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Open Up Your Creativity
With Pen And Movement In Brooklyn

 

Freeing the Writing Voice  + Yoga in Brooklyn 
Calling all yogic wordsmiths and amateur scribners: there is something you need to know about. It is a revolutionary approach to the process of writing, one that asks students to combine Feldankrais-inspired movements with the written word. 
Sense Writing, the brain-child of Madelyn Kent of Pear Studios, falls under the category of a writing workshop, but delves much deeper to combine a variety of body movement with pen and paper to open up the writer deep within. 
Kent, a former Feldankrais instructor, theater director, writing teacher, and longtime yogi has created her unique Sense Writing Workshops, which she hosts multiple times each year in weekly and day-intensive formats. 
They are structured around four main ideas:  constraints vs. freedom, differentiation and integration, articulated sensitivity, and non-habitual flow. All four points challenge students to trust in the process and ultimately learn to write with an unprecedented ease. (We pray!) As Madelyn explains it, “I created sense writing so that people could create with more pleasure and less anxiety. To teach people tools that work with their nervous system so that they can try less and create with a sense of ease and flow rather than out of ambition and will.” And it seems, she has done exact that. 
The Sense Writing I: Memory, Life, Stories, and Fiction ran for 6 weeks, and I took the course. My peers and I met once a week in an intimate setting where Madelyn guided us through light precise movements as well as writing exercises. The juxtaposition of the Feldenkrais, a practice that explores small, articulated and intentionally effortless body movements,  and the writing prompts allowed for us to tap into our creativity in a new way. The biggest theme of the 6-week course was constraints vs. freedom. This concept asked us to draw awareness to how setting limitations on our movement, and our writing, actually allowed for a greater freedom. 
In the first class we were asked to come into a forward fold. We then were given a chair on which to place our hands, inhibiting the depth of the fold and instead providing support. Once the chair was taken away, the fold could be felt deeper, freer, and was more easily accessed. Similarly, we were asked to describe a scene using only the five senses, and then soon after asked to simply free write the scene. The partnering of a limitation with liberation made for a more natural writing experience. 
The link between the articulate movement and the flow of writing is not readily apparent often. In fact, at times they are at odds. We go to yoga to escape the minds chatter, to turn it off and hope for that divine creativity to awaken through exertion and through breath. But Madelyn has a different approach to calling upon this ghost of creative flow. She’s asking us to simply try less. To let spirituality and creativity separate and not be so hard on ourselves. She offers a space where people can give themselves permission to slow down and draw awareness to subtle movements of the body and by doing so reawakening a fascination with the world, both on and off the page. As she described it, she is “teaching people the tools to use the brain without the brain using them.” Turn off the chitter chatter of the mind, breathe, focus, let go, and run with the words that come. 
Another interesting aspect of the Sense Writing courses, which challenges the internalized no pain, no gain mantra— particularly potent in NYC — is Madelyn’s insistence on acknowledging and celebrating where we are in the current moment in both our bodies and our writing craft. She employs her students to see, hear, feel, smell, touch, and taste what constructs their individual comfort zones, not going to a place of forced effort and will. It is through finding ones comfort zone, and making it even more comfortable, that we can then begin to slowly, and with grace and a playful approach, expand our limitations and stimulate growth. 
Sense Writing offers a welcome perspective and an arsenal of practical tools to expand creative capacity. “Try less” Madelyn often repeats to her roomful of students, who spend each day doing the exact opposite. Through her extensive knowledge of writing, Feldonkrais, yogic philosophy and her years of experience teaching, Madelyn has created a place to go to breathe, acknowledge, explore, and ultimately witness the innate intelligence of the body and how that translates to the power of the pen.
Madelyn will be offering a Sense Writing I: Memories, Life Stories, and Fiction .on Thursday May 1st  from 2 pm - 9:15 pm. It will be held on Thursdays until May 29th. For more information visit pearstudios.org or email Madelyn directly at Madelyn@pearstudios.org.

