a whole day have disappeared?
I was immersed in my sensations. I came in and out of consciousness; I
was in an altered place.
My first experience with Continuum changed my life and I knew I had to do
more of this work. Within two years of that workshop I had relocated from
New York city to Seattle. Spending this first five days immersed in the
cells of my body through Continuum movement shifted something deep inside
of me. I was able to take a step I had only glimpsed until then. Continuum
touched my soul and rearranged my priorities.
When I got to my second Continuum intensive I was living in Seattle, I had
finished my Masters degree and I was long overdue for another intensive.
I spent seven days with Emilie on Gabriola Island in British Columbia.
Continuum had evolved since my first intensive. I was amazed at the new
teachings. My body craved this deep intrinsic body work and soaked it up.
There was a woman at this intensive with her newborn baby, and the group
was able to witness first-hand an infant in relationship to gravity, the
constant movement, the subtle movements of a child who has just landed on
this planet. Our muscles and our bones form in relationship to gravity,
our brain loves patterns and as we grove into the patterns we get more and
more set in our ways. A baby is born with many sensory neural passageways,
as adults we can go back to this early state, change our relationship to
gravity and help find new ways of being in the world by expanding our neural
passageways, we can expand our creativity.
Continuum is about the fact that life is movement, movement is not a part
of life, life is movement. Bacteria, viruses, cells, are all movement.
Continuum movement facilitates healing because it helps our cells communicate
better with each other. During Continuum the use of many breaths, many
sounds, and many movements all contribute to our intercellular communication
patterns. Communication of one cell to another is vital for our immune
system, which needs to keep in contact within itself, as well as with the
hormonal and nervous systems. In Continuum breaths are layered, movement
is never patterned or routine, which ensures we stay present. With this
movement we do not get stuck in repetitious movements. We listen inward
and we can honor our bodies innate wisdom.
Repetitious movement that is common in our everyday life such as walking,
bicycling, weight lifting all are easy to disassociate from. Think of people
on treadmills watching TV. They are not in their bodies, they are exercising
yes, but they are also forcing their body into a contrived situation and
they are not even present or attending to what may be going on internally.
Using a variety of movement, breaths, and sounds while listening into our
body and going into forms our body calls us into is a mutual process that
is healing. In Continuum breaths and sounds are used to help access inner
movement, eventually you go into what is called open attention. As you
lie in open attention you listen and feel the vibrations and fluid movement
inside you. Pulses, waves, and whispers reverberate through you, growing
deeper the more you continue this work. The body responds, unfolds, explores,
and reexperiences the way a baby moves, and this process is healing.
I finally went to Emilie and Rebecca Mark's Poetry In Motion intensive which
combines Continuum and writing. As a writer it had been a long term goal
to attend this particular intensive. I was very moved by the integration
of the movement and the powerful writing that emerged from everyone in the
group. Writing from a body-centered space was very different from any other
writing I had experienced. Body centered writing slows one way down, helping
the process of listening to the open spaces in the body. Potential space
is created in our body where molecules can expand, the environment we live
in can begin to be perceived as a support. This combined with the nurturing
our internal organic biological being and then writing from that nurtured
body is a very powerful experience. I have begun teaching workshops based
on this work called Muse To Write.
I offer my Muse To Write workshop where there is interest. Come breathe,
sound, move and write with me. I believe it will nurture your soul and
be a healing experience.