Calling all yogic wordsmiths and those who've always dreamed of writing but never given it a try: there is something you need to know about. It is a revolutionary approach to the process of writing, one that asks students to combine Feldankrais-inspired movements with the written word. 

Sense Writing, the brain-child of Madelyn Kent of Pear Studios, falls under the category of a writing workshop, but delves much deeper to combine a variety of body movement with pen and paper to open up the writer deep within. 

Kent, a former Feldenkrais instructor, theater director, writing teacher, and longtime yogi has created her unique Sense Writing Workshops, which she hosts multiple times each year in weekly and day-intensive formats. 
They are structured around four main ideas:  constraints vs. freedom, differentiation and integration, articulated sensitivity, and non-habitual flow. All four points challenge students to trust in the process and ultimately learn to write with an unprecedented ease. (We pray!)

As Madelyn explains it, “I created sense writing so that people could create with more pleasure and less anxiety. To teach people tools that work with their nervous system so that they can try less and create with a sense of ease and flow rather than out of ambition and will.” And it seems, she has done exactly that. 

The Sense Writing I: Memory, Life, Stories, and Fiction ran for 6 weeks, and I took the course. My peers and I met once a week in an intimate setting where Madelyn guided us through light precise movements as well as writing exercises. The juxtaposition of the Feldenkrais, a practice that explores small, articulated and intentionally effortless body movements,  and the writing prompts allowed for us to tap into our creativity in a new way. The biggest theme of the 6-week course was constraints vs. freedom. This concept asked us to draw awareness to how setting limitations on our movement, and our writing, actually allowed for a greater freedom. 

In the first class we were asked to come into a forward fold. We then were given a chair on which to place our hands, inhibiting the depth of the fold and instead providing support. Once the chair was taken away, the fold could be felt deeper, freer, and was more easily accessed. Similarly, we were asked to describe a scene using only the five senses, and then soon after asked to simply free write the scene. The partnering of a limitation with liberation made for a more natural writing experience. 

The link between the articulate movement and the flow of writing is often not readily apparent. In fact, at times they are at odds. We go to yoga to escape the mind's chatter and hope for that divine creativity to awaken through exertion and through breath. But Madelyn has a different approach to calling upon this ghost of creative flow. She’s asking us to simply try less. To let spirituality and creativity separate and not be so hard on ourselves. She offers a space where people can give themselves permission to slow down and draw awareness to subtle movements of the body and by doing so reawakening a fascination with the world, both on and off the page. As she described it, she is “teaching people the tools to use the brain without the brain using them.” Turn off the chitter chatter of the mind, breathe, focus, let go, and run with the words that come. 

Another interesting aspect of the Sense Writing courses, which challenges the internalized "no pain, no gain mantra" — particularly potent in NYC — is Madelyn’s insistence on acknowledging and celebrating where we are in the current moment in both our bodies and our writing craft. She employs her students to see, hear, feel, smell, touch, and taste what constructs their individual comfort zones, not going to a place of forced effort and will. It is through finding ones comfort zone, and making it even more comfortable, that we can then begin to slowly, and with grace and a playful approach, expand our limitations and stimulate growth. 

Sense Writing offers a welcome perspective and an arsenal of practical tools to expand creative capacity. “Try less” Madelyn often repeats to her roomful of students, who spend each day doing the exact opposite. Through her extensive knowledge of writing, Feldenkrais, yogic philosophy and her years of experience teaching, Madelyn has created a place to go to breathe, acknowledge, explore, and ultimately witness the innate intelligence of the body and how that translates to the power of the pen.

Madelyn will be offering  Sense Writing I: Memories, Life Stories, and Fiction starting on Thursday May 1st  from 7 pm - 9:15 pm. It will be held on Thursdays until May 29th. For more information visit pearstudios or email Madelyn directly at Madelyn@pearstudios.org.

---Erin Ward



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